Who we are

Based in Hastings, East Sussex, we share a passion for writing.

We come from many different backgrounds and have diverse writing experience. Some have had short stories, poems, letters or articles published in magazines, whilst others have novels or non-fiction books to their credit. However, we also welcome people who still aspire to publication, as well as those who are happy to write just for themselves and family or friends. See the Members page for our details.

We aim to help all our members develop their writing skills by providing a varied and interesting programme of meetings, and offering constructive feedback on their work in a supportive and friendly atmosphere.

The group meets fortnightly, in Hastings.  Our activities include varied competitions with guest judges, speakers, manuscript evenings, workshops and fun evenings.  We aim to offer something for everyone who enjoys writing.  From time to time we also organise events for both members and the public to attend.

If you would like to know more about our activities, or are interested in joining the group, please contact us.

We also have a facebook page, if you would like to follow us. https://www.facebook.com/HastingsWritersGroup/

Annual Presentation Evening – December 2018



Results of the “My Worst” Competition – July 2019

1. Caroline Wardle ” My Worst Case”
2. Roz Balp “My Worst Driving Test”
3. Vicky Armstrong ” Future Perfect”
4. Hilary Mackleden “My Worst … Day at Work”
Highly commended: Godfrey Forder “God Bless Ronald MacDonald”
A big ‘Thank You’ to Rohan Jayasekera who gave great insight with his feedback on the submitted work and an illuminating story of his life and work as a journalist and foreign correspondent.

Results of the Psychological Drama Competition – May 2019

1 – Roz Balp “Worth the Risk”
2 – Johnny di Girolamo ” “Wasuremono”
3 – Caroline Wardle “Into the Fire”
4 – Hilary Mackleden “Trapped in the Lift”.

Results of the Ballad Competition – March 2019

Judge: Kim Lasky

  1. Liz Calouri: The Ballad of Daisy Duck
  2. Dianna Locke: Taxi Rant
  3.  Roz Balp: Bad Lady Ballad
  4.  Vicky Armstrong: The Ballad of the Bridge Club Ramble

Results of the “Catherine Cookson Cup – December 2018

The winner was John Taylor.

Results of the “Wild Card” Competition – November 2018

1.Vicky Armstrong for “Once Upon a Time in Africa”.

2.Sandra Daniels-  “Pause for Thought”

3.Sam Davey – “The Lineaments of Desire”

4.Karina Evans for “All That Glitters”.

Results of the ‘Drama’ Competition – October 2018

Judge – Christophe Philipps

1. Maddie Blake – ‘To Crown a King’

2. Godfrey Forder – ‘Peterloo’

3. Roz Balp – ‘Ever Refused Admission’

4. Vicky Armstrong with ‘Noblesse Oblige’.


Results of the ‘How to’ Competition – July 2018
Judged by John Dowling

1.Godfrey Forder – ‘How to Potter’.

2.Lorna Thompson – ‘Chemo and the Disappearing Hair – a Black Woman’s Tale.’

3. Maddie Blake – ‘How to Make Friends with the Stars’

4. Roz Balp – ‘Packing for a Budget Airline’

Results of the Science Fiction Competition, May 2018

Judge: Simon Guerrier
1. Mike Gould “Up There Far Away”
2. Sam Davey “The Last Elephant”
3. Dave Baker “Gaze Upon My Washing Up and Weep”
4. Roz Balp “The Last Rabbit Hole”





Monday 13th May 2019- Feedback on the Psychological Thriller Competiton 

This evening we welcomed local crime writer Chris Curran (pictured right below with HWG Chair, Amanda Giles). Chris gave us a very interesting and amusing account of her journey to becoming a published author, the good times and the disappointments, and answered questions from members. Having judged our entries to the psychological thriller story competition, Chris gave general feedback to the group before discussing each entry individually. Members who had entered stories were extremely grateful for the detailed written critiques they received. The judging was as follows: In fourth place, ‘Trapped in the Lift’ by Hilary Mackleden; in third place, ‘Into the Fire’ by Caroline Wardle; second place went to Johnny di Girolamo for ‘Wasuremono’; and the winner was Roz Balp with ‘Worth the Risk’.

April 15 2019 – Writing Fight Scenes

With the focus on ‘Getting it Right’, Dave Baker lead a workshop on writing fight scenes. Illustrated by live demonstrations on his lifelong friend Wally, and his wife Suzy, Dave showed members a range of fighting and defensive techniques. He also gave a lot of fascinating information about the importance of considering the physical environment the fight is set in, the motivation and frame of mind of protagonist, and the reactions of any other characters present. We considered different weapons, including blades and firearms, the injuries they cause and possible defensive moves. Dave also gave some gruesome but thought-provoking anecdotes from his medical imaging work and his experiences in the military.  

Programme of Future Meetings


HWG Awards 2018

Catherine Cookson Cup

Winner:  John Taylor

Writer of the Year

Winner:  Godfrey Forder


HWG Awards 2017

Catherine Cookson Cup


Judge: Thorne Ryan

First:  Amanda Giles “No Reveal”

Second:  Maddie Blake “Looking Through the Gates of Heaven”

Third:  Godfrey Forder “Dandelion and Burdock with Bronwen”

Fourth:  Anne Hooker “The Signet Ring Mafia”


Writer of the Year Award

Writer of the year 2

Joint winners:  Roz Balp and Diana Lock



HWG Publications

Imagine That!

Now available, see publications for details.


2017 Hastings Writers’ Group Anthology

See Publications for details.

ebook marketing image





Programme of Future Meetings