Blackwell’s Christmas Evening Tonight

Don’t forget our December meeting is tonight as part of Blackwell’s Christmas Evening  from 5.30pm to 9pm. I will be chairing the talk on the Costa Prize from 6-6.45 and then I will join anyone who didn’t attend that in the Cafe for our besy book/worst book session. So please bring books you loved and those no one should ever read to discuss.


At 8pm there will be a Blackwell’s recommends session we might like to join.


See you later


Blackwell’s Christmas Evening and Group meeting

Group 2012 members have been invited to Blackwell’s Christmas Evening on Thursday 14th December, from 5.30pm to 9pm. This is the perfect opportunity to start/continue/complete your Christmas shopping while enjoying our warm and wonderful seasonal bookshop atmosphere at the same time!

There’ll be lots to keep you entertained and amused including some talks you may wish to attend – one from two of the Costa Prize judges and another on Lagom (the Swedish art of living a balanced lifestyle), plus Christmas carols from a local choir and a session on some of our favorite books of the year, not to mention plenty of port and mince pies throughout the evening!

So I thought we could meet again and have our Best Book/Worst Book of the year session again up in the cafe space somewhere. Would people be happy to start earlier, say 6pm?


Blackwell’s Christmas Evening

November Meeting: Mavis Curtis, author of What the Suffragists did next, talks about her second career as a writer

The November meeting will be on Wednesday 29th at Blackwell’s Book Shop, 48-51 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BQ. 7-9pm

Mavis Curtis, author of The WI: a Centenary History and What the Suffragists did next, talks about how she became interested in local history and in particular women’s history and how it took her 79 years to get a book published.

Her writing career began when she was in her forties and tried, without success, to write a Mills and Boon novel, though she did get two short stories published in People’s Friend. Much later it continued with a three volume thesis on children’s oral tradition, which earned her a PhD, but didn’t teach her how to select her material or précis what she’d discovered.

In Oxford she learned to focus her writing by composing articles for the Oxford Times Limited Edition about the history of Elsfield, the village where she lives and former home of John Buchan.


Her discovery of the remarkable but unremarked stories of women in the early days of women’s colleges in Oxford, in particular the Brown Books of Lady Margaret Hall, made her want to bring these stories to a wider audience, a goal which she has finally managed to achieve.


This promises to be a very interesting talk so please come and support Mavis and bring your friends. This meeting is free for guests.




September meeting 2017 – Steve Hay: How To Read Your Work

The September meeting will be at Blackwell’s at 51 Broad Street on Wednesday 27th September from 7-9 pm.


Every writer will read their work aloud at some point in their careers; and for many writers, this isn’t the most fun they’ve ever had. We’ll look at the positive impact reading your work aloud can have, and at techniques for ensuring the very best results from it. Participants are welcome (but not obliged!) to bring along a piece of their own work to the session.


Steve Hay is a boat-dwelling Oxford-based Scottish actor. He is currently the 360 degree virtual reality guide to Glenfiddich distillery. Recent television includes hit series Outlander, and as a voice artist on feature films MacBeth, directed by Justin Kurzel and Jason Connery’s Tommy’s Honour, and television series In Plain Sight. Recent theatre includes Tomorrow Never Knows in Lodz, Poland and Too Long The Heart for Siege Perilous in Edinburgh. He plays lead roles in forthcoming films The Burkin’ Hoose for Nicci Thompson of Crow House Productions and The Hanging Branch, directed by Shaun Hughes for Chris Robb’s Tripswitch Productions. As a voice artist he has worked with clients including Jura whisky, Tesco, Lloyds Bank and Cadburys.
Steve is also a regular reader and helps cast and direct Short Stories Aloud, curated by Sarah Franklin, and for John Retallack’s Ruskin Theatre Platforms. He played JM Barrie in The Mythmakers in London’s West End and in New York.
He has appeared in several music videos for lo-fi band Candy Says, and surf-a-billy rockers The Long Insiders.
Steve is a founding member of the Oxford Actors Network, Oxfordshire Theatre Makers and Inspires networking group for the Film, Television, Voiceover and Mocap Industries.
He also works for homeless charity Crisis, and used to be a journalist. Occasionally he still is.








About The Oxford Editors

Some new members may not know that I run a literary consultancy called The Oxford Editors. We provide a wealth of services for writers and everyone in Group 2012 gets a 15% discount on those services. Do check out our website at

There are a few new services and great editors that are not on the website yet, but the services are open to members of group.

–    Former Head of Drama Development for CBBC and children’s writer Cas Lester joins our team.
–    An annual Crime In Oxford prize of £1,000 for an unpublished crime novel.
–    A new self-publishing service, including cover design, copy editing, proof reading and formatting.
–    We are also happy to announce that we are working with Hollywell Press, one of Oxford’s oldest printers, to provide top quality printing at reasonable prices.
–     A media pack service that will range from advice on marketing to a six-month publicity campaign.
–    The launch of our own independent publishing company by the end of the year.
–    Award-winning author Tim Lott joins our mentoring team.

We are starting a new day-time writing course in the Autumn, to be held in Oxford, based on creating and knowing your characters. It will run for five weeks and cost £400.

Our academic department is stronger than ever and we have access to some of the very best academics not only in Oxford but worldwide, so whatever your subject we can help.

Remember your query letter is probably the most important thing you write once your book is ready to go out into the world and can make or break your chances of getting an agent or publisher, so let us write it for you. We know what agents and publishers want and can give that letter an extra boost.

Please get in touch for more details.

May meeting

I thought in May we could have a session talking about which books have helped us most in our writing. Does that sound like a good idea? If not, we can have another feedback session.


We also have the choice of Blackwell’s or The Rose and Crown.


All ideas welcome.