Writerly News Round-Up

November has been a busy month, not just for Chudleigh Writers’ Circle members in particular, but for writers in general. Today we bring you a round-up of writerly news both local and less so: two debut publications; a joint arts project; an update on NaNoWriMo; a reminder about a local short story competition with some great prizes; a suggestion for a Christmas present with a difference; and news of a great new collaboration between Devon and East Africa.

Paul’s Debut Novel

Paul K Joyce published his debut novel this month. The Will of the People is a YA story set on the day the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. It is an chilling view of an alternative reality that could so easily become true. It is available both as an ebook and in paperback; and is also free to download for Kindle Unlimited members. And Paul would appreciate a review or two while he is working on books two and three of the trilogy.

Stephen’s First Publication

Stephen Male has been working on his first book for a while now, and it certainly shows in the finished product. Modelling Mind is a huge tome which addresses the meaning of life through three questions: What am I? What is this universe? And can I ever know the answers? But it does so in a way that avoids esoteric jargon and starts with basic ideas understandable to the lay person. It is available both as an ebook and in paperback. And Steve, too, would appreciate a review from anyone who reads it.

Joint Arts Project

For the past three years, CWC has been working with Newton Abbot Photographic Club, Newton Abbot Arts Group and Newton Abbot and District Writers’ Circle on a series of fascinating projects. Earlier this year, the artists produced a set of paintings. The writers then wrote an interpretive page or either prose or poetry. The words, but not the original pictures were then passed to the photographers to produce their own interpretation.

This coming Tuesday, a Zoom meeting will be held for all involved groups to view this year’s results for the first time. It is always an interesting event with much discussion about the whys and hows of the process. In previous years, as the picture shows, the resulting trios of work have then been exhibited for the general public to view. That is not possible at the moment, but it is hoped to be able to do that in the not too distant future.


Every November writers across the world challenge themselves to write fifty thousand words in thirty days. The so called National Novel Writing Month is an exercise in creativity where quality is temporarily pushed into the background. There is no editing done at this point; it is simply as case of getting the words down. NaNoWriMo is a bit of a marmite process. Some writers hate the idea of just throwing the words down; others find it a great spur to getting first drafts finished. CWC member Elizabeth Ducie is a NaNo rebel, in that she doesn’t always work on a novel. She is currently completing her eighth challenge in a row, having used it in past years to draft four novels; a set of short stories; and many thousands of words of non-fiction. She looks forward to November every year. There are at least three CWC members working on NaNoWriMo this year. We wish them, and all other writers beavering away at the moment, good luck. Keep it up, guys; just a few more days to go!

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition

Many writers love the challenge of a short story competition. And the bigger the prize, the better the incentive to enter. A reminder that Exeter Writers recently launched their 2021 competition and there is over £1000 in prize money up for grabs, including an overall first prize of £700 and a special £100 for the best story from a Devon writer outside of the top three. The word limit is 3000 and the closing date is 28th February. So if you are looking for something to do over the Christmas holidays…

Looking for an unusual Christmas gift?

At this time of year, the words on the lips of many authors are “Signed paperbacks make great Christmas presents for the readers in your life.” Well this year, how about a gift that’s just a little different? For just £20 you can gift the writer or reader in your life membership of Friends of Exeter Literary Festival. And if you have a pair of friends who fit the bill, how about a joint membership for just £35. Help support the local literary scene while giving a gift with lots of benefits. You can get all the details by clicking here.

Africa Writes-Exeter Book Club

As part of the Africa Writes-Exeter Book Club initiative, CWC member Elizabeth Ducie took part on Saturday 21st November in the first in a series of creative writing workshops which explore language, history and craft. Led by Billy Kahora, author and creative writing tutor at the University of Bristol, the workshop explored point of view and narrative voice, using as a basis Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s novel The First Woman. Elizabeth found working with a group of writers from East Africa a wonderful experience. “It is a part of the world I have worked in and written about.” she said. “It was interesting to meet and talk with fellow writers from Kenya and Somalia and to hear extracts from their work.” Anyone interested in hearing about future such events can sign up for the Authors.Cafe mailing list.

Aligned to this workshop, there is a live discussion between Billy Kahora and Jennifer Makumbi on Tuesday 24th November at 5pm GMT. You can register for this event by clicking here.

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Filed under Competitions, Creative, Joint Arts Project, Literary Festival, Member events, Member News, Training, Viewpoint, Writers' resources

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