Wittering From The Webmaster – 11th December 2019

The Nethergate Writers’ online expert(-ish), Craig Mudie, brings you the news from our final meeting of 2019.

Present – Richard, Craig, David C, Ray, Sandra, Sarah, Gillian, Susan, Jurgen, Rupert

Apologies – Abby, Rosie, David F, Sue, Roddie

We began by introducing ourself to Jurgen, our latest member.


Reminder of the January Deadline for submission of pieces for the Nethergate Anthology, and the dates for January meetings.

David raised the idea of having a general programme for the upcoming year, and asked for opinions, and this was generally favourably received.

David also asked for feedback on the constitution, with the idea that this may be done after the deadline for submissions in January.


Craig’s piece for the next book, ‘Art Attack‘ was generally well received, with a few suggestions for amendments. Rupert suggested upping the price of the drink, as five quid isn’t that unusual now. Rosie raised by email possible issues with mentioning the DCA and V&A being in competition. Craig spotted a few typos as he read it, too!

Santa’s Little Hinderer‘ was Richard’s highly enjoyable festive piece, poking gentle fun at the questioning nature of a small child out with his Grandfather to meet Santa, while discussing the philosophical nature of words and their meanings, and the idea of when an item becomes different. The line ‘How different do same things get before they become different things?’ summed it up well.

David had a stab at poetry with ‘Washday‘, which he does sparingly but always to great effect. The workday image of washing on the line lead to a remembrance of a childhood method of flattening clothes, and the temptation of using a similar method to smooth away the writer’s cares. David thought a joining line between the first and second stanza may have been helpful, but the group felt it worked effectively as it is.

Susan was up next, with ‘Rip Van Tinkle‘. This piece which had been written for the centenary of the end of the of the Great War, taking in the idea of whether those involved in the conflict, if they could see things now, would view it as being worthwhile? It is a clever idea, well worked out over the course of the story, with more and more revelations.

Finally, ‘Bridge Folk‘ was a memoir piece, a first foray into literary non-fiction for Rupert. It was very well received, with some lovely phrases and imagery. But it did lead to a discussion of the use of the term ‘write me’ and whether it was an Americanism, or just a modern usage.

Our first meeting of 2020 will be on Wednesday 15th January, in room 2S02 of the Dalhousie Building.

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