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The old Logo of Hastings Writing Group

The old logo of Hastings Writer’s Group

Hastings Writers’ Group forges ahead

The long established Hastings Writers’ Group (HWG) invites budding writers to come and try the group for themselves. The group has been going for over 70 years, writes Vanessa Alves – and as a member herself, she is glad that it is still around.

The writing group meets fortnightly on Monday nights at the White Rock Hotel, 7.30-9.30pm. With regular in-house competitions, workshops and activities, it is a wonderful chance to stretch and flex those writing muscles and explore new mediums. There are also guest judges for the competitions and guest speakers for different genres, both of which help to build up your skills and take away any fears you may have about trying something new.

What I found most refreshing about this group is that it is very friendly and not afraid to have a good laugh. It is a place of encouragement, no matter what your writing style or experience.

In particular, as a newbie writer myself, it was lovely to find a place where there was a genuine mix of writers – some published, some not, some who have done it all their professional lives, those who do it as a hobby and those who aspire to have something published one day. Everyone has a seat at the table and everyone is welcome.

Amanda Giles, the current chair of the Hastings Writers’ Group, gave me her take on the group: “I joined HWG in 2010. I served as membership secretary and also website administrator, but haven’t been involved on the committee for a while.

“Membership definitely improved my writing. I won competitions, had a play performed at the Hastings Fringe and a short story published in the magazine People’s Friend. Last year the time seemed right to return to the committee and when Eileen [Masters] said she was standing down, I was encouraged by friends to stand as chair.

“From the beginning, my aim has been to make HWG fun, both for members and the committee. We have terrific people in our group and I want to celebrate them, as well as encourage new writers to join us. I also want to raise the profile of the group, as I think 70 years is something to celebrate!”

Minutes of the Hastings and St Leonard Writing Circle, circa 1947

Minutes of the Hastings and St Leonards Writing Circle, circa 1947

“When the group was first formed back in 1947, it was called the Hastings and St Leonards Writing Circle. Catherine Cookson was one of the founding members and an active member until 1968. In her honour there is a yearly competition called The Catherine Cookson Cup with the chance to win the much coveted trophy.

“There will be representatives at the upcoming Lit Fest taking place in Hastings from (Friday 31 August – Sunday 2 September). Feel free to approach them, ask your questions and take advantage of the chance to purchase a few books of their authors’ work directly.

You can also purchase the group’s new anthology A Few Of Our Favourite Things that is sponsoring Active Arts run by Hastings and Bexhill Mencap Society, a performing and visual arts course for adults. Active Arts students are taught by professional artists and performers and the courses include Making for the Stage, Dance, Art & Design, Comedy and Drama and Musical Theatre. Active Arts strives to raise the profile of artists and performers with a learning disability and wherever possible, the classes are run in community spaces and in collaboration with other artists and groups.

With a bright future ahead, the Hastings Writers’ Group have a new logo and continue to strive to be an encouraging place of creativity.

The New Hastings Writing Group

New Hastings Writer’s Group logo

So if you are looking for a fun group to help you expand on your writing skills, then I would personally recommend the Hastings Writers’ Group. It always takes a little courage to walk into a new group and also to read out your work, but this is the best place to overcome your inhibitions and spend time with others who also share a passion for writing and literature.

If you are interested in in the group, take a look at their website and Facebook page. We look forward to seeing you!

Posted 18:30 Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018 In: Arts News

One response to “Hastings Writers’ Group forges ahead”

  1. Keith Piggott (Icarus) says:

    Too late I learn of Lit Fest and your writers’ group.
    Am interested, please enlighten me.
    Keith Piggott

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