As I said in my introduction I became a member of Hawkesbury River Writers in February 2009. Since joining this fine organisation I believe my writing style and content has vastly improved. As all are accomplished writers and at least a few published authors in our ranks the knowledge and suggestions which is offered is invaluable.
Hawkesbury River Writers [www.hrw.org.au] meet once a month [the first Thursday] at the Club on the Hawkesbury, Mooney Mooney, NSW – a lovely part of our State – and once we get over the initial business formalities we get down to what we are best at – Writing.
One of the exercises which we have recently introduced at our meetings is “Circular Writing”; where each member writes either a line or a complete sentence and then the sheet of paper is passed to the writer sitting next to him/her – either clockwise or anti-clockwise it doesn’t matter which. Then a new line is written beneath the first, and so on until your original line comes back to you and we stop. The “story” is then read out. Some of the results have been hilarious, whilst others may suggest members are in need of serious help [only joking – I don’t wish to offend anyone]. Take a look – check out the website [as above] click on newsletters and have look at the most recent issue.
We also set ourselves a “Prompt” which can either be 100 words on a pre-agreed title, or up to 750 words also on a pre-agreed title. We have until the next meeting to produce this work, which is then read out at the meeting. For an example the following prompt was called “Down the Lane” – I chose to express it in the form of a poem [please note the copyright – if you would like to print it off or copy it I don’t mind just as long as you ask me first]:
Down The Lane
Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2010
Down the lane I laugh and skip
The day is warm and bright.
Trees are filled with birds in song,
As I approach they soon take flight.
The lane is only dirt and dust.
I feel happy, filled with joy.
There’s grass aplenty on either side;
To tumble and play like a small boy.
The laughter soon fades away,
As I stumble on a rut and trip.
Tears flow freely from my eyes,
As pain rips through my hip.
What was I thinking? I ask myself.
To believe I had no fear.
I’m almost sixty, for goodness sake!
I should never have drunk all that beer.
Well I thought it was funny ! In addition to the prompts we set ourselves an in-house writing competition usually up to 1000 words (sometimes more) which is to an agreed genre. It could be an article, a fiction or non-fiction story. Entries are submitted and are distributed anonymously for voting. Our aim is Readability. The winner is announced at the meeting following voting.
In addition to our in-house activities, a writing competition is held annually to non-members for which a cash prize is offered to the winning entries.
The meetings are thoroughly enjoyable and constructive. Why else would we attend? More so remain members for many years. I am proud to be it’s present President, and although I had wanted to step down this year to give someone else an opportunity, in a way I’m glad no one else took up the offer and so I remain at the helm.
RLB – Tomewriter