Tuesday, February 23, 2016

FOCUS ON: The Yorkshire Terriers

As the series progresses it is time to introduce another of our Chapters and I began by asking how they chose their name.
We decided on Yorkshire Terriers, because we’re in Yorkshire of course, but also because Yorkies are feisty, lively and determined. It seemed an appropriate reflection of our group and our aims which are to be very focussed on our writing and becoming published.

I love Yorkies and will forever have a vision of each of you tugging a pull or chewing at a bone which is, after all, the way most writers work. How long has your Chapter been running and how often do you meet?
It’s been running for about 6 years. We started it because we couldn’t make day meetings due to work. We meet on the third Thursday of every month.

Do you have a regular meeting place?
We meet in the centre of Doncaster within walking distance of the station, usually at the Old Angel Wetherspoons pub. Our members come from as far as Sheffield and North Yorkshire. Some don’t drive so we like to keep things as accessible as we can.

Your meetings must be good if people are prepared to travel so far. How many usually attend?
On average about 8 or 9 although it can be as few as 4 and as many as 14 when we have a full house. The majority of our members are in the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) or New Writers Scheme (NWS).  There are a few who are either lapsed members or writers waiting for a place on the NWS.

Do your meetings include a meal?
Yes, we usually like to order something while we talk. J The food is standard pub fare- tasty and reasonably priced and they do great desserts. The hot chocolate fudge cake is particularly popular. It’s well worth coming to the meetings just for the dessert.

You may have a few takers if hot chocolate fudge cake is on offer. Is your chapter open to non-members of the RNA?
Yes although they must be writing romance or associated sub genres.

How long do your meetings last?
We usually start at around 6.30pm. There is no formal end time- the meeting is over when the last person goes home (or the pub closes).

Can you give an outline of speakers/guests you’ve had in the past year?
We don’t tend to have speakers or guests as our normal focus is mutual support and goal setting. Our meetings are relaxed and usually involve discussion around writing related issues. Between courses we discuss our progress on our targets and then set new ones. This helps us to be more disciplined and we support each other when things get tough.

What plans do the Terriers have for the rest of 2016?
We will continue to meet on the third Thursday of every month, supporting each other and setting targets around writing. We occasionally meet on Saturdays (about two per year) for write-ins. We are also hoping to run a subsidised event with a speaker.

What would you say makes your chapter of the RNA so special?
The relaxed, informal atmosphere, the welcome, the information exchange that takes place and the all-heads-together approach to problem solving if things aren’t going well. Generally the supportive culture.

Does your chapter have a website, Facebook page or Twitter account and who is the contact for new members?
We have an invitation only Facebook group.
To join or visit contact Angela Wren (petitnuage.aw@gmail.com) or John Jackson (jjackson@btinternet.com

My thanks to Vasiliki Scurfield who so kindly answered all my questions

The RNA blog is brought to you by,

Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman

If you would like to write for the blog please contact us on elaineeverest@aol.com


Gabrielle said...

Great name, sums up the nature of writing as well! Enjoy the choc fudge cake!
Gabrielle x

Stephanie Bisby said...

Thanks for featuring our lovely little group! I've got so much out of my involvement over the last 6 years (although I can't believe it's that long as obviously I'm not a day older than when we started!)

Natalie Kleinman said...

It's been a joy doing this series, Stephanie. What a brilliant sharing bunch the RNA members are with some lovely relationships being formed through the chapters

Lizzie Lamb said...

Just wished I lived closer to these fabulous RNA chapters.