Reading Groups

We have five groups which meet monthly in members' houses. Work is read aloud and sometimes copies are distributed. Members try to give each other constructive criticism and make suggestions as to how texts could be improved.

Free Sample: before we ask you to join, you are welcome to attend two meetings of any reading group to see if what we do interests you.

Poetry

The poetry group meets on the second Monday of each month. 3-13 people attend. Some of us are unpublished and are happy that way, but I think it’s true to say the tone is “professional” rather than academic or therapeutic. The format is pretty standard. The poet hands the work out. After having given people time to read it, the poet reads it. Then all but the poet discuss it. Finally the poet joins in.

As you will appreciate, poetry needs the very closest attention to the text and this is hard to do if one can only listen. Therefore, at these meetings we ask that you bring along 8 copies of the poem you wish to be considered.

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Coordinator: Tim Love
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Short Prose

Short stories and short fiction and non-fiction are read at this group. Although we would not wish this criterion to dictate the length of pieces, we usually ask that work substantially over 2000 words be read over two meetings. It helps if you bring 8 printed copies of your work to the meetings for other members to refer to.

Meetings are confirmed to be on the third Thursday of each month.

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Coordinator: Tim Love
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Long Prose

Those wishing to attend the Long Prose Group (novels, biographies, scriptwriting, etc) are encouraged to read out their own original work. Due to the popularity of the group and the time constraints, roughly two minutes are allowed to introduce your piece, followed by about 10 minutes reading, and then the group aims to give about 10 minutes constructive feedback on it. Participants are also encouraged to contribute to constructive feedback on other members’ work. It helps if you bring 8 printed copies of your work to the meetings for other members to refer to.

Meetings are on the last Tuesday of each month. In order to prevent numbers becoming unwieldy in this group, more than one meeting  may be arranged at different venues.

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Coordinator: Siobhan Carew
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Travel Writing

There are currently five members who work on travel narratives and who meet once a month.

Writing for Children

We meet monthly throughout the year on the 1st Thursday of the month.

We have a lot of fun in our critique group discussing strange worlds as they take shape and the creatures in them. We have long debates; would such and such an animal do that? How does the technology in a strange world relate to ours? Could he do something dafter? All serious questions in this context.

An example

The Oomingmak has found new friends and by working together they have wandered far and wide to achieve great things. A disturbing stranger has helped a boy to get through terrible times by sometimes terrible means. Children have been lost in a parallel universe where they are not welcome. The Mess Monster continues to mess up despite his best efforts to do as he is told. The social structure of a world deep Underground is being explored.

The hard work is paying off and books have been completed and sent to agents and publishers.

We look forward to meeting new members and exploring exciting new worlds and brave, re-sourceful new characters. And some who have to overcome adversity without recourse to bravery or resoucefulness.

 

Commercial Editing

Some Cambridge Writers who have already published or self-published novels have set up a sub long prose group, for want of a better descriptor called the Commercial Editing Group. All in the group are near to completing and submitting a new novel. The purpose of the monthly meetings is to get to know characters and plots to maximise the level of critical friend feedback, to offer peer review, and to support the editing process.

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Coordinator: R J Gould
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