Monday 31 March 2008

SCBWI Critique Group in the North West

I met up with fellow writers in the North West for the first time yesterday. We meet in the function room at Waterstones on Deansgate, Manchester. It’s a part of town I love. And Waterstones is a bookshop, and therefore enjoyable, even though I have some concerns about the commercial activity of the giants, like Waterstones and the way they are squeezing out the independents. The function room itself is amazingly big, especially for the three of us who met. But we sat around a delightful old, faded-but –it-would-be-good-with-a-little-TLC table.

There were the normal discussions about the three manuscripts in front of us: was too much detail given too early? Were the characters consistent? Was the point of view consistent? Were relationships clear? There was a fair amount of agreement. This makes you feel good, even if it’s not your manuscript which is being read.

I do miss my London group and my Winchester group. The London one is abandoned because we have all had to go our separate ways. The Winchester one meets mid week. Even Writers in Southampton meet in the week. Yet the North West SCBWI group meets on Sundays. I’m always in the wrong place.

Still, some of my books were in Waterstones. They were selling them three for two. I can’t decide whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.

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