Changes for 2018

Dear All,


Happy New Year


I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and that 2018 brings you much personal joy and writing success. With the New Year come what I hope you will agree are great changes for Group 2012. One of the main changes will be the name. Although it has served us well, Group 2012 does not really reflect who we are and what we are part of. For 2018 we want a new, dynamic name that reflects that we are writers and that we are a Blackwell’s group. For now we are going to use Writers at Blackwell’s in the events programme, but it is up to all members to decide on a new name. So put on your thinking hats.


Although they never said a thing, it became clear to me that by opening the shop and staffing it just for us, Blackwell’s was investing a lot of time and money in the group that could be saved. So, after meeting with Hannah and Bethan we have come up with dates for group when Blackwell’s is already open for other events.


Over the next few months group will meet at Blackwell’s on Broad Street on Tuesday 30th Jan, Tuesday 27th Feb and Wednesday 21st March.


The early membership fee will stay at £25 and guests will pay £5.


Looking forward to seeing you all on the 30th.





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.