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Writing about injuries from fights, stabbings and shootings

This is the first in a weekly series of blogs in which Angela J. Phillip will take us with her on a journey to explore the town’s wealth of literary offerings in Hastings and St Leonards: writers based in Hastings and their books and journeys, writing courses, books set in Hastings, booksellers, and so on. Here she attends her first meeting of the Hastings Writers’ Group.

Injuries from fights, stabbings and shootings – this is the subject at the next session of the Hastings Writers’ Group. Information about various types of injuries will be given in a talk by David Baker, an expert of many years’ experience with a background in medical imaging and healthcare. Very useful, I thought. Don’t want my readers doubting a death because the bruise was in the wrong place or because a character lingered for 10 minutes (when he shouldn’t have done) after being stabbed in the back.

I haven’t joined the Hastings Writers Group yet. This was a taster but I liked it. (I’m writing about the April 1st session. Next one is April 15th.) Such a variety of writers were there, including three or four other newbies like myself, all kinds of experience and expertise. It costs £80 a year. Not unreasonable when you factor in admin and venue costs but it’s still a lot.

You can only join when they have vacancies but they’ve got some at the moment. If you’re interested in joining, please have a look at their website and send them a message. I think I’d like to join so that will be two writing groups I belong to. I’ll tell you about the other one – it’s another super-duper one – very soon.

All were friendly

I felt a bit nervous about going along. but – relief – it was fine. It can be a lonely thing, writing. Everybody was friendly. Amanda Giles, the chairperson, had a huge smile and she made everybody welcome. The group holds its meetings every other Monday night, at 7.30 in the White Rock Hotel.

If you join, you get lots of competitions and some talks. As I said above, Dave is going to give one about injuries at the next meeting  –  so we know how to write about them. You can get a lot of info from the net but there’s always the question to which you can’t find an answer. Marvellous to have a real live expert.

As for the competitions, people said that they were good for making you write stuff you might otherwise not write. They have five a year.

Literary festival

And did you know that Hastings is having a literary festival this year – 30 August-1 September? Apparently it started last year but I missed it. Marcia Woolf is the person to contact and she was there at the meeting. She might still be looking for volunteers so here’s the website.

There was no wind at all as I stood outside afterwards, waiting for my bus and wondering whether my character had been smothered for long enough before she died. I suppose I’ll find out next time.

I’m going to use this space to share some of my experiences as a writer and a reader in Hastings so please comment and join in. I hope to meet lots of other writers, readers, booksellers and publishers in this amazing Hastings and St Leonards place. I think life’s easier when we get together and it’s certainly more fun.

We’re so lucky to have washed up in this place. Whoops. Not washed up. Chosen to live. Brilliantly chosen. I love it here. (Final thought – maybe washed up would be ok in my case. Quite like the thought of myself as a piece of bleached driftwood – crumbling… aye, there’s the rub.)

That’s it for tonight – back to my own writing now. Back to lovely Esme and Dani (mother and daughter who are struggling through life together). I dream about them nearly every night. More next week.


Posted 15:37 Tuesday, Apr 9, 2019 In: Hastings Bookchat


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  1. Angie Phillip

    Hi there Aiofe – I’m sure you’ll be really welcome. I’d hesitated, too, but they made everyone really welcome. I’ve joined now so I’ll be there next time and look forward to meeting you. x

    Comment by Angie Phillip — Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 @ 14:38

  2. Aoife Murphy

    Thank you Angela for such an open account of your first experience of the Hastings Writers Group. I’ve been wanting to come to the HWG meetings for some time but just never can sum up the confidence. Thanks to your words of encouragement, I think that I will. X

    Comment by Aoife Murphy — Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 @ 10:54

  3. Sam Davey

    Picking up on Angie’s comments about the LitFest – we are having a couple of meetings for would be volunteers at the White Rock Hotel this Saturday (April 13).

    If you are interested, come along at 12.00 or 14.00 to find out more – or email

    Comment by Sam Davey — Tuesday, Apr 9, 2019 @ 20:31

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