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Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle

Grace Dieu PrioryBased in:

North West Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Brief Description:

We are a self-help group who meet on a regular basis to share our interest in writing.  Our members have a wide range of writing interests and writing ambitions.  We are always keen to welcome new members, whether they are experienced writers or just starting and whether they write for fun or want to be the next best selling writer or Poet Laureate.

Venue, Times and Frequency of Meetings:

We meet at the Coalville & District Constitutional Club, High Street, Coalville, LE67 3EE, every second and fourth Thursday of the month.  Meetings are held between 7.30 pm and 9.30. pm.

First Established and a Brief History:

GDWC was spawned out of a creative writing course held at Thringstone Community College in 2003 which was run by Suzanne Ruthven (editor of the New Writer).  After the course ended a number of the participants decided to continue meeting and Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle was born.  The name was taken from an area just outside of Coalville which abuts the village of Thringstone.

Grace Dieu Priory was the home of the Beaumont family.  Sir John Beaumont was considered to be the Poet Laureate of his times, writing many pieces for the King.  His younger brother, Francis Beaumont wrote many poems and plays and was deemed to have considerable literary talents.  So the name, Grace Dieu, has a strong literary connection.

Since 2003 we have met in a number of venues before settling into our now regular home of the “upstairs room” in the Coalville and District Constitutional Club.

More About Grace Dieu Writing Circle:

The core of the group’s activities is our regular meetings.  At these, members have the opportunity to bring their current writing projects, read excerpts to the group and receive constructive feedback on the writing.  To stimulate writing ideas, we also set an annual programme which includes writing assignments that members can attempt and again read out to the group for feedback.

Meetings start off with time for members to give their news or general information related to writing, for example about forthcoming events, writing opportunities, their own competition or publishing successes, writing activities they have been involved in, etc.  There is also usually a chance for a general discussion during the meeting where a whole range of writing related topics are discussed – books, theatre, film, drama on TV, etc.

In addition to our regular meetings we have been involved in a range of other activities.

We have run a number of writing workshops, open to members and non-members alike, where local, published writers have delivered a range of topics, including writing for magazines, writing comedy, poetry and scriptwriting.  We have also held “Speaker Evenings” where again local writing dignitaries have engaged us with talks about their writing heritage or specific writing themes.

One of our most enjoyable activities has been to host evening meetings where other writing groups have visited.  The format has been that each group has ten minutes to give some information about their group followed by a number of their members giving short readings to the assembled audience.  Great fun!

We have once produced an anthology comprising our members work and the short stories and poems which won one of our annual writing competitions.  Since 2005 we have run a writing competition, open to all.  In the first two years we ran only a short story competition, but since 2007 have included a poetry competition too.  One thing we learned early on is that you advertise a competition on your website, it becomes an international competition and our first short story winner lived in New Zealand!

So as well as being a self-help group, we feel we have a responsibility to promote creative writing, which we have done through some of the above activities.

We are always happy to see new members, no matter what their writing experience, and hopefully encourage them to write more and improve.

Top Tips For Other Groups:

Only one tip from us – don’t operate in isolation.  There is much benefit in linking into other writing groups.

Contact Information:

Website:  www.gracedieuwriterscircle.co.uk

If you are interested in becoming a member, would like to know about one of our events, or would simply like to get in touch, please contact:

Tony Gutteridge
+44 01455-273591
tonygutteridge@live.com

or use the contact form on our website.

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