EMAILS
© Thames Valley Writers’ Circle
Created with Xara Designer Pro X
At the first of our regular fortnightly meetings at St Josephs (regardless of the numbers), Neil announced his latest publication. It’s on the subject of trains. He tried out one of the conundrums on us. None of us got it right, but it was fun trying. Published by Summersdale, The Train Lover's Puzzle Book contains 200 puzzles and you do not necessarily have to be a train expert to enjoy. The wide variety of activities includes sudokus, riddles, word searches, quick quizzes and ponderings over strange but true incidents. There's plenty in these pages to fire up your mental furnace and keep you going full steam ahead to the end of the line.

1 Jun 2022: Neil’s Latest Puzzle Book Out Now

28 Jun 2022: Barbara Olive Smith Memorial Trophy Result

David Burnell beat fifteen other entrants in this year’s competition with his gripping story Flight from Mariupol set in the Ukraine conflict. The judge commented ‘I wish I had written it’. Jim Gault’s The Final Crossing, a tale of a journey across a vast river, was placed second, and Neil Somerville’s One Way Ticket, a scary underground train journey, was third. A Highly Commended was awarded by the judge to Helen Collett’s entry Frank and Franz, a ‘well written and engaging’ tale of a lonely man’s developing relationship with a stray dog. This year’s competition was of the usual high standard and Iain’s critiques ranged, also as usual, from controversial to very constructive and helpful.
David receives the winner’s trophy from Les

12 July 2022: Colin’s Autobiography is Published.

Colin’s autobiography Great Aunt Aggie and the Snowman is now published. The cover photographs illustrate two key moments in his life. The first was when great Aunt Aggie came to the family’s rescue; she gave them shelter when they became homeless. The second was when Colin met his future wife; they built a snowman together. This was a self-publish project for Colin. Copies can be obtained from Colin direct.

26 Jul 2022: Mary Gets the Chris Mundy Trophy

In March this year, Mary’s moving poem, Meditation, won the Chris Mundy Memorial Trophy competition but we were unable to present her with the trophy at that time. Happily, both Mary and the trophy were at the AGM so, after a reading of the poem by Les (despite his protestations, he did the poem great justice) we were able to make the presentation - see the photo, left. If you would like to read the poem for yourself, go to the Library page 2022.

Is international espionage really this chaotic??

At Moscow airport, Olga’s parents hand her two phials of deadly nerve poison and send her off to the UK. Will she make them happy by bumping off their old adversary from the times of the KGB? Or can the new Russian secret service stop her? Or, if not, can the CIA or MI6 foil the plan? Are any of them up to the task? It doesn’t help that the spies from all three countries each have their own private agendas. When they find out about Olga’s phials, they all have their own use for them. It’s the ideal recipe for confusion and disaster. The book comes with a stern warning from the author: THIS BOOK IS NOT A SERIOUS SPY THRILLER
Jim says… The book will be published at the end of Sept and will be available as an e-book and paperback on Amazon. I will be offering a FREE e-book (pdf) advance publication copy to anyone in the group who wants one - just email me. I’ll also bring a couple of spare proofing copies of the paperback to the meeting next week [13 Sep].

6 Sep 2022: Jim’s Free Offer

‘The Girl with the Poison Phials’ is Jim’s latest offering, available later this month - free to members.

14 Sep 2022: Helen on US Radio

Recently, Helen was stunned to receive a request from a radio station in Ohio, to be interviewed about her book Am I Still A Mother?. Of course she said yes. The interview was conducted via Zoom (saving air miles - good for the planet) and was recorded. The result is now available on YouTube. Click on the image below to watch the interview. If that doesn’t work for you, Google ‘Helen Bouchami’. One of the results will be the YouTube video of the interview.
The beginning of the interview is a bit disappointing as the interviewer doesn’t give Helen an opportunity to speak for some time. But once under way, it gets better and is well worth a listen. Helen describes how difficult that time of her life was and how difficult it is to record such events in a memoir. There are also some useful hints for other memoir writers.

20 Sep 2022: Dick Tries Another Outlet

At our last meeting, Dick drew our attention to a possible outlet for our work which we may not have been aware of. Best of Woman’s Weekly Fiction is a monthly magazine devoted mainly to publishing short stories, with puzzles and other items to give it some added interest. Pass your mouse over (or tap) the image on the left to see a larger (hopefully readable) version.
Mouse-over the image on the right for a better view of the Contents page of the current issue. You may recognise one of the authors (with the yellow ‘NEW’ label)
You can submit stories directly to this magazine - you do not have to submit via Woman’s Weekly. Email your story to: april.madden@futurenet.com

8 Nov 2022: Christmas Competition

We have one more major event before the end of the year, and there are bottles of wine (courtesy of Richard Down Under) at stake. So get your thinking caps and skates on! This one is a little different from the usual. Nick has provided us with seven different ending lines. We each have to write a story, up to 1500 words, with one of these lines at the end (not a letter or word must follow it) - and not give away the twist too soon. All the rules, story endings and the timetable for this competition are on the Events>Other Events page.

15 Nov 2022: Walter’s Novel Published

Thirteen years after first conceiving the idea of a novel about a 12th century clan leader’s fight to reclaim his clan’s territory from the Vikings, Walter has self- published via Amazon. With encouragement and help from various members of TVWC he has overcome, or rather bypassed, disappointing responses from over 30 agencies and publishers (J K Rowling had similar reactions from the trade) to get his book, A Wolf in His Belly, on Amazon. It’s available in ebook and paperback formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Other countries will follow shortly. Now comes the hard part - selling it!
Two boys are born into very different medieval families, one in Scotland, the other in England. Both are determined to achieve the seemingly impossible; one for his people, the other for himself. In the violent turmoil of medieval politics, they pursue their ambitions. Against the odds, both succeed, bringing them into conflict with each other. Only one will survive. Both will leave an imprint on Britain that is still visible today.

20 Sep 2022: Dick Tries Another Outlet

At our last meeting, Dick drew our attention to a possible outlet for our work which we may not have been aware of. Best of Woman’s Weekly Fiction is a monthly magazine devoted mainly to publishing short stories, with puzzles and other items to give it some added interest. Pass your mouse over (or tap) the image on the left to see a larger (hopefully readable) version.
Recently, Helen was stunned to receive a request from a radio station in Ohio, to be interviewed about her book Am I Still A Mother?. Of course she said yes. The interview was conducted via Zoom (saving air miles - good for the planet) and was recorded. The result is now available on YouTube. Click on the image below to watch the interview. If that doesn’t work for you, Google ‘Helen Bouchami’. One of the results will be the YouTube video of the interview.
EMAILS
© Thames Valley Writers’ Circle
Created with Xara Designer Pro X
At the first of our regular fortnightly meetings at St Josephs (regardless of the numbers), Neil announced his latest publication. It’s on the subject of trains. He tried out one of the conundrums on us. None of us got it right, but it was fun trying. Published by Summersdale, The Train Lover's Puzzle Book contains 200 puzzles and you do not necessarily have to be a train expert to enjoy. The wide variety of activities includes sudokus, riddles, word searches, quick quizzes and ponderings over strange but true incidents. There's plenty in these pages to fire up your mental furnace and keep you going full steam ahead to the end of the line.

1 Jun 2022: Neil’s Latest Puzzle Book

- Out Now

28 Jun 2022: Barbara Olive Smith

Memorial Trophy Result

David Burnell beat fifteen other entrants in this year’s competition with his gripping story Flight from Mariupol set in the Ukraine conflict. The judge commented ‘I wish I had written it’. Jim Gault’s The Final Crossing, a tale of a journey across a vast river, was placed second, and Neil Somerville’s One Way Ticket, a scary underground train journey, was third. A Highly Commended was awarded by the judge to Helen Collett’s entry Frank and Franz, a ‘well written and engaging’ tale of a lonely man’s developing relationship with a stray dog. This year’s competition was of the usual high standard and Iain’s critiques ranged, also as usual, from controversial to very constructive and helpful.
David receives the winner’s trophy from Les

12 July 2022: Colin’s

Autobiography is Published.

Colin’s autobiography Great Aunt Aggie and the Snowman is now published. The cover photographs illustrate two key moments in his life. The first was when great Aunt Aggie came to the family’s rescue; she gave them shelter when they became homeless. The second was when Colin met his future wife; they built a snowman together. This was a self-publish project for Colin. Copies can be obtained from Colin direct.

26 Jul 2022: Mary Gets the

Chris Mundy Trophy

In March this year, Mary’s moving poem, Meditation, won the Chris Mundy Memorial Trophy competition but we were unable to present her with the trophy at that time. Happily, both Mary and the trophy were at the AGM so, after a reading of the poem by Les (despite his protestations, he did the poem great justice) we were able to make the presentation - see the photo, left. If you would like to read the poem for yourself, go to the Library page 2022.

Is international espionage really this chaotic??

At Moscow airport, Olga’s parents hand her two phials of deadly nerve poison and send her off to the UK. Will she make them happy by bumping off their old adversary from the times of the KGB? Or can the new Russian secret service stop her? Or, if not, can the CIA or MI6 foil the plan? Are any of them up to the task? It doesn’t help that the spies from all three countries each have their own private agendas. When they find out about Olga’s phials, they all have their own use for them. It’s the ideal recipe for confusion and disaster. The book comes with a stern warning from the author: THIS BOOK IS NOT A SERIOUS SPY THRILLER
Jim says… The book will be published at the end of Sept and will be available as an e-book and paperback on Amazon. I will be offering a FREE e-book (pdf) advance publication copy to anyone in the group who wants one - just email me. I’ll also bring a couple of spare proofing copies of the paperback to the meeting next week [13 Sep].

6 Sep 2022: Jim’s Free Offer

‘The Girl with the Poison Phials’ is Jim’s latest offering, available later this month - free to members.

14 Sep 2022: Helen on US Radio

The beginning of the interview is a bit disappointing as the interviewer doesn’t give Helen an opportunity to speak for some time. But once under way, it gets better and is well worth a listen. Helen describes how difficult that time of her life was and how difficult it is to record such events in a memoir. There are also some useful hints for other memoir writers.
Mouse-over the image on the right for a better view of the Contents page of the current issue. You may recognise one of the authors (with the yellow ‘NEW’ label)
You can submit stories directly to this magazine - you do not have to submit via Woman’s Weekly. Email your story to: april.madden@futurenet.com

8 Nov 2022: Christmas

Competition

We have one more major event before the end of the year, and there are bottles of wine (courtesy of Richard Down Under) at stake. So get your thinking caps and skates on! This one is a little different from the usual. Nick has provided us with seven different ending lines. We each have to write a story, up to 1500 words, with one of these lines at the end (not a letter or word must follow it) - and not give away the twist too soon. All the rules, story endings and the timetable for this competition are on the Events>Other Events page.

15 Nov 2022: Walter’s Novel Published

Thirteen years after first conceiving the idea of a novel about a 12th century clan leader’s fight to reclaim his clan’s territory from the Vikings, Walter has self-published via Amazon. With encouragement and help from various members of TVWC he has overcome, or rather bypassed, disappointing responses from over 30 agencies and publishers (J K Rowling had similar reactions from the trade) to get his book, A Wolf in His Belly, on Amazon. It’s available in ebook and paperback formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Other countries will follow shortly. Now comes the hard part - selling it!
Two boys are born into very different medieval families, one in Scotland, the other in England. Both are determined to achieve the seemingly impossible; one for his people, the other for himself. In the violent turmoil of medieval politics, they pursue their ambitions. Against the odds, both succeed, bringing them into conflict with each other. Only one will survive. Both will leave an imprint on Britain that is still visible today.
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