Ali Shaw workshop report

I am really sorry it appears some people did not see this post about Ali Shaw’s excellent workshop, so here it is again.


Ali Shaw author of the prize winning novels The Girl with Glass Feet, The Man Who Rained and The Trees (out next year) led an entertaining, thought-provoking and at times just plain provoking workshop. We wrote with biros, pencils, marker pens and crayons on sheets of in landscape and portrait position, in the middle and up and down and round about – I hope you get the idea. Though he talks very persuasively Ali failed to wean me off writing direct onto my computer, but it was definitely enjoyable. Discussion flowed. Those who didn’t come missed a treat.
Barbara Hudson

June Feedback Session

The next meeting will be on Wednesday June  24th at The Friend’s Meeting House, The Oxford Quaker House, 43 St Giles, Oxford, 7-9 pm.

This will be a feedback session so please bring something to share if you wish, or just come and give your feedback. I will try and have two authors there so we can divide into groups to ensure everyone has a nice long time to read and talk.

Those who missed the favourite book evening last year may also want to bring a book to recommend.

Friends’ House, St Giles, OX1 3LW (

Blackwell’s Event: Roma Tearne – The Last Pier

We though group would be interested in this event:


Thursday, June 18th at 19:00 – 20:00

Roma Tearne will be appearing in conversation with Lucy Popescu here at Blackwell’s in Oxford to talk about her latest novel, ‘The Last Pier’ – A beautiful and atmospheric novel about family, love, loss and regret.In the author’s own words, “Why should a Sri Lanken novelist with five books set in Sri Lanka choose to write a novel set in Suffolk on the eve of WWII? The answer is simply, why not. The imagination has no borders and the voyage out or the passage to india can equally be the passage to Suffolk if indeed we live in a truly global world. I have wanted for many years to write a novel steeped in the English countryside, in a part of the world I know and love. I have wanted to depict the England that is receding and that once, long ago, I read about while living beside a tropical sea. ‘The Last Pier’ is that novel.
Tickets cost £3 and can be purchased by calling 01865 333623 or email for a special discount.

May Meeting: Discussion on Journalistic Writing

Join Group 2012 on Wednesday 27th May, at Blackwell’s Bookshop on Broad Street, from 7pm to 9pm for an informative and enlightening discussion on Journalistic Writing. We’ll be examining how producing work for newspapers and magazines differs from other kinds of writing and how one might earn a living from this kind of writing. On the panel will be Lucy Atkins, novelist, book critic and freelance feature writer; and Fleur Kinson, travel and property journalist. In the chair will be Cherry Mosteshar, founder of The Oxford Editors, author and journalist. Entry £3 and all welcome.

Group 2012 is a writers group based in Oxford and established by Blackwell’s Bookshop, The Oxford Editors and Hersilia Press. It meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

April Meeting: Ali Shaw – imagination writing workshop

The next meeting of Group 2012 will be on Wednesday April 29th at the Oxford Quaker Meeting, 43 St Giles’ Oxford OX1 3LW from 7-9 pm.

Ali Shaw, a good friend of Group 2012, will be running a writing workshop with a difference.

“Our brains work differently when we write using different materials.  Neurological studies have shown that separate thought processes occur when we handwrite and when we type.  This workshop explores the links between mark-making and imagination, and considers practical uses for these ideas.  Whether you’re struggling with writer’s block, unsure of how to begin on a project, or simply on the hunt for new ways of working, there is much to be gained from exploring the physical act of writing.”

Ali Shaw is the author of The Girl with Glass Feet and The Man who Rained.  He won the Desmond Elliott Prize for his debut novel The Girl with Glass Feet, which was also shortlisted for the Costa First Novel award and longlisted for the Guardian First Book award.  His third novel, The Trees, will be published by Bloomsbury in early 2015.

March Meeting

Don’t forget the March meeting on Wednesday 25th. This will be a feedback session and held at blaclwell’s again from 7-9 pm.


We have also need sent an invitation to a book launch:

I’m writing to see whether any members of Group 2012 might be interested in coming to The Book House in Thame to celebrate the launch of my novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, which has just been published by Fig Tree (an imprint of Penguin).

The event is on 2nd April, starting at 6.30pm, and is free and open to all. There is no obligation to buy my book – just come and have a chat with some fellow book lovers and a glass of wine.

Although I no longer live in Thame I was born in Sydenham, and spent my teenage years in Thame, and went to Lord Williams’s School.

Our Endless Numbered Days has been receiving fantastic reviews, with The Times called it ‘a triumph’. You can read the reviews, and more about my book on my website: But briefly, it is the story of Peggy Hillcoat, who in 1976 when she is eight, is taken by her father to a remote European forest. There, he tells her that the rest of the world has disappeared and they survive in the wild for nine years before Peggy finally makes it home in mysterious circumstances.

I’ve attached an invitation to the event; please feel free to spread it far and wide.

Best wishes,

Claire Fuller

CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition

The CWA Margery Allingham Short Story competition was set up in 2013 to celebrate the short story and Margery Allingham’s contribution to crime writing. Supported by the Margery Allingham Society we are delighted that this competition will run annually.

The competition is open to all – both published and unpublished authors- and is for UNPUBLISHED short stories of up to 3,500 words.

The winner will receive £1,000 and we are very grateful to the Margery Allingham Society for sponsoring this prize.

The deadline for entries is 6:00pm on 16th March 2015(GMT).

Friendly writing evening and upcoming events

This month we were a smaller-than-usual and very friendly bunch of Group 2012 members who sat and drank wine and learned new things at Blackwell’s. Cherry Mosteshar of The Oxford Editors led a short but informative workshop on Point of View, with a demanding and enlightening exercise and a lively discussion to follow.

Then Zool Verjee of Blackwell’s gave a brief talk about booksellers’ attitudes to self-published work: they are more open minded than I’d thought, but you have to approach them in the right way and offer them a well written and beautifully presented product.

Finally Zool told us about his favourite book of the moment: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It sounds like a worthy successor to Half of a Yellow Sun.

A very enjoyable, useful meeting. If you did, we’re sorry you missed it. Do make a note in your diary to reserve 7-9 on the last Wednesday of March.

Barbara Lorna Hudson

The March meeting will be a feedback session at Blackwell’s Bookshop again. Usual time of 7-9.

The April meeting will be on April 29th at Blackwell’s Bookshop from 7-9pm when Ali Shaw, award-winning author and great friend of Group 2012, will lead a workshop that will emind us of our relationship as writers with pen and paper. There may be crayons.