Successful Launches

This has been quite a week for Carol and Kate (see posts below), culminating in the launches of their new collections.

A packed room very much enjoyed the readings from all three poets. Hazel Cameron isn’t a member of our group YET, but would be very welcome to join us!

Launch of the 3rd Ripon Poetry Festival Anthology

RWG made a very good showing in this year’s Anthology with Lindsay Trenholme winning first prize for ‘Bottled Ocean’and seven other members – Carol Mayer, Christine Summers, Ian Gouge, Kate Swann, Maggie Cobbett, Susan Perkins and Sheila Whitfield – also having one or more of their poems included.

Also pictured are the indefatigable Andy Croft and Sarah Moor, who seem to have been omnipresent throughout the Festival. We’re very grateful to them and to their colleague Philip Trewhitt for all their hard work as well as to Simon from the Little Ripon Bookshop for manning the stall at many events.

Unfortunately Susan was unable to attend this event, so we’ll look forward to hearing her poems on a future occasion.

If All The Trees Were Bread And Cheese

There was a good audience turnout for this event, with short talks on different wines and cheeses interspersed by poetry and song.

It was unfortunate that the original positioning of the festival banners was beyond the reach of the sole microphone, but they were moved part way through the evening to give a better background to performers.

Participants from RWG were Sheila Whitfield, Carol Mayer, Daphne Peters, Maggie Cobbett, Ian Gouge, Kate Swann and Christine Summers – who performed with her husband Dylan. An enterprising gentleman from their table was able to improvise a microphone stand for them! Audience member Lizzy Goddard also read one of her poems. The photographs below show the performers in the same order as above.

Change to advertised programme

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the adjudication of the Artistic Licence competition has been postponed to the meeting on Tuesday, 26th November.

The meeting on Tuesday, 1st October will now feature a series of writing challenges.

An evening with Paul Zealand

Sheila welcomed Paul Zealand and his wife Stella to the meeting and invited Paul to talk about storytelling in the oral rather than the written tradition. Paul began by saying that he had once been a hobby writer but had lost interest in the written word. His active interest in Morris Dancing had taken him to the Whitby Folk Festival where he had attended a storytelling workshop and things had taken off from there. He reminded his audience that as human language developed, humans would tell stories or things in story form as a way of passing on information and ideas. Storytelling is not reading aloud or reciting but finding a story and relating it.

Paul then went on to tell several stories, linking them with comments on the tradition, its contents and its techniques, including the ‘Rule of Three’ which says that mentioning something three times is more effective than any other number. He then invited questions from members.

After the refreshment break Paul invited members to develop a story by choosing objects at random from a bag. He concluded with another story.

Sheila thanked Paul for his talk and presented him with a token of the Group’s appreciation.

Award for Best Drama

As a regular attender at Swanwick (Writers’ Summer School) since 2006, Maggie was delighted to have her five minute script ‘Bill’s Last Night’ chosen to be performed as a rehearsed reading at this year’s Page to Stage event. Her pleasure was intensified when it won the ‘Swanny’ for Best Drama. None of this would have been possible without fine acting from fellow Swanwickers Geoff Parkes and Andy Cain under the directorship of Neil Zoladkiewicz. Geoff also won the award for Best Performer in a Drama!

Now, thanks to the technical expertise of yet another Swanwick regular, Steve Barnett, it’s available to watch on YouTube. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6moGTOPGXo&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1ZbqEBOrQs6Ce_Kl8HszEr8mNq6K_-4IORL-vFpJRGbFfj8ohDL1RDI7I

Mini-Saga competition 2019

Anne Powell began her adjudication by giving some background to the trophy presented to the Group by her mother. She went on to say that she had enjoyed the eleven entries, which had covered such a wide range of topics – including eco issues, murder and geriatric drug dealing – that it had been difficult to make a judgement.

After presenting her comments on the individual entries Anne announced the results as follows:
• Winner – Susan Perkins with ‘Brief Notes on the First Week of a Very Big Undertaking’
• Runner-up – Christine Summers with ‘Parenthood’
Anne presented Susan with the trophy. The entries were then read in the following order:
• Susan – ‘Brief Notes on the First Week of a Very Big Undertaking’ – a retelling of the Genesis Creation story
• Christine – ‘Parenthood’ – a young woman mourns the loss of a baby whose heart had stopped beating several days earlier
• Caroline – ‘Stop the World I Want to Get Off’ – a man sitting by a canal gets a disapproving look from a passing jogger
• Phil – ‘When is a Good Turn not a Good Turn’ – a spider rescued from a house is eaten by a bird
• Peter H (Read by Sheila in Peter’s absence) – ‘It’s Time to Tell her’ – a man wants to tell a woman that he loves her but when he spots her she is with someone else
• Sheila – ‘You Couldn’t Write it . . . . ‘ – an Oregon novelist who has written on the subject of husband murder eventually becomes the suspect when her own husband is murdered
• Peter P – ‘What the Picture Suggested’ – a story of possible murder inspired by a painting of an empty potting shed seen in a local art exhibition
• Maggie – ‘Vaudeville Stars’ – piano playing Siamese twins discuss a former lover
• Carol – ‘These Days’ – the frustrations of growing old
• Janet – ‘The End of the Line’ – a bee killed in a kitchen fails to fertilise the flowers in a nearby orchard
• Joe – ‘Self-help at St Peters’ – a very elderly stalwart of a local church is discovered to have been involved in growing cannabis

After all eleven entries had been read Sheila invited Anne to share a piece of her own writing. She obliged with the short story ‘Ripples’, inspired by childhood memories of her grandparents’ house in Denby Dale.

Sheila then thanked Anne for her adjudication and presented her with a token of the Group’s appreciation. Members present reinforced the thanks in the usual manner and Anne took her leave as she had a 1½ hour journey to return home.

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Our friendly group meets once a fortnight in the Old Deanery on Minstergate, opposite Ripon Cathedral and is always open to new members from the Ripon area and beyond. Whether your interest is in poetry or prose, novels, short stories, plays, wacky humour, a more analytical style of writing, or just listening for the time being, you're very welcome.

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