||A Detailed History of Anderida Writers
A HISTORY OF ANDERIDA WRITERS, EASTBOURNE
Highlighted events between 1990 – 2023
Anderida Writers was first formed in1990. It grew out of evening classes that Cass and Janie Jackson were running at the local College. Janie said, “At the end of the term we suggested to the students that a writing circle would be a good idea and most of them agreed. I think there were about 8/10 people in the group, and we met once a month.”
The 1991 Anderida Year Book contains the following contributor’s names:-
Ralph Ashton (a founder member); Amy Wooler; Elizabeth Baker; Stuart Bentham; Dorothy Clark; Sharon Bloor; Fredrica Say; Michael Harris; Joan Lee; Graham Durey; Sheila Howes; Audrey Lash; Tamara Soleimani-Babadi; Robert Crouch; Vivienne Lewis; Ann Botha.
The 1992/1993 Year Book stated:
Anderida Writers is a group of Sussex authors who share an interest in all forms of creative writing. Our active membership includes published and aspiring writers, as well as absolute beginners. We meet in Eastbourne twice monthly, for workshops, talks and other activities. Our aims are to stimulate interest in creative writing and help members to develop their craft through constructive criticism and encouragement. We hold competitions, bring our members into contact with professional writers, publishers and agents, and we publish an annual anthology of members’ work.
New members were Roland Bowes, John Bradford and W.R. Johnson. Meetings were held at the Perran Hotel, but in May the group moved to the Bourne Inn, and soon after that to Chaseley, Bolsover Rd, Eastbourne. An average of 21 members attended the monthly meetings. Robert Crouch had an article published in ‘The Countryman’ entitled ‘The Follies of Jack the Lad.’ Membership was £10 a year. The club had 31 paid up members. Tamara Babadi took over as Vice Chairman. An extra group was proposed for writers of articles and short stories.
Anderida Writers supported The County Library and ECAT ‘Word Fair’ held at the Central Library on November 3rd, 1993. In September historical novelist Rhona Martin, author of ‘Gallows Wedding’ and ‘Mango Walk’ shared many secrets of her writing successes. Cass and Janie Jackson gave a talk at the November meeting on ‘How to Get Ideas.’
The Year Book of 1993/94 shows that Geoff Nevis, Tanya Richardson, Jean Lazarus and Elizabeth Wright all became members. At the Anderida Writers 1993 August garden party, there was a limerick competition, on the theme of writers or writing. The winner was Mike Harris who wrote:
A young professional fighter
Retired to find fame as a writer.
But the strength of his yen
Wasn’t matched by his pen,
And he died unpublished, poor blighter.
The Annual Writing Competition evening was held on January 4th, 1994 at Chaseley Homes. Given a line that had to include ‘But answer came there none,’ an audience of 17 voted Frederica Say’s entry first, Tamara Babadi second and Elizabeth Wright third.
Mike Harris was elected as the club’s new Chairperson at the March AGM which was attended by 14 people. There was £402.14 in the bank account.
At the April meeting guest speaker Brian Darby talked about short stories and how to write them. A workshop followed with members writing an outline of a short story using one of the everyday objects on a list.
In May Sharon Searle and Tamara Babadi spoke about ‘Viewpoint.’
The June meeting was about play writing and dialogue by guest speaker Michael Morley.
At the July meeting, which featured short stories, articles and poems, Liz Wright read out an article on a local coastguard “Gary Russell - A Real Cliffhanger,” which, following members’ suggestions was tightened up and accepted for publication in ‘Downs Country.’
Attendances at the added satellite groups had dropped down to single figures, and a slight touch of apathy appeared to have crept in. A lot of recent readings had been written some years previously and new work was in short supply.
At the October Afternoon Meeting there was lively discussion about the use of bad language, followed by a calmer approach to the subject of suitable names for ships and people. In February 1994 Michael Morley of the Sussex Playwrights Group gave a talk and retiring Chairman Sharon Searle wrote in the newsletter: ‘Although the theme was generally on playwriting and the disciplines needed to convey character and story line through the medium of dialogue there was much enlightening thought for all our short story and novel writers.’
Michael Morley returned in June and new Chairman Mike Harris commented in the newsletter: ‘He concentrated on the way that Harold Pinter successfully used words within dialogue. The way he [Pinter] would have character repeat one word to express their feelings…he had a unique economy with words which tended to help his plays rather than hinder them.’
The 1995 Year Book reported:
“Something to celebrate …we have now been running for five years.
There have been a few changes since we started – new faces and
new places. Not only do we have our monthly meeting at Chasely Trust, but
also our smaller specialist groups get together regularly to work on
novels, short stories, etc. The years of work have brought their rewards –
improved writing, finished novels, published articles. It is only a matter of time
before someone hits the jackpot!”
Faye Marsham, Harry Bankhead and Sally Turner joined the Group. Sharon Searle had her non-fiction book published, ‘Sussex Women – Famous, Infamous, Unsung.’ She was also commissioned to write articles for Sussex publication, ‘Magnet.’ Elizabeth Wright had illustrated features accepted by ‘Sussex Life’ and ‘Birdkeeper’ magazines.
The New Year Writing Competition held in January, was for the first 500 words of a novel on the subject of the theatre or a casino. The ten entries were read out in professional style by Jo Sands and Nick Reynolds. The winner was Ralph Ashton, whose story, ‘Murder Most Foul’ won him a £10 Debenhams gift voucher.
Tamara had applied to take part in a competition to write a novel in 24 hours.
Mike Harris was re-elected as Chairperson at the AGM. Fourteen members attended from a membership list of 30. The accounts showed that there was £310.90 in hand. Members were invited to contribute short stories between 500-750 words on the theme of “The Last Minute” to be included in a “Sussex Writer’s Anthology” promoted by Sussex University.
Rhona Martin was welcomed back as guest speaker at the September main meeting, talking about Theme, Plot and Structure. The Central Library hosted an Arts and Crafts Exhibition and Anderida Writers had a stand where Sharon’s newly published book “Sussex Women” was on display alongside informative literature about the Club.
In November Malcolm Heaven, from School Hill Bookshop, Lewes, spoke about ‘What Makes a Book Sell?’ He felt that books were bought for many reasons, entertainment, escapism, education, enlightenment and egoism (to impress friends rather than read.)
And there were congratulations all round for Tamara Babadi when she revealed the brilliant news that Hodder and Stoughton had accepted ‘Reap the Whirlwind’ in a two book deal. This counterbalanced the news that her entry into ‘Write a book in 24 hours’ didn’t win anything prizes. Chairman Mike Harris said, “It was a good experience though, showing just what can be achieved.”
The 1996 Year Book, priced at £1.50, contained 25 contributions from club members. Shirley Bloom, Carol Pankhurst, Richard Wares and Tarn Morgan joined. Anderida’s Vice Chairperson, Tamara Babadi (later known as Tamara Lee and Tamara McKinley) hit the publishing jackpot with her thriller, ‘Reap the Whirlwind,’ which was acclaimed as “one of the most exciting books of 1996.” It took six unpublished novels, seven years of trying and stacks of determination before this was snapped up in a two book deal with an option on a third, by publishers Hodder and Stoughton. Another thriller followed, ‘Queen’s Flight.’
The January Writing Competition was a short story of 500 words which had to contain all ten of the following words that had been picked out with a pin from a dictionary by the Chairperson: ‘Seriously; Unzipped; Energetic; Bloated; Embrocation; Noisy; Tramp; Olive; Allure; Reversed.’ Liz Wright winning entry “Ricki” centred on a rock star and a tramp.
To cope with a rapidly expanding membership, the back-up of smaller workshops, a Novel group for those writing books, a Shorties group for articles, short stories and poetry and an afternoon group on all forms of writing, began to pay off. Members were seeing publishing successes; Harry Bankcroft’s article, ‘The Long Man – An Irenic Pilgrim’ was accepted by ‘Sussex Life’ magazine. Sharon Searle and Robert Crouch continued to have articles published in local and national magazines, but Elizabeth Wright went one better and became international with a three-page, illustrated feature in ‘Australian Birdkeeper.’ Ann Botha penned ‘The Crumbles Story’ which was so popular a second print run had to be organised. Guest Speaker Amanda Wilkins, a feature writer, specialising in the arts and show business interviews, told members: “Keep ploughing on – don’t give up.”
Nicky Hartle, from radio station Hope FM, came to the February meeting with a request for poetry readings to be broadcast. The format of the Newsletter changed from an A4 size to a smaller A5.
The Novel Group was continuously supported by a small number of dedicated writers who were unfailingly determined to see their books through to completion. These included Ralph Ashton – ‘A Family Affair;’ Harry Bankhead – ‘The Delear Affair;’ Robert Crouch – ‘A Shadow Inside;’ Roy Johnson – ‘Waiting for a Bus’ which prompted publishers Andre Deutsch to ask to see some sample chapters; Mike Harris – ‘A Tangled Web;’ Tamara Babadi – ‘Queen’s Flight,’ which was published; Alan Crozier’s first novel, ‘Sexwolf’’ started with a hail of bullets; Sharon Searle – Paper Heart’.
Tamara started another thriller, ‘The Evil Men Do’, while new member Alan Edgar began ‘The Yellow Leather Sofa,’ a dark, comedy thriller. Liz Wright read a chapter from her autobiographical novel ‘Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down,’ which 16 years later was eventually published with a new title, ‘From Fancy Pants to Getting There.’
Robert Stevens spoke about his self-published four books on local ghosts and how he had taken them all around the bookshops on a sale or return basis. Due to pressure of work, Mike Harris was forced to step down as the Club’s Chairman. Tamara temporarily took over until the AGM.
The Christmas Party was a roaring success, the highlight being a Trivia Quiz; the teams batted it out with their collective IQ’s. The limerick competition produced a bumper entry of festive rhymes.
Due to the snow and freezing conditions, the first meeting of 1997 had to be cancelled. But nine novel writers made it to Ann Botha’s home ‘for an evening of new beginnings.’ Ann had started ‘Tyger Valley,’ a psychological thriller.’ Sharon Searle had changed the viewpoint from first person to third, altering the opening of ‘Paper Hearts,’ and Tamara Lee had put in a new beginning to her latest book, ‘Blue on Blue.’
The newsletter reverted back to its original A4 size. The Anderida Accolade, awarded in recognition of the effort and work members put into their writing, was presented to Harry Bankhead at the March AGM. Full Membership now stood at 40 and finances at £300.
Due to the success of press coverage, a new post was created, and Liz Wright became Anderida’s Press Officer. An extra supplement was added to the standard monthly newsletter giving members details of possible markets and writing competitions.
Members were treated to informative talks by author Ann Botha, Editor Pauline Bentley and Trevor Jones, who spoke about writing for radio, Steve Benz gave an insight into small press publishing and Tamara Lee helped members to write a synopsis that would intrigue a publisher. Anderida’s star member, Tamara won the Sherlock Holmes Short Story Competition, was interviewed on radio, written about in the Press and was engaged in a non-stop round of book signings.
Meetings at that time were being held at the Chaseley Heritage, Bolsover Road, (room rental £5). Robert Crouch, Anderida Chairman and Newsletter editor, wrote a regular column for ‘Writers’ Monthly’, and sold various articles to ‘Practical Gardening’, ‘Aspect’ and ‘Annabel.’ Margot Field had appeared on ‘Woman’s Hour,’ got into print with articles, short stories and a novel, plus scripts that had been accepted by Capital 1 Radio. Ella Harris had one poem published in ‘Good Housekeeping’ and performed a number of poetry readings in The Poetry Café in Covent Garden. Elizabeth Wright was building up an impressive number of publishing successes with ‘Downs Country,’ ‘This England,’ ‘All About Dogs,’ ‘Bird Keeper,’ ‘Dogs Today’ and ‘All About Cats’. New member Liz Gregory had worked in Fleet Street for 30 years; at 17 she wrote a play that was performed at Glyndebourne.
Roy Johnson won the 500 word competition with ‘Far Away Places.’ Entries were read out by local actresses Jo Sands and Judy Norris.
At the October meeting Tamara Lee held a workshop on ‘Writing a good synopsis’ and said the synopsis is as important as the novel. The November Newsletter had an eye-catching heading, ‘King Henry’s Balls.’ Chairman Robert Crouch brought along a tennis ball, and asked for suggestions on articles about this item. Imaginative thinking from some members resulted in a flow of ideas, ranging from ‘how are they made?’ to ‘why did someone send tennis balls to Henry V?’ The heading for the novel group meeting was equally intriguing, ‘Game, sex and Match.’ Harry Bankhead finally read the last pages of ‘The Delear Affair.’ Alan Crozier’s ‘Sexwolf,’ Tamara Lee’s ‘Quiet Desperation,’ and host Ann Botha’s ‘Tyger Bay’ brought the amusing apt comment from Chairman Robert Crouch, “The standard of writing was so good it was a shame to end play.”
In April 1998, Alan Edgar published his novel, ‘Trust,’ a sexy, gritty tale of derring-do in a National Health Service Ambulance Trust. Harry Bankhead finally completed his military memoirs and ‘Salute to the Steadfast (A History of the 151/156 Parachute Battalion) was published. Ella Harris won the short story competition in May, with the theme of ‘An Unknown Quantity.’ David Gemmell, a best selling writer of fantasy stories, provided a fact-filled evening, revealing not only the secrets of his writing success, but the agonies of his early years, when editor after editor advised him to give up writing. Tamara Lee gave an enthralling account of her life, and her travels in Australia, where she promoted her novels, ‘Reap the Whirlwind’ and ‘Queen’s Flight.’
Another novel,’Jacarinda Vines,’ (a work in progress), ‘contained vivid characterisation and description to set a striking introduction to early Victorian life as a servant.’
Peter Lindsey, Editor of the Eastbourne Herald, revealed to his fascinated listeners about the controversial style which he’d introduced that had pushed up ratings and stirred fierce debate about the newspaper.
Stella Freshney was presented with the Anderida Accolade. The infusion of new members to Anderida Writers had kept the Novel, Shorties and Afternoon Groups bubbling with energy and new writing.
At the end of the year, Chairman Robert Crouch commented: “That was the year, that was.”
The 1999/2000 Year book carried brief biographies of 19 contributors. A number were still trying to get published, but Robert Crouch had succeeded in selling features to 'Practical Gardening,' 'Aspect County' and 'Annabelle', and was writing a regular column on computers for 'Writers’ Monthly.' Margaret Fox sold 3 articles to 'Health Which.'
Ella Harris laughingly claimed to have the world’s largest collection of rejection slips, but she gave two public performances reading her own poems, and gained two ‘Highly Commended’ awards in poetry competitions and was working on a novel.
Anderida’s shining light, Tamara McKinley, had joined the Crime Writers Association and The Romantic Novelist’s Association. She was spending an average of seven hours a day on her writing, and, after a well-supported book launch, her third novel, ‘Matilda’s Last Waltz,’ was nominated for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. The publishing rights were sold to Germany, Finland, Norway, Sweden and America.
Elizabeth Wright continued to sell features to a growing number of popular magazines, such as ‘The Lady’ and ‘This England.’ Having received a commission from S.B. Publications to write a book called ‘Made In Sussex’ she started putting together the details of 23 crafts and industries special to the county.
The Short Story Competition, with the theme ‘Off the top of my head’, was sponsored by SB Publications, offering a first prize of £25, £10 for second and £5 for third. First prize was won by Stella Freshney.
At a Committee Meeting held on 27th May 1999, it was decided that there should be a concerted effort to attract new members. The presentation of a Millennium edition of the Yearbook was discussed and submissions sought. October’s main meeting was a ‘Writers’ Question Time’ at which Tamara McKinley, Elizabeth Wright and Sharon Searle, dealt with a barrage of questions about writing.
A simple Club newsletter, edited and produced by Carol and Robert Crouch, printed on both sides of a single sheet of A4 paper, and filled with the Club members’ activities, was welcomed.
Robert Crouch set up a basic website for Anderida Writers, which contained details of the group, books written by the members, and book reviews. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Anderida Writers it was proposed that there should a dinner at a local hotel. Harry Summerton was presented with the Anderida Accolade. Tamara Lee and Ann Botha stepped down from the Committee, both having served for a number of years.
In 2000 Sharon Searle took over from Robert Crouch as Chairperson. In the Year Book (priced £2.00) she told members that Tamara McKinley’s ‘Matilda’s Last Waltz’ had now been sold to ten countries, with large print and audio tapes on the way.
Liz Wright’s ‘Made in Sussex’ was published just before Christmas.
Chris McCooey ‘took us around the world as a travel writer’, while Sandy Hernu talked about how she came to write the biography of Desmond Llewellyn, who played the part of ‘Q’ in a number of James Bond Films.
At the August meeting, publisher Steve Benz gave members an insight into the world of commercial publishing and added some sound advice: “Don’t put months of work into a book that has no better foundation than a whim.” Ann Botha saw the publication of her second book, ‘The Cuckmere – A Sussex River.’ Erica Richardson was the winner of the Anderida Accolade and Ella Harris won the annual short story competition, just ahead of Tamara McKinley, Erica Richardson and Liz Wright.
The ‘Shorties’ meetings were attracting between 6-12 writers, and members of the Novel Group had expressed an interest in critiquing each others work using e-mail, where comments might prove to be more detailed. A club Handbook was distributed to all full members, which contained details about meetings, workshop groups, competitions and calendar of events. Robert Crouch stepped down from his position as Newsletter Editor and handed the task over to John Connor. Forty members and friends turned up for the Christmas party at Chaseley.
In March 2001 at the Annual General Meeting, Chairperson, Sharon Searle, said: “A lot has happened in the past year. We’ve had great speakers, Erica Adams, Sandy Hernu, Steve Benz and Waterstone’s Jack Noel. Our own members have had unprecedented success, Tamara McKinley with ‘Jacaranda Vines’, Ann Botha with ‘The Cuckmere - A Sussex River’ and ‘Made in Sussex’ by Elizabeth Wright.”
Eighteen scribes contributed to the 2001/2002 Anderida Year Book. New names appeared in the Biography section and John Bennett commented: “With the support of the group meetings, I have completed a number of short stories, one poem and started a science fiction novel called ‘Spiral City.” John Connor worked for many years in senior editorial positions for international television news agencies. Zoe Hanneker, who had sold material to television and poems to cat magazines, won first prize in Anderida’s annual short story competition, with ‘The Delivery.’
Ella Harris won a short story competition in ’Writers News,’ had an article accepted by ‘Sussex Life’ magazine and was short listed in several poetry competitions. Publisher Hodder, asked to see the complete manuscript of her children’s book. Roger Hardman came onto the committee as Treasurer.
The rental for the hire of the room at Chaseley was upped from £75 per annum to £25 per session. A new venue was sought. The yearly Club subscription was upped to £15 per person. Jack Gilderson was the winner of the Anderida Accolade. The Novel Group was attracting 5-8 members at each session. Tamara McKinley sold her novel ‘Matilda’s Last Waltz’ to Bulgaria, Russia, Slovenia and Yugoslavia. Then, on a roll, 55,000 copies went to Germany, and the book was taken up by New Zealand, Canada, Holland and Scandinavia.
In November Chairperson Sharon Searle married publisher Steve Benz in Vermont, USA. Few submissions were received for the club’s Yearbook. Future club meetings were to be held at St. George’s Church Hall, Polegate.
Ann Botha (front left) author of 'The Crumbles Story' and 'The Cuckmere-A Sussex River' and talented writer Ella Harris (back right -with friend) congratulate Tamara McKinley on the outstanding success of 'Matilda's Last Waltz.'
The 2002 AGM was attended by 16 members and the club funds stood at £575.66. It was suggested that extra funding for the club might be available from South East Arts. The Anderida Accolade was awarded to John Bennett.
Ella Harris took over from Sharon Benz as Chairperson, and she commented on the lack of contributions for the Year Book. The Afternoon ‘Shorties’ was also poorly supported, so it was cancelled. Tamara McKinley had sold 100,000 of her books, ‘Matilda’s Last Waltz’ and ‘Jacaranda Vines’ to Sweden, Germany, Finland and Australia, and both had entered the best-sellers lists in Germany and Sweden. ‘Matilda’s Last Waltz’ went into auction for a German book deal and the advance was record breaking. Her next novel, ‘Windflowers’ was launched with an evening of entertainment and good food.
Members were each sent a questionnaire so the answers would give the committee an idea of attendances, preferences, and interests. The new venue at Polegate Church Hall was not a popular choice. Sharon Searle gave an entertaining talk on her writing career at the June meeting, ending with the advice: “Don’t get it right, get it written.”
At the AGM on March 4th 2003, those present were Ella Harris, Rosemary Ingham, Erica Richardson, Rosalind Kellen, Carmel Gregg, Elizabeth Baker, John Bennett, Stella Freshney, Chris Quarrington and Harry Bankhead. Apologies were received from Roger Hardman, John Connor, Sharon Benz and Dave Sykes. Ella Harris read her Chairman’s report and stated that the group had dwindled over the past year. The hall in St. George’s Church, Polegate, used for the main meetings, may have contributed to loss of attendances, because it was too large, cold and impersonal. The Year Book and the Writing Competition had engendered little interest. Membership stood at 24, with the subs remaining at £15 a year. John Bennett was elected as Chairman, Ella Harris as Vice Chairperson. Liz Baker was awarded the Anderida Accolade. It was decided that temporarily, the future main meetings would be held at Ella Harris’ house.
Submissions for the Year Book could now go up to a maximum of 2,000 words, and the Short Story competition entries could be up to 1,200 words on a theme of ‘The Wild West.’ Attendances at all the meetings were going down; there were only four at the May Novel group and five at the Shorties, although a few new members appeared in June. The Poetry Evening at Ella’s home and the August Novel Group were poorly supported, even though the York House Hotel was the designated new location. It was decided to open up the September main meeting to the residents of the York House Hotel. The Sharpshooters, specialists in the American Civil War, provided an entertaining evening with stories of the civil war, the clothing of that period and a demonstration of handguns and rifles.
Just four people attended the September Novel group and only eight turned up at the October main meeting to hear Tamara McKinley talking about the detailed research she had carried out for her best selling novels. John Bennet had a poem ‘Free-Fall’ published in the Daily Mail and Harry Bankhead had an article, ‘The Long Man of Wilmington,’ published in the Argus newspaper.
2004 started quietly. Only six writers attended the February Shorties, and just five at the Novel group. Tamara McKinley’s book. ‘Undercurrents’ was now in the bookshops, and her novel, ‘Summer Lightning’ had entered the German Best Sellers List at No 39.
The apathy continued as not a single member of Anderida Writers turned up to the Literary Event at Eastbourne Library. The monthly Newsletter began to carry details of open writing Competitions.
The April main meeting was held as an ‘Open House’ to attract new members, but there were no new faces and only seven Anderida members were present. Eight regulars were present at the ‘Shorties’, but just five at the Novel Group. Attendance did pick up at the main May meeting with 17 people present to hear and vote on the seven entries for the Crime Short Story Competition which were read out by Jo Sands. [No record of the winners]
Only three were present at the June ‘Shorties’ and the Novel group was cancelled. In July just John Bennett and John Connor attended. The York House Hotel, where meetings were being held, was up for sale.
By July there was a Newsletter message from the Chairman, John Bennett saying: “I regret to have to report that due to very poor attendance at our meetings there will be no Shorties or Novel Group meetings for the month of August. The main monthly meetings have also had diminishing attendances. If the group is to remain viable something needs to be done to rekindle our enthusiasm.”
The September Newsletter contained very little in the way of Club reports. Instead there were listed seven pages of competitions and markets. September saw a slight improvement in attendances; faced with a ‘use it or lose it’ situation, six writers turned up at Ella’s for the Shorties and seven were at Harry Pope’s for the Novel group. The main meeting in October, held at the York House, was a discussion on the book ‘Da Vinchi Code’ by Dan Brown. To better understand what makes a best seller, members needed to break down the construction of the story and understand just what components are required.
Liz Wright continued with her humorous, slightly fictionalised autobiography, ‘From Fancy Pants to Getting There’ and then divulged that she had won the article writing section of the Christchurch Writers Competition for ‘It’s a Dog’s Life.’ Tamara McKinley’s ‘Summer Lightning’ had been in the German Bestseller List for over 10 weeks and her ‘Matilda’s Last Waltz’ had sold over a million copies world wide.
In 2005 the main meetings were being held at the York House Hotel. The fee charged for the room was £20 per session. Those present at the March AGM were John Bennett (Chairman), Liz Wright, Harry Pope, John Connor, Dave Sykes, Carmel Gregg, Sharon Searle, Len Rushton, Roger Hardman, Stella Freshney, Tamara McKinley, and Liz Baker. In the Chairman’s report, John Bennett said, “Overall, I think it is fair to say that we have had a good year…..the York House Hotel is a popular venue. The monthly meetings have proved to be both interesting and well received and the discussion groups have been lively and informative. This year we had a Christmas Dinner in place of a Christmas Party”.
Hardworking Ella Harris decided to leave Anderida as she needed a break, but could return later. There was some concern over the presentation of the Year Book, and upgrading future issues could be expensive, so it was decided, for the time being, to dispense with it. John Bennett continued: “The short story competition was a success and we reverted to having a professional reader. Earlier in the year there were periods of poor attendance, but there has been some revival”.
Treasurer Roger Hardman said that the York House Hotel made the monthly meetings a most comfortable occasion. It was agreed that the subscription for the year should stay at £15. Cash in hand and in the bank amounted to £742.03.
Officials elected were:
Chairman – John Bennett.
Vice Chairman – Harry Pope.
Treasurer – Roger Hardman.
Membership Sec/Publicity - Elizabeth Wright.
Secretary - Stella Freshney.
Newsletter Editor – John Connor.
The Anderida Accolade was awarded to Roger Hardman.
Elizabeth Wright was congratulated on having a four-page, illustrated spread about a local bird fancier, in ‘Bird Keeper’ magazine.
There followed a discussion on trying to obtain new members. An article written about Anderida Writers would be submitted to writing magazines, and the idea of a ‘proper’ website was suggested. As Ella was leaving, a new venue needed to be found for the Shorties. The situation concerning future speakers was discussed; related expenses seemed to be excessive for a small group. Harry Pope offered a few thought on the re-forming of Anderida Writers. He asked: “Where do we want the Circle to go from here?”
The 2006 AGM was attended by John Bennett (Chairman), Peter Sampson, John Connor, Stella Freshney, Roger Hardman, Ann Botha, Tamara McKinley, Harry Pope, Elizabeth Baker, Dave Sykes, Irene Skilbeck, Moyra Robinson, Valerie Thompson and Sharon Searle.
The Chairman’s report stated that the main monthly meetings would continue to be held at the York House Hotel, and as there was little support for the subsidiary group meetings, especially the Shorties, they would be incorporated into the main meetings. Membership was up a little. The winner of the 2006 short story competition was John Bennett and runner-up John Connor.
John Bennett stepped down as Chairman and Harry Pope took over this position on the proviso that it was for one year only.
Other officials elected were:
Vice Chairman – Tamara McKinley.
Treasurer - Roger Hardman.
Membership Sec - Ann Botha.
Secretary - Stella Freshney.
Newsletter Editor - John Connor.
The Anderida Accolade was awarded to John Connor for his work on the Newsletter.
Ann Botha’s book ‘The Crumbles Story – A Tale of Eastbourne’s Colourful Heritage’ was re-published and on prominent display at Ottakers Bookshop in the Arndale Centre.
With a dwindling membership, Chairperson Harry Pope called an Extraordinary General Meeting on April 3rd 2007 at the York House Hotel, replacing the March AGM. Those present were Elizabeth Baker, Harry Bankhead, John Bennett, Ann Botha, Roger Hardman, Maureen Murphy, Harry Pope, Moyra Robinson and Peter Sampson.
In the April Newsletter Harry Pope wrote: ‘The general consensus of opinion was that the majority did not want the circle to cease but would like a format change. These formalities were carried through. The Constitution was amended to dispense with the annual subscription and this is to be replaced by a voluntary donation of £1 by those attending meetings to ensure that funds are topped up. I am fortunate to have recently purchased the Sheldon Hotel, in Burlington Place, Eastbourne, so am prepared to host our meetings there free of charge. It is agreed that meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of each month instead of the first so that this is less complicated with Bank Holiday Mondays etc.’
All members present voted that the Constitution, originally drawn up on March18th 1998, should be re-written. John Bennett proposed that wording be included officially changing the Club’s name from Eastbourne Writers Circle to Anderida Writers Circle.
Events lined up for 2007 were:
May – Children and Christian Writing; June – Marketing your work. Agents, do we need them? July – short stories; August – Poetry competition; September – Travel writing; October – Novel writing, crime writing; November – Non-fiction writing, Biographies and autobiographies; December – Christmas Dinner; January – Humorous writing, Funnies; February – Fifty word competition; March – Writers Workshop; April – Chairman’s Evening.
Sharon Searle married Patrick Winter at Chiddingly church on Sunday July 1st. Anderida members Ann Botha, Peter and Iris Sampson attended and presented the happy couple with a special card on behalf of all the writers.
At the July 10th meeting Ella Harris rejoined and two new members were introduced, Lawrence Butt and Lynda Osborne, who had discovered Anderida Writers from the Central Library notice board. The club’s details will be included in the 2008 issue of ‘Writers Market UK.’
The short story competition was for 1,000 words maximum on the theme of ‘Grand Ideas’, with first prize of £25 and £15 for second. Twelve people attended the Garden Party and poetry readings at Ann Botha’s home, which ended up being held indoors as the rain lashed down outside.
The 2008 AGM bought a change of Chairman with Peter Sampson stepped into the position. The list of members in December 2008 was: Karin Ajimal-Pousson, Elizabeth Baker, Harry Bankhead, Ann Botha, Jeff Jewson-Fleming, Linus Gunning (new member) Roger Hardman, Ella Harris, Kevin Haughton,(new member) Mike Holmes, Tamara McKinley, Ann Kemsley,(new member) Maureen Murphy, Moyra Robinson, Harry Pope, Pamela Stenton, Peter Sampson, Sharon Searle, Irene Skilbeck, Val Thompson, Elizabeth Wright.
In February the Treasurer’s report showed that payments in the last financial year totalled £282.73, cash in bank £29.21 and cash in hand £55.60, totalling £84.81. In April 88-year-old Harry Bankhead retired from Anderida. He was made an honorary lifetime member in appreciation for all his support over the years.
Subscriptions were re-instated at £15 a year, with guests paying £1.50 per meeting.
Elizabeth Wright re-joined and had an article ‘Look in at your Local’ published in ‘Freelance Market News.’ This was quickly followed by a humorous item accepted by the Peterborough columns of the Daily Mail. Kevin Haughton had a letter published in the same newspaper, concerning athlete Paul Phelps. Elizabeth then had further publishing successes with ‘A Potter’s Life’ that was published in ‘Tea’ magazine and a front page picture in the local paper of a fatal train accident at Hampden Park railway station.
The theme for the 1,000 word short story competition was ‘Terminal Flight,’ with a first prize of £25, second prize of £15 and third prize of £5. Professional actor Jeffrey Holland read the 11 entries and Harry Pope won first prize. Elizabeth Wright came second and Irene Skilbeck third.
Tamara Mckinley was nominated for a Book of the Year Award in Australia. Harry Pope was invited to write a regular feature for the ‘Good Motoring’ magazine and Anderida members were asked by local magazine ‘Magnet’ to contribute an article on book reviews. There was a proposal that as many members as possible got together to produce a book on a famous local landmark, Belle Tout lighthouse. A lack of enthusiasm and complicated application forms for a proposed Lottery Grant meant that this project didn’t get off the ground. In September, raconteur Derek Legg gave a colourful talk, setting out 10 points of storytelling. Fifteen people attended the Christmas dinner at the Langham Hotel, priced at £18 per person.
Harry Pope being congratulated by actor Jeffrey Holland on winning first prize in the annual writing competition with the theme 'Terminal Flight.'
In 2009 the committee consisted of:
Chairman – Peter Sampson.
Vice-Chairman- Jeff Jewson Fleming.
Treasurer and Membership Sec. Ella Harris.
Newsletter – Harry Pope.
Marketing, press and Publicity – Liz Wright.
The re-issued Year book was ready for distribution in April, price £4. Subscriptions were held at, held at £15, with visitors paying £2.
The Chairman’ report stated:
‘……during the past 12 months we have had three different venues with very varied attendances. We contemplated closing on one occasion, but the numbers gradually built up to no fewer than 15 lately. This resulted in a larger room being sought for the AGM when we had a good response with four visitors from other Clubs who will hopefully become full members in due course. There is now greater enthusiasm and a more varied interest than has been experienced for a while, which bodes well for the future….I believe that there is now a good foundation for the success of our members to develop into published authors.’
Fully paid-up members were encouraged to supply their e-mail details, so the monthly Newsletter could, in future, be distributed electronically. Harry Pope put a piece in ‘The Writers’ Guild’ magazine asking if anyone fancied coming to give a talk. Actor and writer Dave Berry, from TV’s ‘The Fenn Street Gang’ and ‘Please Sir,’ with four published books to his name, was willing to do so, just for expenses.
Entries were sought for this year’s annual short story competition to be held in July, with the theme ‘The Beach Hut’ (Max. 750 words) which would be read by professional actors, Jeffrey Holland and Judy Buxton. It was proposed that Jeffrey Holland be asked to become Anderida’s Patron. Ella Harris stepped down from the position of Treasurer and Jeff Jewson Fleming took over. A number of members had publishing successes: - Liz Wright got into ‘Take a Break’, ‘Peoples’ Friend’ and the Peterborough page of the Daily Mail, while Jenny Jewess received a £10 cheque for an item in ‘My Weekly’ and Elizabeth Baker had an article published in ‘Cat World’ called ‘Two’s Company.’
Sixty people attended the Short Story competition held at the West Dene Suite, Langham Hotel. An Anderida Challenge was put to other writing groups in Eastbourne to provide 750-word pieces on the theme of ‘Concrete Evidence.’ At the September meeting 19 entries read out by four members of the Eastbourne Speakers Club, Gordon and Mary Piggot, Giles Robinson and Sue Pellow.
Jeff Jewson Fleming stepped down as Treasurer and was temporarily replaced by Pam Pope. As Club funds were rather short there were a few suggestions of how to raise some extra money.
As the result of entering a writing competition and winning joint first prize, Harry Pope was commissioned to write a 40,000 word romantic novel that had to be produced in a five-week time frame, ready for St. Valentine’s Day. Both Elizabeth Wright and Harry Pope were published in the 5th November 2009 columns of Peterborough (Daily Mail.) In October Kevin Haughton had a pictured published in the same columns. Peter Sampson and Ann Kemsley had submitted the first parts of their respective novels to interested agents.
Tony and Heather Flood became Anderida members. Other fully paid up members from May 1st 2009 were:
Karin Ajimal-Pousson; Elizabeth Baker; Ann Botha; Carmel Gregg; Roger Hardman; Kevin Houghton; Mike Holmes; Jenny Jewiss; Ann Kemsley; Maureen Murphy; Harry and Pam Pope; Moyra Robinson; Jess Saint; Peter Sampson; Irene Skilbeck; Faye Spears; Val Thompson; Liz Wright. Harry Bankhead (honorary member)
Anderida Writers members surround Gordon and Mary Piggott, Giles Robinson and Sue Pellow, (seated) from the Eastbourne Speakers Club (part of Toastmasters International) who read the nineteen entries on the theme of 'Concrete Evidence,' submitted for the inter-club writing competition held at the Langham Hotel, Eastbourne.
Heavy snow at the start of 2010 meant there was no January meeting. Peter Sampson stepped down as Chairman and Jenny Jewiss took over. Harry Pope expressed concerns as to whether it was worth his while to spend a great deal of his time putting the Year Book together as again there was an element of apathy both with contributions as well as sales. Peter Sampson felt that it was an asset to the Club as “a marketing tool and to publicise our capabilities.”
At the AGM (March 9th, 2010) Treasurer Pam Pope pointed out that there was only £19.92 in the bank and petty cash was only £23.23. It was agreed that the annual subscription be raised from £15 to £25, with £3 a session being charged to visitors. The Anderida Accolade, awarded to the member who has put great effort into all aspects of their writing, or helping the club, was awarded to Elizabeth Wright. Members were informed that two new free magazines, ‘Eastbourne Living Directory’ and ‘Handy Ads’ were looking for local interest contributions. It was agreed that the club provided short stories to Radio DGH which could be broadcast to patients. Liz Baker set up a website for Anderida Writers. In May, both Kevin Haughton and Elizabeth Wright had amusing contributions published in the Peterborough columns of the Daily Mail.
There were only 10 members present at the main May meeting but 18 attended in June, filling out the small room at the Langham Hotel. Neil Evans from Anthony Rowe publishers impressed his listeners with helpful information for those writers wishing to go down the self-publishing route. Preparations were in hand for the July writing competition on a theme of ‘Open Day’. A domain Name for the club’s website was purchased for 2 years. www.anderidawriters.co.uk.
The short story competition was well supported and entries were ably read out by Club Patron, Jeffrey Holland and his wife Judy Buxton. Liz Wright managed to get a piece about Anderida Writers published in ‘Flair For Words.’ The August poetry and barbeque afternoon was hit by rain, with food being cooked in Jenny Jewiss’ garage and the social carried on in the living room. The extra critique meetings held between the main monthly meetings proved very helpful, with in depth feedback to those with work ‘in progress.’ ‘Aspect County’ magazine were publishing a continuing supply of articles from Elizabeth Wright that fitted into their ‘Working Wealden’ pages. The Club lost a valued member when Ella Harris moved to Dunstable. Tony Flood had retired from his job with the Sunday People newspaper, which had given him time to perform public speaking as well as writing books. Liz Wright said that publishers Pegasus, Elliot Mackenzie “were considering my book, ‘From Fancy Pants to Getting There’ for their new 2011 lists.” She was told by Cass and Janie Jackson, two of Anderida’s original members, that one of her articles on Belle Tout lighthouse, which she believes was originally sent to The Lady, but never published by them, was then passed on to ‘TimeTravel –Britain,’ and put on their website.
At the November meeting there was a 400 words flash fiction competition. Harry Pope was writing a red hot novel called ‘Hot Vegas’ which was heading for the racier section of Mills and Boon. Liz’s ‘Fancy Pants’ book was still under consideration; Jill Rutherford book about her experiences in Japan, came back from the publisher praising the writing, but felt that there might not be a market at present. Peter Sampson read about the experiences of his father during World War II. A book ‘One From the Road’ is being worked on.
Tony Flood ably interviewed Sarah Potter and Elizabeth Wright, extracting from them their widely different viewpoints, between a novel writer and a feature writer. Sarah heard that she was one of the finalists, out of 4,000, in the Aesthetica Creative Works short story competition. Lyndsay Crawford-Jones had started a novel, ‘To Die or Not To Die’ and needed to know more about police investigative procedures. Liz Baker took over the Anderida Newsletter as Harry Pope was so busy. Future issues would be sent by e-mail. Valued member Maureen Murphy sadly passed away and Peter Sampson represented Anderida writers at her funeral. The Club’s bank balance had risen to £345.32 due to increased subscriptions.
Tony Flood was now a published author with ‘The Secret Potion’ and in great demand as a speaker. Tamara McKinley’s ‘Matilda’s Last Waltz’ and ‘Dreamscapes,’ was now being published in 10 countries. Continuing sales successes were enjoyed by Ann Botha – ‘The Cuckmere- a Sussex River.’ ‘Sharon Searle – Sussex Women – Famous or Infamous.’ Elizabeth Wright – ‘Made in Sussex.’ Ella Harris – ‘Jimmy Joss in the Antiverse.’ Harry Bankhead – ‘Salute to the Steadfast.’
Chairman of Anderida Writers, Jenny Jewiss with Neil Evans (centre) from Anthony Rowe Publishers congratulating Vice-Chairman Tony Flood on the publication of his book 'The Secret Potion.'
A cheerful bunch of writers attending a critique meeting at a member's home.
2011 was a good lively year for Anderida Writers with more speakers, much more writing. Books in progress were ‘Spaced Out’ by Sarah Potter; ‘Get Out of Debt’ and ‘Adverse Camber’ by Lyn Funnell; ‘Lyrical Musings’ by Phillipa Drake; ‘To Die or Not To Die’ by Lindsay Crawford Jones; ‘Mousey, Mousey and the Witches’ Spells’ by Heather Flood; ‘Seaside Spy’ by Harry Pope, ‘The Maori Story’ by Jenny Jewiss and ‘From Fancy Pants to Getting There’ by Elizabeth Wright.
January’s meeting was well supported to hear an interesting talk by Keith Ridley, Editor in Chief of the Eastbourne Herald and Gazette, brought back by popular demand. Four new visitors came along. There was discussion as to whether Anderida Writers should take part in the Eastbourne Festival, but it was decided not to do so as the financial return was unlikely to justify the outlay. Jenny Jewiss had a short piece (75 words) appear in on-line ‘Paragraph Planet’ and had the offer of publication of a feature on a Sussex woodsman in ‘Aspect County’ magazine.
In March Radio DGH recorded six submitted stories from Anderida Writers, read out by Ian Clegg and Sue Long. These would be played for the patients in the daily 4pm short story slot.
At the March AGM Tony Flood was elected the new Chairman, with Jenny Jewiss replacing him as Vice Chairman. The Treasurer’s report showed there was £207.04 in the bank and £34.02 in hand.
Liz Baker was awarded the Anderida Accolade for all her sterling efforts at producing an informative monthly newsletter and setting up a new website.
Harry Pope’s book ‘How Not To Run A Hotel’ was accepted by Gap Publishing and found a place on Amazon for people to read on Kindles. Liz Wright had an article on Sussex Shepherd’s smocks published in ‘Aspect County’ and Phillimore’s – The History Press was considering the publication of her book on Belle Tout lighthouse. Sarah Potter was invited to write on the ‘Lytopia’ website. Tony Flood gave a talk on his experiences as a journalist and Sky Television executive to an audience of 110 at the Langham Hotel. He was interviewed on Seahaven FM Radio, partly about his role as an official of ‘Friends of Devonshire Park Theatre’ and also to discuss his book, now on Amazon, ‘The Secret Potion,’ (GAP publishing). Kevin Haughton had two jokes published in the Daily Mail’s Peterborough columns.
The Mayor of Eastbourne launched Jill Rutherford’s new book, ‘Cherry Blossoms, Sushi and Takarazuka – Seven Years in Japan’ in the auspicious surroundings of the Council Chambers at the Town Hall. Elizabeth Wright had another picture published in the Daily Mail; the ‘screaming face’ in the brickwork of Pevensey Castle, which was adopted as Anderida’s newsletter logo.
The annual in-house writing competition was discussed, the theme to be ‘Picture This.’ It was also agreed that Anderida should run a semi-open writing competition just for writers who live in Sussex with the theme ‘Beautiful Sussex.’ At the April meeting, proof reader John Petley, gave members some useful advice to consider before submitting a book or story for publication. Sarah Potter’s poem ‘Silent Anger’ was nominated amongst the first three in the Global Writers April poetry competition. Harry Pope had a short letter ‘Such is the Short Life of Shingle’ appear in the Eastbourne Herald.
Confirmation that the semi-open writing competition would go ahead was made public with the naming of the three judges, Dec Cluskey, Keith Ridley and Jay Dixon, with prizes in each section of £50 for first; £25 for second and packages of books by Sussex authors to third prize winners. Jenny pointed out that she had tried to contact as many writing circles as she could via the Internet, to tell them about Anderida’s Competition but she found many websites were out of date and ‘many replies unhelpful.’ Liz Baker helped Liz Wright put her book ‘From Fancy Pants to Getting There’ into the right format to send copy to GAP publishers. Lyn Funnell had a two-page spread about the Lewes May Day celebration in ETC magazine. New member Eliza Davies invited Anderida scribes to a workshop and social evening at her Polka Dot Restaurant. Jay Dixon gave a talk to a group of 20 members about ‘adding colour to your writing.’
The main meeting in June consisted of 13 members and 13 visitors, causing accommodation problems with the smallish meeting room. This was a critique session where new and established members read sections from their work. A workshop and social evening was held at the Little Polka Restaurant as an extra get together, hosted by Eliza Davies and run by Tony and Heather Flood. Heather Flood’s fantasy book, ‘Mousey, Mousey and the Witches’ Spells,’ published originally as a paperback, came out as an e-version. Tony Flood’s ‘The Secret Potion’ followed the same route. Jenny Jewiss had submitted a piece about the game of petanque, which she plays, to the Eastbourne Gazette, but was disappointed to find sub-editing had resulted in some incorrect statements including a comment being attributed to an unrelated person. Liz Baker had a similar experience with a feature submitted to ‘Water Craft.’ Cass and Janie Jackson decided that, due to ill health, they would cease production of their newsletter ‘Flair for Words’.
The annual short story competition produced 25 entries of a high standard on the theme ‘Picture This.’ They were read out by Anderida’s Patron Jeffrey Holland and his wife Judy Buxton. Heather Flood was the winner with ‘My Fatal Mistake,’ Liz Wright was runner-up and Jill Rutherford third. Other prize winners were Roger Hardman, Jenny Jewiss, Helen Burton, Tony Flood, Mike Fleming and Sylvia Atkins.
Successful workshops at The Little Polka Restaurant continued, with at least a dozen attending each time. Publishing successes rolled on; Liz Wright had a £25 cheque from ‘Pick Me Up’ magazine for a silly picture of her son-in-law hanging off a lamp post while on holiday in the Canary Isles. Phillippa Drake’s book of ‘Lyrical Musings’ found its way to the USA as a result of her blogging her poems on a free website called Triond.com. Ella Harris, still a member although now living in Dunstable, launched her second book, ‘The Pitchstone Witch.’ ‘My Voice’ publishing company was recommended as a commercial outlet for those members wishing to see their books in print. Liz Wright found out that Pegasus Press appeared to have a leaning towards being vanity publishers as they accepted her ‘Fancy Pants’ book but then asked for a four-figure sum to publish it. When she refused to pay, they lost interest.
Tony Flood wrote a comedy play called ‘Hacking It’ which greatly impressed theatre director Alan Baker and film makers Harry Lederman and Alan Tutt, who decided to turn it into a short film using actors from Seaford Little Theatre. At two of the Langham Hotel Literary Lunches, Holocaust survivor and Anderida member Dorit Oliver Wolff talked about her life. The August meeting was a Social and Poetry event held at Tony and Heather Flood’s home.
Author Nigel Goodall, one of the country’s leading celebrity biographers, assured 22 fascinated members that even well established writers can suffer from ‘writers’ block’ as he had once spent 3 hours staring at a blank computer screen when trying to write about Winona Ryder’s life. The readings of the semi-open writing competition on the theme of ‘Beautiful Sussex’ had to be moved from the Langham Hotel meeting room to the much larger premises of the Fishermen’s Club.
Publishers, AndrewsUK expressed interest in publishing a book of collective works from Anderida members, but there were disadvantages in that any writings submitted could not be used anywhere else and payment was not made until there was a minimum of £100 available after all expenses had been paid.
At an extra critique meeting held at Lindsay Crawford-Jones’ home, Liz Wright tried her hand at writing humorous poetry, with ‘Fairy on the Christmas Tree’ and ‘Computer Crazy.’ Harry Pope talked about the travel writing he was doing and read two completely different articles about the same short break, but each adapted to suit a particular publication. In October 17 people attended the talk given by Jacq Molloy, a writing tutor for the Open University and Sussex Downs College. She talked about characterisation and making your characters come alive. Dorit Oliver Wolff received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sovereign FM radio at the Grand Hotel on December 3rd.
Liz Wright’s book ‘From Fancy Pants to Getting There’ was published as an e-book for kindles by AndrewsUK and Heather Flood was pleased to announce that her latest book, ‘Giant Sticker Monster and other Children’s Stories’ has been published by ‘My Voice.’ Brigitte Sumner also had publishing success with ‘Teenage Relationships – The Breakthrough Guide to Untangling your Heartstrings,’ available as an e-book and a paperback.
Anderida’s ‘Beautiful Sussex’ semi-open competition resulted in a large audience hearing the entries read by Seaford Little Theatre Chairperson Sue Shephard and judged by Dec Cluskey, Keith Ridley and Jay Dixon.
1st – Stuart Conde from Burgess Hill.
2nd - Andrew Cambell-Kearsey from Brighton.
3rd – Carmel Gregg from Eastbourne.
1st – Mike Fleming from Eastbourne.
2nd – Rita Pedrick from Eastbourne.
Joint 3rd – Gillian Church from Willingdon and Ann Bissett from Eastbourne.
1st – Harry Bankhead (aged 92) from Eastbourne.
2nd – Jill Rutherford from Eastbourne.
3rd - Eileen Nightingale from Eastbourne.
Liz Wright was interviewed on the BBC’s Radio Sussex about her life, her writings and newly published book. Liz’s humorous article about the family cat’s experiences with a newly fitted cat flap was accepted by ‘Your Cat’ magazine. Jenny Jewiss had a feature entitled ‘Vive Le Boules’ appear in e-magazine ‘Giddy Limits.’ All in all a splendid year. Cash in the bank = £377.04 and cash in hand= £95.53 – Total funds in December 2011 = £472.57.
January 2012 started off with the premier at the Winter Garden’s Gold Room of the short film ‘Hacking It’ scripted by Chairman Tony Flood. This was well received by a large audience. Eve Francis, reviewing it for the Brighton Argus wrote: ‘…this clearly has the potential to become an exceptional television series.’
Eliza Davies and Tony Flood gave interesting talks at the Eastbourne Speakers Club.
The Club re-located to a new venue, ‘The Chin Chin Tapas Bar and Lounge’ for the February and March meetings.
At the February meeting local author Brigitte Sumner gave a talk, ‘How I created a Niche Market and Write About it.’ She mentioned that she would be organising a Book Fair, in April, as part of the Eastbourne Festival. The Anderida Constitution was amended and updated. The latter half of the meeting was open for a critique session. Dorit Oliver Wolff read a chapter of her novel entitled ‘The Little Nun in White,’ while Jill Rutherford read a light hearted story about how she never won the Lottery, and when she did win a prize in a raffle, it turned out to be the same bottle of wine which she had donated. Liz Wright, Eliza Davies and Mike Fleming read their short poems, which everyone also enjoyed.
At the critique meeting held at Lindsay Crawford Jones’ home, five writers were present, including a guest member, Gary Tulley; on his behalf Lindsay read out a chapter of his work-in-progress crime novel ‘The Spook who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’
As guests at the Eastbourne Speakers Club, Eliza Davies won first prize in the ‘Prepared Speeches’ section, and Tony Flood won ‘Best Topics Speaker of the Night’ award. Eliza told Anderida members that her book of poems is being advertised on the Sussex University website.
Dorit Oliver Wolff entertained pupils from Brighton College with a totally absorbing lecture about her experiences as a young girl who survived the holocaust. Julian Withers, History Teacher, commented… “Here is a story that should be told to as many as possible….hers was a most moving lecture, but also an extremely uplifting one.”
After the success of ‘Hacking It’ members of Anderida were offered the chance of submitting suitable stories or scripts which could be turned into low budget films lasting 20-25 minutes. Kevin Haughton took up the offer and his story, “Smitten,” had been accepted by Eastbourne Movie Makers.
Members were invited to enter the Eastbourne Writes Competition 2012, part of the Eastbourne Festival. Submissions were sought on the theme of ‘The Day After.’ Winning entries would be included in an e-book and paperback published by ‘My Voice.’
From a choice of three venues for future main meetings (Fishermen’s Club, Tapas Bar or Senior’s Club) the majority of members voted for the Seniors Club at Alice Croft House, Cornfield Lane.
At the March AGM Harry and Pam Pope decided to step down as Competition Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. Chairman Tony Flood said…”their efforts over many years are much appreciated. Harry, our former Chairman, has been involved in all sorts of projects which he has tackled with great enthusiasm, so I am delighted to present them both with a Special Service Award”.
As Pam handed over the accounts to the newly elected Treasurer, Roger Hardman, she was pleased to announce that the financial situation was in a far healthier state than at the same period the previous year.
Liz Baker, last year’s winner of the coveted Anderida Accolade, for her outstanding services to the Club, presented the trophy to 2012 winner, Chairman Tony Flood.
A few weeks later, Tony’s book ‘My Life With The Stars – Best, Ali and the Panties’ was published by My Voice Publishing. Dec Cluskey, of the Bachelors pop group said in a review, “If you want to know the in’s and out’s of Show Biz, Sport, films and politics this book is the one!”
Brigitte Sumner organised a literary treat for the local community in the form of Eastbourne Writes Book Fair, where there were interesting talks, readings and workshops by authors and tutors. Brigitte commented “I am pleased with how well this event has been received.” Tony Flood launched his book ‘My Life with the Stars –Best, Ali and the Panties’ at the Fair. Also just published was ‘Write by the Sea,’ a compilation by members of Coast Writers. Jill Rutherford was one of the winners in the Eastbourne Writes competition on the theme of ‘The Day After.’
Anderida’s annual in-house writing competition invited entries on the theme of ‘Winners and Losers’ to be sent to competition secretary Mike Fleming.
At the April main meeting speaker Jacq Malloy, gave a talk about ‘The Correct Way to Provide a Critique,’ and she also advised on how to accept a critique.
July brought the annual members writing competition, ably organised by Mike Fleming. Tony Flood commented that: “Anderida Writers’ increasing popularity is highlighted by the fact that we are attracting to our meetings well known personalities from the entertainment world in actors Jeffrey Holland and his wife Judy Buxton, singer Dec Cluskey from The Bachelors and his wife Sandy and actor Alan G. Baker.” Jeff and Judy read the entries on the theme of ‘Winners and Losers,’ and the fully paid up members in the audience were the judges. Winner of the short story section was Tony Flood, with Jenny Jewiss second and Jill Rutherford third. Other prizes went to Maria Louka, Heather Flood and Harry Pope. The poetry section resulted in Liz Wright coming first, Dave Wells second and Heather Flood third.
Members agreed to help ‘market’ each others books, (by word of mouth, Facebook and Twitter) to increase awareness of their availability. Liz Wright and Francis Wait set up a lending library of informative books on creative writing, as well as members’ published books. Borrowing charges would be just 25p per book. Anderida also operated a stall at the Sovereign Harbour Community Market for 3 weeks to promote the Club and sell members books.
Website designer Gareth Thomas set up an extensive website for Liz Wright, Tony Flood and Harry Pope, and was then asked to design a special website for the Club. As a goodwill gesture, to help promote his fledgling business, Gareth offered to provide his services for free for a year, with the club covering any expenses.
With Newsletter editor Liz Baker being snowed under with work, Maria Louka kindly offered to help out by formatting items edited by Tony Flood.
Maria also hosted the extra critique meeting which was attended by Jenny Jewiss, Liz Baker, Francis Wait, Heather and Tony Flood. Maria’s wonderful hospitality, which included her own special cocktail and buffet, plus some excellent readings, made this a great event.
Kevin Haughton suggested that we should become trendy and wear T-shirts promoting Anderida Writers and published authors could include a print of their books cover picture.
Harry Pope had a mention in the Herald in response to his claim that he is now Eastbourne’s own erotic novel writer and his sex romp books, under the name of Harry Blue, were compared with the new, raunchy Best Seller ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ He also had a letter published in the ‘Daily Mail’ with the heading ‘We oldies hope that gym will still fix it.’
Heather and Tony Flood hosted the Anderida Social and Poetry evening in August. Prizes for the poetry competition were provided by Tim Hamilton Clarke from the Wild Jam Company. Winners were Gabrielle Antonia, Tony Jewiss, Liz Wright, Diane Brookens, Audrey Chalifoux, Eliza Davies, Maria Louka and Mike Fleming. Tony Flood read out the first draft of his speech, ‘Battle of the Sexes’ for the Toastmasters competition, and received useful feedback, including on tips how to iron out faults.
Novelist and writing tutor Vanessa Gebbie gave a talk at the September main meeting about her journey as a writer.
Chairman Tony Flood asked members to support Progeria sufferer Hayley Okines by buying her book, ‘Old Before My Time,’ or selling tickets for a fund raising event for her treatment.
As a marketing exercise members were encouraged to publicise the books of the Club’s published authors, suggesting that they were eminently suitable as Christmas presents. The authors listed were: Philippa Drake, Tony Flood, Heather Flood, Brigitte Sumner, Harry Pope, Jill Rutherford, Liz Wright, Diane Brookens, Mike Fleming.
On Saturday September 29th, a ‘one off’ stall at Langney Shopping Centre was made available for Anderida Writers to promote the club and sell the increasing range of books by the club’s published authors. The stall was run by Tony and Heather Flood and Francis and Angela Wait.
Mike Fleming launched his new book, The Fish on my Ear and Other Stories’ on November 17th at Tome Books, Terminus Road. He signed his books and gave a reading.
Tony Flood set up a Forum on Facebook where members could share and receive information with each other. Harry Pope submitted a number of useful tips on Travel Writing for the November Newsletter and suggested that a website for writers, www.circalit.com was well worth a visit.
Opera singer and writer Jane Metcalf passed on her advice and knowledge gained through her impressive list of experiences, from writing for musical/theatrical ventures to singing with the D’Oyly Carte Opera for four years.
Accounts for the year to December 31st 2012 showed that there was £358.04 in the bank and £36.73 cash in hand.
Jill Rutherford was the winner of the Eastbourne Dickens Fellowship short story competition. Her prize was a £50 book token, a bound, illustrated hardback edition of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and publication of the story on the Eastbourne Herald’s website.
Harry and Pam Pope made friends with a writers group in Australia: Reynella Writers, located in a suburb of Adelaide. Contact is Tony Lee, 13 Floyd Court, Old Reynella, South Australia, 5161.
The Anderida Writers Constitution was updated by a sub-committee of Tony Flood, Tony Jewiss and Mike Smith and their proposals led to the following amendments being made. (Changes underlined).
The name of the organisation shall be ANDERIDA WRITERS, EASTBOURNE.
The objectives of the Anderida Writers shall be to encourage members in the writing craft by means of monthly meetings, workshops and other related activities.
Membership shall be full, temporary guest membership or, in a few special cases, honorary. Membership shall be subject to the approval of the committee, whose decision shall be final. The committee reserve the right to deny membership should it be deemed necessary in the interests of the club. The committee shall have the power to propose the withdrawal of membership from anyone whose conduct renders him or her unsuitable. Any member shall have the right of appeal by writing to the Chairman for the committee to consider, but the committee’s decision shall be final. The same ruling applies to temporary guest members who can attend for up to five meetings upon payment of a guest fee each time. A guest member needs to attend at least one monthly meeting to be eligible to attend any additional meetings at members’ homes. Honorary members shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. (AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY JENNY JEWISS)
Full members shall pay the annual subscription in force at that time in full at the Annual General Meeting, at which the annual subscription shall be decided for the following year. The Committee may recommend changes in subscriptions, which should be duly confirmed by an Annual General Meeting. Temporary guest members shall pay a few at the meetings they attend. Such fees shall be decided by the Committee.
A copy of the constitution shall be available to members on request. Changes to the constitution can only be made at the Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting, and proposed changes must be given at least 10 days in advance of such meetings. However, notice of these meetings must be given at least one month in advance in the case of an AGM and 14 days in advance in the case of an EGM. (Full details are given under ‘Meetings.)
The Officers and Committee shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting.
The Committee shall consist of: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, assistant treasurer and up to four other members. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt not more than two members with full voting rights. Four members of the Committee shall form a quorum.
If there is a tied vote, the Chairman shall have the casting vote. (AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY MIKE FLEMING.)
The Chairman and all members of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election after one year. The Chairman’s term of office shall not exceed three consecutive years. The Committee shall have the power to fill any casual vacancy during the year with an eligible member.
An Honorary Auditor shall be appointed at the AGM. (AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY ROGER HARDMAN.)
Regular meetings shall normally be held on the second Tuesday of each month.
The Annual General Meeting shall be held in March of each year, for which the necessary notice of at least one month shall be given to members. The business of the AGM shall include:
a. The Chairman’s Report.
b. Report from the Secretary.
c. Report from the Treasurer, who shall present audited accounts. (AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY JENNY JEWISS.)
d. The election of Officers and Committee, nominations for which must be received by the Secretary at least seven days before the meeting unless an existing Officer resigns at the AGM without giving sufficient advance notice. Nominations from full members shall be proposed and seconded, and the consent of the nominees obtained.
e. Any amendment to the Constitution, or motion, of which at least 10 days’ notice, in writing, has been given.
f. Any other business.
The Chairman, or two Officers, or one Officer and one ordinary Committee member, may call a special Committee Meeting. The Secretary has to be notified of this meeting in time to give the Committee 14 days notice of it. At Committee meetings, the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer shall be asked to give updates.
An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by the Chairman and Secretary on the receipt by the Secretary of a requisition stating the purpose of such a meeting. An EGM may also be called on the receipt of a similar requisition signed by at least four members.
Fourteen days notice of an EGM shall be given to members, stating its purpose, and the business of the meeting shall be confined to this purpose only. One fourth of the total full membership shall constitute a quorum.
The Chairman, Vice Chairman or Secretary must be present to chair an EGM. (PROPOSED BY JENNY JEWISS)
Members shall be advised of the club activities by means of a regular newsletter. A Press Officer or Marketing Officer shall issue press releases to the media, which have been written with the approval of the Chairman.
Income and property shall be applied solely to the promotion of the objectives of the club, and no part thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of other profit or remuneration, with the exception of any project undertaken for charitable purposes, to be determined by the committee. (AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY MIKE FLEMING.)
10. DISSOLUTION OR AMALGAMATION.
Anderida Writers, Eastbourne shall not be dissolved or amalgamated except by a resolution at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting. In this event, the remaining assets, after payment of all liabilities, shall be devoted to objectives similar to those of Anderida Writers.
11. FINANCES AND FINANCIAL YEAR.
The financial year ends on December 31st. A balance sheet, as at December 31st and profit and loss account, showing all the income and outgoings for the year to December 31st, shall be provided to the treasurer to the auditor, together with a bank statement, in time to allow the auditor to approve these and submit them to the Chairman by January 31st. The treasurer will then present the audited accounts, including a balance sheet and bank statement, up to end of the club’s financial year, to the AGM, normally on the second Tuesday in March, seeking the approval of members.
Monetary assets should be kept in the club’s own Bank or Building Society instant access account, which should be subject to two signatures being needed for withdrawals from two out of four of the following officials: Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice Chairman or Membership Secretary. Monies paid to the club should be banked within seven days. (AMENDMENTS PROPOSED BY MIKE FLEMING, ROGER HARDMAN AND LIZ WRIGHT.)
Competition rules shall be drawn up by a Competition Committee of at least three members, including the Competition Secretary, and be approved by the club Chairman.
Entries for competitions must be submitted to the Competition Secretary by the deadline given. They should be sent anonymously in a sealed envelope, inside which should be placed another sealed envelope that contains a separate cover sheet, showing the name of the entrant, contact details and title.
The envelopes containing the entrants’ identities shall not be opened until after the results have been decided.
Any entries containing profanities or considered to be inappropriate can be rejected by the Competition Secretary, with the approval of the Chairman or the Competition Committee.
In competitions judged by members, every member must give a mark out of 10 to every entry or risk having their voting paper declared void. Entrants present at the judging will be allowed to give whatever mark they wish out of a total of 10 to every entry, including their own. Only full members and guest voters who have attended at least one previous meeting are eligible to vote.
In competitions judged by guest judges, these judges will be given a deadline to submit their marks at least two weeks before the announcement of results.
All judges will use the same marking system and will not be given access to other judges’ votes. Judges’ original marks, and unopened envelopes containing entrants’ identities, will be validated by the Competition Secretary and another member of the Competition committee.
Anderida does not have an obligation to return entries, and has the right to display entries on the club website and/or in the newsletter. (AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY JENNY JEWISS, JILL RUTHERFORD AND HEATHER FLOOD.)
Keith Ridley, Editor-in-Chief of Eastbourne Gazette/Herald, congratulating 91 year old Harry Bankhead on winning first prize in the article category of the semi-open writing competition with the theme of 'Beautiful
Dec Clusky, from 'The Bachelors' group presenting Anderida member Jill Rutherford with second prize for her non-fiction entry in the semi-open writing competition on the theme of 'Beautiful Sussex.'
In January 2013 Chairman Tony Flood emphasised how successful many members had become; a number were now well published authors, joined this month by Emmy Yoshida’s new book ‘Corrupted.’ In February he stated: “Anderida Writers reached a new landmark when the number of published authors amongst our members moved into double figures. Gary Tulley had written a detective thriller, ‘Once upon a Spook,’ which was launched in January at Chapter 12 Wine Bar, Hailsham, joining a list of published authors including Mike Fleming, Liz Wright, Emmy Yoshida, Jill Rutherford, Diane Brookens, Phillippa Drake, Brigitte Sumner, Harry Pope, Heather Flood and myself. Dave Wells and Francis Wait are hoping to be published soon.”
Two local bookshops were being very supportive of writers, The Bumper Book Shop, in Grove Road, and Tome Books, in Terminus Road. Heather Flood signed copies of her new book ‘Mousey, Mousey and the Witches’ Revenge’ whilst Tony Flood’s fantasy adventure book ‘The Secret Potion’ would also be available at Bumper Books. A number of Anderida authors gathered at Tome Books for a ‘Mini Book Festival’ of readings and signings.
Members of the Creative Writing Group, from the Eastbourne Seniors Club for the Over Fifties, run by Tony and Heather Flood, have had a new book published called ‘Twist in the Tales,’ a collection of 16 intriguing short stories by the ‘We’re Not Dead Yet’ writers. These include Anderida members Christine Dudley, Francis Wait, Tony and Heather Flood and guest members Ernie Richardson and Elizabeth Gibbs.
Dorit Oliver Wolff was writing her story as a survivor of the Holocaust who became an international singing star. She spoke at Holocaust Memorial Day Services in Hastings and Eastbourne, to honour those who were persecuted and killed by the Nazis.
The Club was invited to take part in the Club’s and Societies Open Day, at the Enterprise Shopping Centre.
At the February meeting Chairman Tony Flood passed on tips from website designer Gareth Thomas on how to improve websites and get higher Google ratings. Rex Sumner of My Voice Publishing gave advice on increasing book sales with good marketing techniques.
Eastbourne Hospital Radio had recorded eight short stories and four poems donated by Anderida members to be broadcast to the patients. Ian Clegg and Sue Long read for the recordings and volunteer Richard Barnicoat did the voice mixing etc.
Liz Baker stepped down from Newsletter Editor and was thanked by all for her hard work in compiling, editing and distributing copies to all members and guests. Future editions would be edited by Tony Flood and formatted by Maria Louka.
At the AGM in March there were proposed changes to some of the Club Rules as follows:
1/ The annual subscription should be increased to £26 a year.
2/ Guest fees should be increased to £4 a visit (up to 5 visits during the 12 months from the date of the first visit.)
3/ Changes to the Constitution;
a/ Section 3 ‘Membership’, addition as follows: The maximum period in which a person can attend as a guest member for up to 5 visits is 12 months from the first visit. After that they need to take out a full membership. The amount they have paid in guest fees during the club’s current membership year for subscriptions (from April to March) will be deducted from the subscription fee they need to pay in that year.
b/ Section 12. Competitions. Addition as follows: Guest members are eligible to submit one entry per person for each in-house ‘closed’ competition, provided they have attended at least two meetings in the year of the competition up to the closing date.
OFFICERS ELECTED WERE:
Chairman – Tony Flood.
Vice Chairman – Jenny Jewiss.
Secretary – Liz Baker.
Treasurer – Roger Hardman.
Membership Secretary – Liz Wright.
Competition Secretary – Mike Fleming.
Joint Newsletter editors – Tony Flood and Maria Louka.
Website Editor – Liz Baker.
Press Officer – Mike Fleming.
Librarian – Francis Wait.
Catering Officer – Heather Flood.
Liaison Officer – Dave Wells.
Auditor – Mike Smith.
Award winning speaker, author and publisher Rob Palmer gave a talk on How to Write and Publish Best Selling Books. He said, “There has never been a better time to be a writer.”
Arrangements were in hand for the 2013 in-house writing competition on the theme of ‘Reflections.’ Short stories up to 800 words, poems up to 40 lines.
Tome Bookshop hosted a book launch in April for “Twists in the Tales”, from the ‘We’re not Dead yet Writers.’
Mike Fleming was short-listed for the 2012 H.E.Bates Short Story Competition.
Elizabeth Wright was invited by Lightwind Production of Haywards Heath to take part in a short informative film about Beachy Head, entitled ‘Two White Flashes Every Twenty Seconds,’ while Jill Rutherford had an amusing piece in the April issue of Writing Magazine about the ‘Perils of Book Signings.’
Russell Gibson, of Gibson Publishing, who produced Emmy Yoshida’s and Gary Tulley’s books, was the guest speaker at the April main meeting. Eastbourne Seniors Club increased the fees for the hall hire. The Anderida Accolade for services to the Club went to valued joint winners Jenny Jewiss and Michael Fleming. Tony Flood made a presentation to retiring Newsletter Editor, Liz Baker. The number of published authors reached 15.
Anderida member Brigitte Sumner organised the Eastbourne Writes Festival, where a competition and various writing related activities were held at the Enterprise Shopping Centre, Tome Book Shop and the Towner Art Gallery. There were several guest speakers, including crime writers Tom Beale and Ellie Griffiths, and workshops throughout each day. In the competition the first six winners in each category and each age group would have their short stories and poems published in ‘The Word is Out,’ a paperback as well as an e-book for Kindle, courtesy of My Voice Publishing. Ms Sumner said, ‘The writing competition is open to everyone, not just those living in Eastbourne. This is a golden opportunity for all authors, both new and old, to overcome the difficulties associated with getting published because we will be fast tracking them.’ Heading for inclusion were Mike Fleming, Tony Flood, David Wells, Roger Hardman, Lena Bowling, Maria Louka and 93 year old Harry Bankhead.
A group of Anderida members travelled to the Gatehouse Theatre, Highgate, London in August to see the Club’s Patron, Jeffrey Holland, appear as legendary comedian Stan Laurel in the one-man play ‘Mr Laurel.’
The August meeting, held at Tony and Heather Flood’s house, now a popular annual social evening with a BBQ, followed by poetry session and amusing limericks.
At the meeting at Alice Croft House, American best selling author James Lovegrove gave a talk about his science fiction/fantasy novels, and mentioned his latest project, a Sherlock Holmes book.
Heather and Tony Flood were featured in ETC magazine, while Liz Wright and Dorit Wolff had mentions in the local press. Dorit hoped to get a publishing deal for her memoires after being one of the runners-up in a Memoire Writing competition run by national magazine ‘Woman and Home.’ Part of her prize was being introduced to a literary agent.
At the May meeting author Leslie Tate stated that it was now much harder to be accepted by mainstream publishers; authors needed to produce startling, shocking and powerful story lines, containing strong, original characters and excellent visual images that could lend themselves to a film or TV drama. Self publishing might be the answer for many writers.
Diane Brookens, a member of the actor’s union Equity, and an experienced speech and drama teacher, was willing to give Anderida members lessons in public speaking.
Liz Wright suggested that, as many Anderida Writers members were producing excellent short stories, perhaps they could be put together an anthology and submitted to the Writing Magazine’s annual ‘Writers’ Circle Anthology Award.’ Having researched previous winners, she felt that the Club members had the writing talent, and with team work and rigorous editing the end result could be a professional production worthy of submitting for judges’ consideration and the £250 prize. Due to her heavy workload she was unable to see this through, but no one felt they were able to take this project on.
July saw the Annual Members’ writing competition. Patron, professional actor Jeffrey Holland, and his wife Judy Buxton, read 21 excellent entries on the theme of ‘Reflections.’ Chairman Tony Flood won the competition for the second successive year with his short story, ‘Reflections on a Sexual Fantasy,’ while Jill Rutherford’s entry, ‘Reflections on Childhood,’ and ‘I never won the Lottery,’ were second and third. Equal fourth were Dave Wells, Jenny Jewiss and Lena Bowling. New member Hazel Elrick won the poetry competition with ‘Reflections on Elections,’ with liz Wright‘s ‘Am I really like that?’ was second and Heather Flood’s entries ‘The Empty Beach’ and ‘Death by Spud,’ were joint third. Prizes included a grand afternoon tea for two at the Langham Hotel, gift voucher from hair and beauty salon, ‘Dynamics,’ a £20 Waterstone’s Voucher, two tickets from the Devonshire Park Theatre, two cinema tickets for the Curzon, a book voucher from Tome Books, a bottle of wine and books by authors Leslie Tate and Sue Hampton.
New member Josephine McCauley joined the list of Anderida’s published authors with her book, ‘Romano-British History’ which tells the story of how the Romans invaded Britain.
Francis Wait launched his recently published book, ‘The Survivalists- Getting There’ at Tome Bookshop, Terminus Road, Eastbourne. Although fiction, it is based on the fact that the Yellowstone Caldera in America is threatening to explode again and cause global devastation.
Josephine McCauley suggested that Anderida Writers may wish to be involved in a planned Bookfest to be held at the Beachy Head Hotel.
By August website designer Gareth Thomas had put together an impressive redesigned website and Chairman Tony Flood said: “This has received some favourable comments and should help us further improve our image as a go ahead, friendly writing group.”
The guest speaker at the September meeting was 82-year-old actor and writer Anthony Chamberlaine-Brothers, who also talked about his role as curator of Eastbourne’s Heritage Centre.
Liz Wright had a successful book signing at the Hampden Park Sainsbury’s. She sold a good number of copies of ‘Belle Tout-the Little Lighthouse that Moved’, as well as a few of her other two books, ‘From Fancy Pants to Getting There,’ and ‘Made in Sussex.’ This was quickly followed by an invitation by BBC Radio Sussex to visit their Brighton studio for a recorded chat with popular broadcaster Danny Pike.
Heather and Tony Flood went to W.H.Smiths at Brighton for book signings of ‘The Secret Potion,’ ‘Twist in the Tales,’ ‘My Life with the Stars,’ ‘Giant Sticker Monster,’ ‘Mousey, Mousey and the Witches’ Revenge’ and ‘Mousey, Mousey and the Witches’ Spells.’
The ‘Anderida Writers Forum,’ set up by Tony Flood on Facebook, quickly gained 19 members, and contributions produced responsive lively discussions.
Changes were made to the Anderida Constitution at an Extraordinary General Meeting at Alice Croft House on Tuesday November 12th, including switching the AGM from March to April to coincide with the club’s subscription year. The changes are underlined as follows:
PROPOSALS BY ROGER HARDMAN, AMENDED BY MIKE SMITH, SECONDED BY MICHAEL FLEMING:
SECTION 6 – MANAGEMENT
An examiner to inspect the accounts shall be appointed at the AGM.
SECTION 7 – MEETINGS
Regular meetings shall normally be held on the second Tuesday of each month. The Annual Genera Meeting shall be held in April of each year, for which the necessary notice of at least 21 days shall be given to members.
SECTION 11 – FINANCES AND FINANCIAL YEAR
The financial year ends on 31st March. A balance sheet, as at 31st March, and profit and loss account, showing all the income and outgoings for the year to 31st March, shall be provided by the Treasurer to the examiner of these accounts, together with a bank statement, in time to allow the examiner to approve these. These relevant papers shall be given to the secretary and chairman in order for them to be submitted to the AGM. The treasurer will then present the inspected accounts up to the end of the club’s financial year, to the AGM, normally on the second Tuesday in April, seeking the approval of members.
Monetary assets should be kept in the club’s own bank or building society instant access account, which should be subject to two signatures being needed for withdrawals from two out of the four following officials: Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice Chairman or Membership Secretary. Monies paid to the club should be banked within seven days. The treasurer will normally keep some cash in hand in the order of £20. This will be accounted for in the cash account.
PROPOSALS BY TONY FLOOD, AMENDED BY ROGER HARDMAN AND SECONDED BY MICHAEL FLEMING.
SECTION 12 – COMPETITIONS
Competition rules shall be drawn up by a Competition Committee of at least three members, including the Competition Secretary, and be approved by the club Chairman. Entries for competitions must be submitted to the Competition Secretary by the deadline given.
Members Laura Crean and Hazel Elrick shared a table at the Christmas Craft Fair at the Ventnor Centre in November. This event showcased Laura’s Rainbow series of children’s books and Hazel sold individual poems. Past member Lyndsay Crawford-Jones, having done a proof reading course, offered her services to Anderida members. For professional editing, Tony Flood, Jay Dixon and Jacq Malloy were also available.
Welcome and valued tips on blogging were offered by Lynne Hale and Mike Wallagher, and author Leslie Tate was willing to help members improve their poetry or prose.
Liz Wright pointed out that if any Anderida members had books for sale through Amazon, they could now have a free ‘Author page,’ which would give web visitors more information on individual writers. This could include a biography, a list of published books, book signings, reviews, and pictures. Once registered, writers would then have personal access to ‘Author Central’ (free) where your books are listed with their sales information; A recommended useful tool.
The year ended on a ‘high’ with 17 members going to the annual Christmas Dinner, which was held at a new location, ‘Michelangelo’s’ in South Street. Good food, good wine, good company, and a highly amusing selection of limericks.
Elizabeth Wright with radio presenter Danny Pike at BBC Radio Sussex studios, Brighton.
2014 started with a bang, with more publishing successes. Francis Wait announced the publication an e-version of his book for children and teenagers called ‘The Magical Pendant of Perdania’ under the pseudonym Francis Jaycee and then surprised us all by producing an erotic crime thriller ‘Without their Consent’ which was so sexually explicit that it was banned by Amazon!! But is still available on smashwords.com which delivers manuscripts to various websites such as Sony, Kobo and Flipkart. Dorit Oliver Wolff brought out a booklet entitled ‘Behind The smile – from Yellow Star to Pop star’ containing extracts from her public speaking. Dorit, who appeared on television on BBC South East on Monday January 27th, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, gave a talk the same evening in aid of St. Wilfred’s Hospice at the Kings Centre, Eastbourne. It attracted a big audience and raised approximately £1,000 for the hospice.
Laura Crean reached the semi-finals of the International Author of the Year Contest, with her children’s book ‘The Realm of the Purple Dragon,’ A fantasy adventure book is available on Amazon and Lulu Press.
Liz Wright has contributed a number of well illustrated feature items, ranging from The Long man of Wilmington and Michelham Priory water mill to Sussex guns and hop pickers to the website of B-C-ing-U.com, a travel and leisure e-magazine.
In March the social event of a Spring Dinner at Michelangelo Restaurant in South Street was well supported. At that month’s main meeting Kate Tym, who was a commissioning editor for Random House publishers talked about the publishing process from manuscript to finished book.
Maria Louka and Francis Wait jointly won the Anderida Accolade for outstanding work, while presentations were also made to retiring Vice Chairman Jenny Jewiss and Secretary Liz Baker at the Anderida Writers AGM.
Chairman Tony Flood later received a Resident of the Year award at the Eastbourne Achievers Accolades, following in the footsteps of Dorit Oliver Wolff. This was in recognition of his work with Anderida, being joint leader, with his wife Heather, of the Creative Writing Group held at Alice Croft House, his help at Princes Trust Workshops and his forthcoming celebrity talks at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre and Underground Theatre.
The Anderida AGM at Alice Croft House on Tuesday April 8th, 2014 saw further changes made to the Constitution.
It was decided that hire fees from the club library should remain at 25p with the exception of those books contributed by Anderida’s published authors. The hire fee for these will be £1, which should go to the author in question. Proposed by Francis Wait, seconded by Tony Flood.
A proposal by Tony Flood, seconded by Francis Wait, was to change the wording in the Constitution of Section 6 – MANAGEMENT was passed without any votes against. This was as follows:
SECTION 6 - MANAGEMENT
The Officers and Committee shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting.
The Committee shall consist of: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and up to six other members, all of whom can hold additional positions.
The Committee shall have the power to co-opt not more than two members with full voting rights. Four members of the Committee shall form a quorum.
If there is a tied vote, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.
Officers elected were:
Chairman – Tony Flood.
(proposed by Michael Fleming, seconded by David Wells)
Vice Chairman – Michael Fleming.
(proposed by Tony Flood, seconded by David Wells)
Secretary – Maria Louka.
(proposed by Michael Fleming, seconded by Tony Flood)
Treasurer – Roger Hardman.
(proposed by Francis Wait, seconded by David Wells)
Membership Secretary – Liz Wright.
(proposed by Francis Wait, seconded by David Wells)
Competitions Secretary – Mike Fleming.
(proposed by Francis Wait, seconded by David Wells)
Assistant Competition Secretary – David Wells.
(proposed by Tony Flood, seconded by Francis Wait)
Liaison Officer – David Wells.
(proposed by Heather Flood, seconded by Francis Wait)
Joint Newsletter Editors – Tony Flood and Maria Louka.
(proposed by Francis Wait, seconded by David Wells)
Website Contents Editor – Liz Wright
(proposed by Tony Flood, seconded by Maria Louka)
Catering Officer – Heather Flood.
(proposed by Francis Wait, seconded by David Wells)
Librarian – Francis Wait.
(proposed by Tony Flood, seconded by David Wells)
Publicity and Marketing Officer – Tony Flood.
(proposed by Maria Louka, seconded by David Wells)
Maria Louka and Francis Wait jointly won the Anderida Accolade for outstanding work, while presentations were also made to retiring Vice Chairman Jenny Jewiss and Secretary Liz Baker.
After the AGM editor and author Jay Dixon gave a talk explaining about ‘points of view’ and ‘show not tell.’
Tony Flood took to the stage of the Royal Hippodrome Theatre to talk about the fascinating celebrities he had interviewed for his book ‘My Life With The Stars.’ His warm and amusing anecdotes were filmed for the Community Channel.
Laurie Wilkinson’s new book, a compact volume of his poems called ‘Poetic Views of Life’ was published by My Voice Publishing. It became available on Amazon as both a paperback and an e-version, with Laurie making a donation from all sales to Help 4 Heroes.
The Eastbourne Book Fest, which provided four days of events including workshops, readings and talks, ended at the Towner Art Gallery on Sunday 1st June, with an awards presentation to the winners of the writing competition themed ‘New and Different.’
MP Stephen Lloyd and the Mayor, Cllr Janet Coles, presented the prizes, with Anderida’s Heather Flood winning the 65+ poetry section and other Anderida members Roger Hardman, Robin Kempe, Hazel Elick and Tony Flood coming second or third. Roger actually gained two placings!
The winners and those short-listed will have their entries published by My Voice Publishing. Others short listed included Jill Rutherford, Maria Louka, Jeff Fleming and Lena Bowling.
The competition was organised by Book Fest Director Brigitte Sumner.
The contents of ‘The History of Anderida Writers’ contain a brief summary of notable events between 1990 – summer 2014.
Compiled from assorted newsletters, press cuttings, correspondence and various records associated with Anderida Writers, Eastbourne, by Membership Secretary and Website Contents Editor Elizabeth Wright, 2014
Chairman Tony Flood reported that Anderida could boast of a record number of 19 published authors, and what was believed to be a record balance of £1,185. He said that treasurer Roger Hardman, accounts officer Mike Smith and the rest of our officials deserved a big pat on the back for this very healthy situation.
The new annual subscription was £26, and guest members could pay £4 a visit for up to five visits.
The Anderida Accolade to the member giving outstanding service went to Heather Flood. The Short Story competition was won by Alan Baker, with Heather Flood taking the Poetry prize.
Tony Flood stood down as Chairman and was presented with a book of press cuttings, reports and pictures to commemorate the club's achievements during his five years in the role, as well as an Outstanding Service award. His last acts as Chairman were to invite top crime writer Peter James to join us as Patron in succession to Jeffrey Holland, and fellow best selling author Tamara McKinley and actor Brian Capron to come on board as Vice Presidents.
Tony was elected President, and Alan Baker took over as Chairman. Gareth Thomas and Liz Wright stood down as Anderida's website host and contents editor respectively. Alaistair Colley and his father Rod took over as website hosts and maintainers, while former Anderida chairman Rob Crouch became website contents editor.
After trying several venues, we established ourselves at the West Rocks Hotel, Eastbourne, who provided a meeting room free of charge. This excellent deal was negotiated by Dave Wells, and he received the Anderida Accolade for outstanding service during the year.
The winner of the Short Story competition was again Alan Baker, with Heather Flood retaining the Poetry prize.
We also held a Flash Fiction competition in conjunction with the launch of Tony Flood's crime thriller Triple Tease by actor Brian Capron, Tamara McKinley and Alan Baker.
Brian and Tamara judged the competition which was won by Juliette Hale, with the runners-up awards going to Mary Farmer, Beryl Teso and Mike Smith, while Carol Burge and Stephen Houghton were highly commended.
The first task of new Anderida Writers chairman Mike Fleming at the Eastbourne group's AGM at the West Rocks Hotel was to present outgoing chairman Alan Baker with the Accolade Award for his outstanding work during the past year.
Mike praised former West End actor Alan for his dedication and for enhancing competitions by reading members' work aloud.
Anderida President Tony Flood then presented treasurer Roger Hardman with an Outstanding Service Award. Tony said Roger was an "unsung hero" who was the longest serving member, and during his 20 years with the group had made great contributions as an official and a writer.
Secretary Heather Flood and Mike Fleming paid tribute to the work of those who had stood down from the committee - Elizabeth Wright, Maria Louka, Rob Crouch, Francis Wait and John Elford.
Heather said: "With New Eastbourne Writers now communicating through their website and emails, instead of holding physical meetings, Anderida are the biggest writing group in the area holding regular meetings. We would welcome new members, as we can help both those wishing to get published and those writing for fun."
Former N.E.W. chairman Jeff Fleming was elected Competitions Secretary and Alan Baker Vice Chairman. Best selling crime writer Peter James continued as Patron, with Tamara McKinley and Brian Capron as Vice Presidents.
In his treasurer's report Roger Hardman said the current total assets were £708.45, a reduction on the previous year.
The Capital Account showed that our expenditure exceeded receipts by £337.85. An increase in expenditure was due to purchasing a pop-up banner, stationery, printing, refreshments, gifts and the website.
Membership subscriptions remained the same as the previous year but visitors' fees doubled, while a raffle raised £44.
Alan Baker referred to the annual Anderida competition in which he had read the entries - and come first in the short story section for the third successive time, while Heather Flood also made it three wins in a row in the poetry section.
Alan talked about the sad loss of life member Harry Bankhead, who had died at the age of 96.
Patron: Peter James(automatically re-elected)
President: Tony Flood – proposed by Dave Wells, and seconded by Alan Baker.
Vice Presidents: Tamara McKinley and Brian Capron – proposed by Tony Flood and seconded by Robin Kempe.
Chairman: Mike Fleming – proposed by Maria Louka, seconded by Robin Kempe.
Vice Chairman: Alan Baker – proposed by Dave Wells seconded by Heather Flood.
Secretary: Heather Flood – proposed by Robin Kempe, seconded by John Elford.
Treasurer: Roger Hardman – proposed by Dave Wells seconded by Tony Flood.
Competitions Secretary: Jeff Fleming – proposed by Tony Flood seconded by Dave Wells.
Assistant Competition Secretary: Dave Wells – proposed by Tony Flood seconded by Laurie Wilkinson.
Newsletter Editor: Tony Flood– proposed by Robin Kempe seconded by John Elford.
Secretary: Dave Wells – proposed by Robin Kempe seconded by John Elford.
Publicity and Marketing Officer: Tony Flood – proposed by Laurie Wilkinson and seconded by John Elford.
Librarian: Dave Wells – proposed by Laurie Wilkinson and seconded by Heather Flood.
Liaison Officer: Robin Kempe, – proposed by Dave Wells seconded by Alan Baker.
Inspector of Accounts: Howard Smith – proposed by Robin Kempe seconded by Tony Flood.
Peter James stood down as patron and was succeeded by Tamara McKinley, the former Anderida chairperson, who lives locally and is a worldwide best-selling author under both her own name and that of Ellie Dean. As Ellie Dean, Tamara has become a Sunday Times best seller with her much acclaimed series of novels set during World War Two on the south coast of England in the fictional town of Cliffehaven.
Acclaimed international best selling crime thriller novalist, Peter James became our patron in October 2015, but stood down in February 2018 after moving with his wife Lara from East Sussex to Jersey.
Anderida president Tony Flood said: "I got to know Peter when I reviewed stage shows of his work for the Brighton Argus, and I was delighted when he accepted my invitation to be Anderida's patron. He made an instant contribution by raising our profile and acting as an inspiration to our members.
"Previously, we were honoured to have well known actor Jeffrey Holland as the club's patron from 2008 until 2015. Each year, he and his wife Judy Buxton came to Eastbourne to read out the entries at the club's annual writing competition.
"We are now delighted that Tamara, another international best–selling author, has agreed to take over."
Mike Fleming was presented with a service award to show the club's appreciation for his fine work as Chairman and previously Competition Secretary.
Alan Baker took over as Chairman but ill health prevented him attending meetings regularly so Tony Flood found himself filling five roles as the year progressed – president, chairman, newsletter editor, publicity and marketing officer and website editor. Jeff Fleming's poor health caused him to stand down as competition's secretary, with Dave Wells replacing him. It was agreed that guest members could pay fees of £4 per meeting for five meetings and that these fees could count towards the full membership fee of £26.
There were more changes of officer at the AGM on Tuesday April 9th, 2019.
Alan Baker joined Brian Capron as Vice President, while Tony Flood was joined as joint Chairman by Terence Walter until Mr Walter left the club. Nigel Gearing became Vice Chairman and Francis Wait took over as Competitions Secretary from Dave Wells.
Rod and Alistair Colley, voted honorary members in recognition of their work in hosting and maintaining our website, took over from Tony Flood as joint Website Editors.
In the year ending March 31st 2019, the Anderida assets amounted to £518.32 represented by cash at the bank. Treasurer Roger Hardman reported that our expenditure exceeded our receipts by £240.00.This loss was due partly to a drop in competition entry fees and the fact that the Christmas Dinner cost £605.00, resulting in a net loss for this event of £105.00. Fortunately we did not have to pay any fees for meeting rooms due to deals made by Dave Wells with the West Rocks Hotel and the Cavendish Hotel, and later by Tony Flood with the Hydro Hotel following a suggestion to the manager by Anderida member Alex Hudson.
Alan Baker handed over the reading of the competition entries to Brian Capron and Susan Thacker (Sue Shephard).
2020 and 2021
Chairman Tony Flood had to call for two AGMs, to be held together by email, for 2020 and 2021 due to Covid 19 restrictions.
This required the endorsement of rule changes and entailed Tony sending out proposals in advance by email, with members giving their votes by reply.
Subscriptions for 2020 were cancelled because there were no meetings, and subscriptions for year beginning April 13th, 2021 were reduced to £20. Members playing £10 of this subscription prior to April 13th, 2021 were eligible to vote at the AGM.
Francis Wait became treasurer on March 26th, 2021, succeeding Laurie Wilkinson following the sad passing of Laurie's wife.
Tony Flood said in his Chairman's report at the AGM: "When I wrote my Editor's Welcome in the Anderida Newsletter at the beginning of 2000 I referred to variety being the spice of life and reflected that we were providing this with forthcoming events. Those events, at our new venue the Hydro Hotel, included having guest speakers in January, February and March, 2020 in Special Constable Chris Pring, author and former policeman John Newton; and actor Brian Capron.
"I never dreamed that they would be the last events Anderida would be able to hold for over a year due to the coronavirus."
During these troublesome times we were dealt additional blows with the sad deaths of our Vice President Alan Baker and Ollie Cater, the husband of our patron Tamara McKinley. We also lost our website administrator Rod Colley. All were wonderful characters who will be greatly missed
Tony proposed a vote of thanks to Roger Hardman for his long and valued service to the club as treasurer.
OFFICERS ELECTED: Patron – Tamara McKinley; President –Tony Flood; Vice President – Brian Capron; Chairman –Tony Flood; Vice Chairman – Nigel Gearing; Secretary – Heather Flood; Treasurer – Francis Wait; Competition secretary – Francis Wait; Assistant Competitions secretary – Dave Wells; Newsletter editor – Tony Flood; Membership secretary – Francis Wait; Social secretary – Tracey Stringell; Website administrator – Alistair Colley; Website joint editors –Tony Flood and Denis Stidder; Facebook page administrators – Tony Flood and Alistair Colley; Publicity and marketing officer – Tony Flood; Librarian – Francis Wait.
At the annual meeting on Tuesday April 12th, 2022, it was unanimously voted that subscriptions, which had been reduced because of Covid, should revert to £26 a year, due at the AGM each year. Members paying at least £10 of this subscription prior to the AGM will be eligible to vote.
A tribute was given by chairman Tony Flood to the late Rod Colley, who, with his son Alistair, had managed our website so well. Tributes were also paid to the late Alan Baker and Ollie Cater as well as outgoing treasurer Roger Hardman, who received an Outstanding Service Award.
Votes of thanks were given to Francis Wait, Dave Wells, Tony Flood and Alistair Colley for taking on the role of website administrator in addition to joint Facebook page administrator with Tony Flood.
Roger Hardman's treasurer's report for the year up to March 31st, 2020 showed an excess of income over expenditure of £215.50p. Combined with the balance brought forward from the previous year, the accounts showed a total of £733.82. New treasurer Francis Wait said that Anderida's assets now totalled a healthy £756.82.
OFFICERS ELECTED: Patron –Tamara McKinley; President – Tony Flood; Vice President – Brian Capron; Chairman – Tony Flood; Vice Chairman – Nigel Gearing; Secretary – Heather Flood; Assistant Secretary – Christine Racher; Treasurer – Francis Wait; Assistant treasurer – Michael Racher; Competition secretary – Francis Wait; Assistant competition secretary – Tamara McKinley; Newsletter editor – Tony Flood; Membership secretary – Francis Wait; Website joint editors – Tony Flood and Denis Stidder; Website administrator – Alistair Colley; Facebook page administrators – Tony Flood and Alistair Colley; Publicity and marketing officer – Tony Flood.
Following the reduction in the subscription because Covid caused meetings to be cancelled, it was agreed that the annual subscription should revert to £26 a year, due at the AGM on the second Tuesday of April each year.
Members paying at least £10 of this subscription prior to the AGM were eligible to vote at the AGM.
Tributes were given at the AGM to the late Rod Colley and to Dave Wells, unable to attend due to poor health. Dave was made an honorary member.
Chairman Tony Flood reported that members had given helpful critiques to those reading extracts from their work, with our best-selling author Tamara McKinley giving particularly helpful feedback. But, in the main, it had fallen on the same few people to serve on the committee and in some cases hold two or three positions. Fortunately, Christine Racher and John Silverton were stepping up to fill the positions of secretary and assistant secretary following Heather Flood's decision to stand down as secretary for health reasons.
Thanks to the arrangement we have with the Hydro Hotel to hold meetings without paying any hire fees, Anderida had a very healthy bank balance of £973.78.
During the year both Tony and Tamara held book signings for their new books, coupled with Anderida meetings. That option is open to other members who bring out new books, including the collective of seven or eight writers combining in a project launched by John Newton.
Treasurer Francis Wait reported that we ended the year with a small profit of £314..20p, but this did not include a payment yet to be made to Alistair Colley of £205 for maintaining our Website because his invoice had yet to be received.
It was agreed that Anderida open an account with Metro Bank because Francis said they would give a better service than Barclays. But we will keep our Barclays account open with a small balance in it.
OFFICERS ELECTED: Patron – Tamara McKinley; President – Tony Flood; Vice President – Brian Capron; Chairman – Tony Flood; Vice Chairman – Nigel Gearing; Secretary – Christine Racher; Assistant Secretary – John Silverton; Treasurer – Francis Wait; Assistant treasurer – Michael Racher; Competition secretary – Francis Wait; Assistant competition secretary – Tamara McKinley; Membership secretary – Francis Wait; Website joint editors – Tony Flood and Denis Stidder; Website administrator – Alistair Colley; Facebook page administrators – Tony Flood and Alistair Colley; Publicity and marketing officer – Tony Flood.
ANDERIDA ACCOLADE WINNERS
2010 – Liz Wright.
2011 – Liz Baker.
2012 – Tony Flood.
2013 – Jenny Jewiss & Mike Fleming
2014 – Francis Wait & Maira Louka
2015 – Heather Flood
2016 – Dave Wells
2017 – Alan Baker
2018 – Tony Flood
2019 – Roger Hardman & Francis Wait.
2020 – Tony Flood
2021 – Tony Flood
2022 – Francis Wait
2023 – Tamara McKinley and Heather Flood
Special service awards were awarded in recent years to Harry Pope, Tony Flood, Michael Fleming, Roger Hardman and Dave Wells.
2011 – Heather Flood
2012 – Tony Flood
2013 – Tony Flood
2014 – Tony Flood
2015 – Alan Baker
2016 – Alan Baker
2017 – Alan Baker
2018 – Francis Wait
2019 – John Ellick
2020 – no competition due to Covid
2021 – Patrick Chapman and Tony Flood
2022 – Francis Wait
2015 – Heather Flood
2016 – Heather Flood
2017 – Heather Flood
2018 – Michael Racher
2019 – Laurie Wilkinson
2020 – no competition due to covid
2021 – Heather Flood
2022 – John Silverton
2011 Open competition:
1st – Stuart Conde from Burgess Hill.
2nd – Andrew Cambell-Kearsey from Brighton.
3rd – Carmel Gregg from Eastbourne.
1st – Mike Fleming from Eastbourne.
2nd – Rita Pedrick from Eastbourne.
Joint 3rd – Gillian Church from Willingdon and Ann Bissett from Eastbourne.
1st – Harry Bankhead (aged 92) from Eastbourne.
2nd – Jill Rutherford from Eastbourne.
3rd – Eileen Nightingale from Eastbourne.