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Summer Read-around – Wednesday 16th August 2023

 Once again we enjoyed a captivating evening, hosted by Maggie Morton.

We were off to a good start, hearing a poem which, in a clever twist, turned out to be a fusion of two separate poems. The descriptive content clearly showed the poet had a passion for bird watching. We then listened to a poem with a Welsh title, translating to ‘old house’. While it appeared to be a portrayal of a childhood memory, it skilfully turned out to be fiction.

An extract from a work-in-progress crime novel followed. The premise focused on two friends reuniting after a forty year-span. The final punch of the last line left us eager to learn more.

Two of our readers, inspired by the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School, tried their hand at new skills they had learned. The first read a synopsis and the first few pages of a tongue-in-cheek romance novel, while the second shared a poem recounting a joyful childhood memory growing up in a loving home.

Following that, a short story unfolded through three distinct scenes, where characters witnessed an event, only for the assumptions about what had occurred to be mistaken. The narrative came together concluding with a clever twist.

We were then transported to a bleak and desolate world in the opening scene of a dystopian fantasy, where we heard about an apocalyptic event that left the world pondering what would save them: science or religion.

The evening ended on a wonderful note with a work-in-progress poem exploring the theme of anxiety stemming from the pursuit of perfecting one’s online image, while also highlighting the importance of embracing one’s self-worth.

The conversation flowed with plenty of advice, comments, and encouragement for all. We discussed the importance of clarity, descriptive settings, and how to tighten up a short story. Additionally, we appreciated the imagery in poetry. The composition of a synopsis was considered, including the significance of main characters, their development, the plot and its twists, a conclusive resolution, and the decision to avoid ending with a question.

What a fantastic evening to bring an end to our Summer of 2023 read-around sessions. We now look forward to reconnecting and continuing to be inspired during the club’s 23/24 season.

Susan McVey

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