A great start to our new writing year

Well done, Susan, for writing the star letter in the latest issue of Writing Magazine! That’s no mean feat and the prize will come in very handy.

President’s Cup 2023

Our final event of 2023 featured a buffet, a literary quiz devised by Peter, a Secret Santa and a wide variety of Christmas readings. As well as examples of our own work,  there were chosen pieces by members’ favourite authors.

The star of the show was Sheila, a clear winner of this year’s President’s Cup, which Joe was very pleased to hand to her.

NB This was our last evening at the St Wilfrid’s Community Centre. From Wednesday 10th January 2024, our fortnightly meetings will be held in an upstairs room at the So! Bar at 6, Old Market Place. (Many will remember it as the former Black Bull public house.) Details will follow when this website is updated over the holidays.



What a catchy title!



If we don’t get takers for this event, it certainly won’t be for want of a good title. Sheila has excelled herself.

Flying the Flag at Ripon Library

On Monday morning, Carol, Sheila, Lindsay and Maggie (behind the camera) set up a stall near the entrance to inform library users about RWG. This is to be followed by a walk-in workshop from 1.30 to 3.30 p.m. on 24th November at which all are welcome.

Ekphrastic Prose & Poetry

The brief at our most recent meeting, was to choose from a number of art works supplied and write in prose or verse whatever they inspired. Polished work was not expected, given that only just over half an hour was allowed for the task.

After a break for refreshments, the results were read out. Everyone had chosen something different, which led to very lively discussion.

Artistic Licence 2023

Bill Hilton began by saying how much he had enjoyed reading all the entries, (which had not always been his experience as an adjudicator) and was then invited to describe his personal connections with writing as a profession.  After studying for a degree in English and Music, he taught English for 6 years before starting his own business as a professional advertising copywriter for large firms. That led to branching out into training courses in writing for big businesses, so that they would be able to produce their own copy. After going back to university to do an M.A. in English, Bill turned his focus onto producing piano books and tutorials for YouTube.

When considering a piece of writing, Bill looks for the following:

1) Would he like to read more by this author?

2) Does the author display confidence in him//herself and the reader/audience?

3) Does the writing exhibit control of the structure of the piece, both overall and at sentence level?

4) An interesting subject and, particularly, an interesting title.

In random order, the entries for the competition were:

‘Family History’ by Joe Peters

‘Buried Treasure: Sutton Hoo’ by Charlotte Wilson

‘Oppenheimer: The film’ by Susan Perkins

‘In the British Museum’ by Solvig Choi

‘There is nothing like a Dame’ by Maggie Cobbett

‘Kynista’s victory at Olympia: the case of the missing statues’ by Carol Mayer

‘Deal and ideals in art’ by Sheila Whitfield

‘Next time in Venice’ by Chrissie Russell’

The photo above shows Bill Hilton presenting the cup to Solvig Choi, who had only just handed it back in after her win the last time this competition came around. Carol Mayer and Charlotte Wilson tied for second place.

Well done everyone who took part!



Ripon Poetry Festival

What a weekend we’ve had! Many of us attended the open mic event that we hosted jointly with the Write-On Ripon! group at the Claro Lounge  and/or, at the Ripon Arts Hub, the launch of this year’s anthology in which (in alphabetical order) Maggie Cobbett, Peter Page, Susan Perkins, Ros Swaney, Kate Swann, Sheila Whitfield and Charlotte Wilson had poems.

In addition, of course, individual members enjoyed other events throughout the weekend.

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Our friendly group meets once a fortnight at the St Wilfred's Community Centre on Trinity Lane and is always open to new members from the Ripon area and beyond. Whether your interest is in poetry or prose, novels, short stories, plays, wacky humour, a more analytical style of writing, or just listening for the time being, you're very welcome.

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