Welcome to Slough Writers

Slough Writers is a friendly and supportive group for writers of all abilities, living in the Slough area. To learn more about the group and our meetings, check About Us or see our latest programme of activities.

We meet most Monday nights upstairs at the Palmer Arms in Dorney, from 7:30pm. If you're interested in joining, drop in and say hello.

Recent News (See All News)

Slough Writers Annual Awards for 2016/17 (2017-09-02 11:35:00)

Annual Awards: from the left: Robert Kibble (Endeavour Award), Edward Harte (Services to the Group), Lorraine Forrest-Turner (Writer of the Year) Claire Dyer (Visiting author who made the presentations), Harvey Martin (Newcomer of the Year)

Results of the 2017 Poetry Competition. (2017-09-02 11:01:30)

The full result was announced on 17th July 2017

  • 1st and the SW Poetry Competition Trophy: Golden Phase by Sally East
  • 2nd: The Lucky One by Elaine Simmonds
  • 3rd: One Of The Fifty Percent by Michael Pearcy

Picture left show Sally East who now lives in Suffolk displaying the poetry trophy on the seafront near Southwold lighthouse accompanied by fellow member Wally Smith. Picture right shows Elaine Simmonds (second) with judge poet Claire Dyer and Michael Pearcy (third).

On the left Claire Dyer delivers her comments on the poems. On the right, Claire Dyer listens to Elaine Simmonds reading her poem which won second place.

Stonewylde author Kit Berry visits Slough Writers (2017-07-18 23:09:28)

Tonight we met the author of the Stonewylde Series of young adult novels.

The folk of Stonewylde farm their land organically, living simply and in harmony with nature as their ancestors did before them. Everything seems perfect - the wind farm and solar panels, the rural celebrations in the barn, the ancient stone circle and megaliths clustered all over the landscape. But of course nothing is ever perfect.

Stonewylde has captured the imaginations of a huge following of all ages. The conflicts between the characters and the tension builds throughout the five books.

Stonewylde is a green and idyllic place where darkness hides malignantly in the corners, waiting to be unleashed.

The Financial Times said she soon spots the serpents in this paradise.

The Guardian said her ideas and imagination are absolutely brilliant.

With her husband Mr B (I have to ask, is the B for Mr Big?) she has eight adult children. And then she adds "none of whom actually live with us!" Maybe that explains how she finds the time to write five successful novels.

She is inspired by Dorset

She has a little room of her own for writing.

She reads a extensively and invests a lot of time in promoting what she does

Kit gave an interesting talk about her difficult journey to publication, and the importance of self-promotion through social media, talks, merchandise, etc.

Slough Writers Submit Plays to Stoke Poges Players (2017-05-02 10:19:09)

Two members of Slough Writers will have plays performed by local amateur dramatics group Stoke Poges Players at The Village Centre in Stoke Poges for three nights beginning 11th May.

Julie Cawood who is producing the show for The Players said, "We want to put on a show that is modern and different from the usual plays available to amateur groups. And do something community based so working with a group like Slough Writers ticked all the boxes."

Eight of the Slough Writers responded by submitting plays and The Players chose Zoo, a farce by Terry Adlam and Whistleblower, a drama by Michael Pearcy.

Zoo is set in a Zoo and the manager, Richard Blount, wants everything to be perfect for a very special visitor. That's what he wants but it's not what he gets.

In Whistleblower a family's future security is threatened when they are drawn into a political scandal and they struggle to answer the question - what personal sacrifices are they prepared to make to protect the truth? Millions of lives are in danger if they don't speak up.

This mixture gave Julie Cawood exactly what she was looking for:"Both plays run for about 45 minutes so it makes a perfect evening of comedy and high drama for the audience. For The Players it is brilliant to be working on comedy and drama for the same show; the two disciplines present very different challenges for our actors and directors."

The show will run for three nights from Wednesday 11th May and tickets can be obtained from the box office at 01753 677032 or online at www.stokepogesplayers.org.

"We are really excited with this new format for our show and we will certainly be doing it again," said Julie Cawood.

Claire Dyer on Poetry (2017-05-02 10:01:06)

Author, Teacher and judge of our 2017 Poetry Competition speaks about what she looks for in a good poem.

RESULTS - 2017 SHORT STORY COMPETITION (2017-04-21 10:32:30)

There were 18 entries for our Young Adult themed short Story competition The judge was Andy Robb, the author of the Geekhood books, the first of which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award 2012. He has had many jobs over the years, most notable as an actor working on stage and screen but now spends his time writing on his house boat on the Thames; occasionally stopping to feed the ducks.

  • 1st and the SW Short Story Competition Trophy: Beetroot Tears by Lorraine Forrest-Turner
  • 2nd: Belle and Eddie's Gap Year by Sally East
  • 3rd: Take Off From Panshanger by William Campbell

Commended: The Random Numbers Game by Robert Kibble, Trying To Help by Michael Pearcy and Second Hand Kid by Jules Davidson.

Photos: Lorraine receives her certificate and reads her story. We hope to gather all the winners for a group photo soon.

Of Lorraine's winning story he said, "This stood out from the beginning; great story, simple and not too clever for clevers sake. What stood out was the use of conversation. You were there, in this family from the very start. And the beetroot tear image was brilliant."

Andy admitted to being unsure what we expected as feedback and that he concentrated on being constructive. He hoped what he said about each story was useful but he said "If you believe in what you are doing just say sod it and stick to what you do."

In writing for young adults Andy said "The voice in your work should be strong, grab them from the start." He explained that adults are ready to spend more time getting into a story: "You can be more timely where adults are concerned."

"The theme and characters must be clear upfront - like the hook in a song, the young adult reader wants it there, bang," said Andy.

Andy spoke about the need for immediacy in your work for the YA reader, "You should aim to have a feeling of being in the now. I like to use the first person and writing in the present tense will also help."

Andy gave comments on all the entries. In many of his comments he referred to a lack of immediacy. In general he was impressed with the standard and as a reflection of this he needed to award three commendation certificates.

Results - The 2016 Article Competition (2016-12-07 20:45:35)

  • 1st and the SW Article Competition Trophy: Caring For A New Breed of Pets by Michael Pearcy
  • 2nd: What Have Cats Got To Do With Brexit? by Paul Stimpson
  • 3rd: What pet should I get: dog, cat, or dinosaur? by Julian Davidson

Commended: Working like a dog by Carol Breuer and Becoming a cat stepfather by Robert Kibble

First picture, from the left: Robert Kibble, Paul Stimpson, Michael Pearcy, Dr Kate Dent, Carol Breuer and Julian Davidson.

2016 Article Competition

The task was to write an article on the theme Pet Project. Dr Kate Dent, head of operations at the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trusts agreed to be the judge. Kate said that her criteria for choosing the winners of the 2016 article competition was not based on her experience as a writer but more as a reader of mainly scientific papers and articles. She confessed to not really knowing what an article was and was pleased to find that her online research (after she had judged the entries) backed up her intuition.

Kate judged the entries on her experience as a former veterinary nurse and her studies of zoology and evolutionary biology combined with how engaging and enjoyable she found each article. She gave incisive feedback on all 10 entries.

She said of Mike's winning entry that it had all the elements of an excellent article with an interesting subject told in an informative and entertaining style. She found the interview format worked well and she learnt something new about bee keeping.

Kate liked the amusing analogies in Paul's cats and Brexit article and said it was explain cleverly and an unusual approach. Of Jules' dinosaur piece, she said it was well-researched and easy read with gentle humour.

On the two commended articles, she said Carol's was amusing and informative, and Robert's was an interesting comparison between a relationship with a child and a relationship with an animal.

Her observations on the others included taking a quirky approach, being more of a story than an article, missing an opportunity to call for volunteers, and being a little disjointed without a satisfactory ending.

As well as giving feedback on all the entries and awarding the prizes, Kate also gave a short and very interesting talk about her work with the three Wildlife Trusts. There was a lively and interesting Q & A. The group thanked Kate for her time and for providing a very interesting evening.

Report by Lorraine Forrest Turner. See her website.