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.

Interested in Joining?

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

Otherwise, we meet at 7:30 p.m. at the White Rock Hotel, Hastings. The meeting dates can be found on the What’s On page. All are welcome to come along for a free ‘taster’ evening. At this, you might want to just watch, take part or share with us what your hopes for writing maybe (be they recreational or other aspirations, up to and including publication) and how the group could help you achieve them.

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

Covid-19

The use of Zoom meetings has enabled great opportunities for unlimited break-out groups to focus on a particular genre or a member’s work in progress.

Given the extended nature of the current restrictions, we will continue to take advantage of what technology has to offer us.

Hastings Writers Group is in its eighth  decade and has seen and carried on through a lot of history, as it will through this current pandemic. For evidence, please see our 2021 Programme link below.

Please continue to check the website, our Facebook page and e-mail bulletins for news.

We are also very grateful for the attention of our judges for their invaluable feedback.

A Word About the Competitions

Members have found these exercises invaluable in honing their writing by trying new formats and genres they may not have previously entertained.

All competitions are decided on by vote at our Annual General Meeting every January; the members decide the subjects/formats. 

The judges are invited because of their accomplishment in the field, subject or genre of the competition.

All feedback is constructive and always useful. 

There is absolutely no obligation to submit a piece. Indeed hearing others read their work is rewarding  and can provide inspiration for yourself!

Historical Fiction Competition- March 2021

1st Place How Grandpa Isaac Found God – Sandra Daniels

2nd Place Extract from a Social History of Widecote House 1422-1947, Darwell – Marcia Woolf

3rd Place Down to the Beach – Hilary Mackleden

4th Place The Birdman of Bexhill-on-Sea – Toby Sargent

A massive ‘Thank You’ to Historical Fiction author, Emma Batten for her detailed and constructive feedback to all writers. Well done to those writers who got placed, but also to everyone else who submitted a piece; the standard was particularly high.

Poetry Competition- February 2021

1st Roz Balp “Breakfast in Sicily”
2nd Chris King “Cartography (@ Easter)
3rd Marcia Woolf “Since Then”
4th Toby Sargent “Funambulist”
Congratulations to all who entered. To read the winning entries, please click on the link: http://hastingswriters.co.uk/hwg-2021-poetry-comp-winning-entries/

Annual Presentations- January 2021

CATHERINE COOKSON CUP 2020:
Joint FIRST place: Vicky Huggins, “A Day in the Broken City”
Joint FIRST place: Grace Quinnell, “Ending Marriage with Ramyeon”
SECOND place: John Taylor, “The Cravat”
THIRD place: Vicky Armstrong, “Family Affair”
FOURTH place: Marcia Woolf, “The Seeing Ear”
To enjoy the entries for yourself please click on the link:http://hastingswriters.co.uk/ccc-competition-winning-entries-3/
We are all very grateful to this year’s judge, Tessa Boase, social historian and author of “Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather” and “The Housekeeper’s Tale”. Tessa’s judgement has shown that we welcome and embrace young writers. This has been borne out by the fact that one of the joint winners is our youngest member.
WRITER OF THE YEAR 2020:Vicky Armstrong
Congratulations to all who participated throughout this challenging year!

Competition, November 2020: Children’s Story

1st: Vicky Armstrong, The Golden Boots

2nd: Marcia Woolf, Shona and the Lady Luck

3rd: Vicky Huggins, The Bird Girls

4th: Hilary Mackleden, Water Girl

A huge thank you to Kate O’Hearn for judging and providing such excellent feedback. 

To read all entries, please use the link here:http://hastingswriters.co.uk/childrens-stories-nov-20

Competition, September 2020: A twenty minute play for two characters

          1 Hilary Mackleden “Ladies at the Seaside” stage play

          2 Roz Balp “Rats!” radio play

          3 Vicky Armstrong “What Edie Saw” radio play

          Joint 4 Godfrey Forder “Dim and Dom” radio play

         Joint 4 Lorna Thompson “A Visit from Pik Pik” radio play

Well done to all who participated.

Competition, July 2020: The Biography of a Historical figure

Despite the travails of this pandemic, our members continue to produce sterling work! Well done to all and a huge thank you to our judge and mentor for this exercise, Ann Kramer, author of Landgirls and Their Impact and Women Wartime Spies.

1st “The Fastest Girl on Earth”: Vicky Armstrong

2nd “The Tragic Tale of Jacco Macacco”: Sandra Daniels

3rd “Nicholas Ridley”: Toby Sargent

4th “Madam CJ Walker”: Lorna Thompson

Poetry Competition, May 2020: Nonsense Verse

This is the first competition during the current pandemic. Submissions were e-mailed to the judge with feedback to participants. Well done to all.

1st Liz Caluori “The Games”

2nd Sam Davey “What Nonsense”

3rd Vicky Armstrong “Extinction Rebellion”

4th Hilary Mackleden “The Frumpet”

 

 

Programme of Future Meetings

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