This workshop means a trip to Worthing but is well worth it. Wendy has 26 published books to her name and over 1700 articles and here she is sitting in Worthing Library running a writing workshop!
I have already read her latest book about shipwrecks which is brilliant, well researched and very readable. I loved all those tales of the sea.
Wendy is such a warm and approachable person that new writers need not be nervous. She encourages participants, who are a mixture of experienced writers and novices, to share their writing.
Obviously with such an experienced workshop leader who is prepared to share the nuts and bolts of writing the group is off to a brilliant start. At one of the meetings I attended the topic explored was how to write a pocket novel; other sessions include how to research and write an article and get it published.
Wendy herself is an inspiration because she has spent many years campaigning, working and writing on behalf of people affected by Stickler Syndrome, a condition from which she suffers herself. She founded a support group and spends a great deal of time raising awareness of the condition in the medical profession. This has prompted her to research and write about the syndrome. She runs a charity to support sufferers and is well respected by the medical profession.
Wendy is the membership secretary of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, which is a professional writers organisation, and has her finger on the pulse of what might get published in the present climate.
As a writer myself I know how important it is to actually read the publication one is aiming to write for, obvious but sometimes overlooked by new writers. In the case of stories for magazines it is a good idea to google the publisher for the authors guidelines which are often available. At the end of the day becoming a successful writer is about commitment and takes considerable time and effort. The publishing bit also requires just little bit of luck.
Many people, particularly in retirement, seem to be drawn to writing. It is useful to remember it is a profession and takes skill as well as inspiration whether one decides to write a family memoir, a novel or a short story for a competition or magazine.
At the moment I am not to sure what to put my energies into. A constant dilemma, so meanwhile I write for the love of it, dabble with poetry and write my blog.
Writing groups are horses for courses, best to try them to find one that suits you. This one is great, comparatively new and developing. It costs £5 a session but then you get Wendy’s expert advice and that of other experienced writers. Wendy is also running one day workshops at a modest £20 for the day which I am sure will be good fun and great value.
The other person that I am really I am happy to recommend is Bridget Whelan who runs short courses at the Friends Centre in Brighton. She too is an established writer, is an excellent tutor and gives good value for money. Another gem for running writing workshops is Wendy Greenhaig, young, enthusiastic and talented.