On 24th August, Elizabeth Allen led a workshop on Romantic Fiction in preparation for the final competition of the year. Having contrasted the genre to its more elevated cousin, romance, she asked everyone to note down what they considered the key elements of the genre to be. We went on to look at two broad categories, contrasting the generally exotic and glitzy Mills & Boon approach with the more everyday Women’s Weekly style. Although we acknowledged Mills & Boon novels now range from the traditional heart-warming weddings of doctors and nurses etc. to more ‘hot and spicy’ encounters, one avid romantic fiction reader among us pointed out the sexual politics haven’t moved on that much! We discussed the elements of the romantic novel: characters, setting, plot and prose style, with credit being given to Sophie King’s How to Write a Romantic Novel. The group’s choices of a suitable location for a novel ranged from libraries through the Scottish Highlands to the gondolas of Venice, and characters’ names spanned the mundane to the highly exotic. We wait for the entries to be read out on 21st September.
On 7th September, the group met to tackle the thorny issue of planning the 2016 programme. First we discussed the overall balance of meeting types before voting on members’ suggestions for competitions. We then moved on to discussing our biennial themed charity anthology, which next year, will be coordinated by a team of three. Our Chair, Eileen Masters, presented various options regarding printing and distribution as well as themes previously suggested by group members. Jane Hempson-Jones from the coordination team had researched local charities who might be interested in promoting the project and receiving the profits; she presented a very clear picture of the type of work performed by each in the community. For more information about Hastings Writers’ Group, visit our website: http://hastingswriters.co.uk/ or email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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