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And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

Birmingham Writer’s Club

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In my quest to develop my writing skills I jumped upon this chance to meet a few of my peers and network a little.  The Birmingham Writer’s club is a very new organization, who, only yesterday, held it’s first meeting  This club is the brainchild of Rickie Josen, a local Hospitality professional and writer.  So we had something in common from the start.

The Urban Coffee Company, of the Jewelry Quarter provided the venue.  This plucky little coffee shop has taken on the established brands, such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee, and won a sizable chunk of their trade.  It is also the prefered hang-out of such luminaries as Helen Bonham-Carter.  There was just the right number for a first meeting, about ten, and we fitted around a table nicely.

Due to the gale-force weather I had gone for the windswept and interesting look for the day.  Imagine my dismay to find everybody else had done the same.  The group themselves were quite a wide mix.  Locals, artistic types, devout Christians and one orthodox Muslim lady.

What they wanted, from the group was largely personal.  Some wanted associate writers, others wanted an editor to set them deadlines so they had to write.  Others had books already written and wondering what to do with them next.  Personally, I was looking to network, as I said, with as many people within the industry as possible.

At one point I got on to the topic, with Rickie, about the subject of movies.  For her I would have imagined she would go for some obscure French film in black and white, with subtitles.  But no, she preferred Goodfellas and Terminator 2.

One person I spoke to wanted to swap information.  She worked in PR, which a field I am looking to get into, and wanted to know about my success, if you can call it that, as a freelance writer.  Somehow she thought I was earning a good living from it.  Oh, if only.  I explained that a good freelance writer should be able to write for any publication, at all, on any given subject.

On the way home it occurred to me that I had never picked any publication to write for.  At Birmingham New Street station I had ten minutes to kill so I had a look around the newsagents.  I shut my eyes, took two paces forward and picked out a publication to write for.

New African Woman.  OK, bad pick I guess, I doubt I could pass off as one of those.  Pick something else.

Build your own PC?  What, me?  This is a guy who struggles with an IKEA clothing rail.  What kind of PC could I build and tell the world about?  Well something that lights up maybe but that would just be a torch.  Which is the greatest extent of my technical skills.  So I tried one last time.

Herb Garden.  Ah, now this is more like it, as I have a garden and recently discovered the pleasures of being elbow-deep in soil and foilage.  But a short browse through the pages revealed the publication was fond of one type of herb in particular, and you probably guessed it wasn’t Oregano.  Yes, it was a magazine for stoners.

By which time the British transport police were starting to look over at me, with the attendant drug dog on hand.  Clearly, he might have a punter here.  I replaced the magazine and went to catch my train empty handed.

But the meeting was productive, I made some useful contacts and may have found a subject for an article for a local magazine.  So it’s all good.

And on Tuesday night I am going to meet up with the Coventry Comedy Writers Club.  That should be a, er, laugh.


Written by Nick Gilmartin

February 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Elaine Carpenter, Nick Gilmartin and Nick Gilmartin, Nick Gilmartin. Nick Gilmartin said: Birmingham Writer's Club […]

  2. Hello
    I’m looking to join a writing club in Brum- Its proving to be rather difficult to find one! Any tips?



    November 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

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