It Happened Last Week – December’s (Virtual) Monthly Meeting

Sandra Anderson has the lowdown here: –

Minutes of Meeting on 9th December 2020

Minutes taken by Sandra, chaired by Roddie

1. Welcome and Apologies

Apologies:-
Susan S., Fiona.

Present:-
Abby, Sandra, David C, David F, Sue B, Roddie, Fraser, Richard, Gillian and Aileen.
Amy Liptrott from Pitlochry Festival Theatre 7.10 – 7.40

2. Matters arising/Business

  • Nethergate Anthology Progress Report

Fraser reported –
Title agreed by a straw poll:- The Low Road (subtitle) A Celebration of Dundee’s Nethergate.
Fraser and Rupert were thanked for their excellent work in editing.
Rupert was quoted by Robertson’s in Forfar £530.00 for 200 copies and was awaiting a quote for art work. Breakdown of costs by Christmas.
By 7th January 2021:- background, introduction, etc.,and proof reading by email at earliest.
Ready to print by 14th February 2021. Launched by Easter.
Celebrity for introduction – Roddie to ask Andrew Murray Scott. If Andrew Murray Scott agrees then Fraser to send the draft anthology to him.
– Still awaiting commentaries from authors. If people don’t wish to add a commentary then that’s fine. If they do a commentary then it is to be passed to Fraser by the end of year and may include:-
What inspired you?
A bit about yourself.
The Nethergate or why you wrote it – e.g. The Queen’s Hotel, centre of Suffragette movement.
Abby and Roddie thanked Fraser and Rupert for their sterling work.
Fraser replied he had learnt so much during the editing and had previously lost his inspiration but now promised to write a piece for PFT.

  • Pitlochry Festival Theatre (PFT)

Amy Liptrott – Director of PFT joined the meeting and was very enthusiastic and inspiring. She encouraged everyone in Nethergate Writers to submit two pieces – no more than two pages long. Although only one piece will be used the two pieces will be recorded and Amy will choose what she thinks works best. We will be invited to attend the recording and will hear both pieces. Writers should state any unsuitable times. Amy discussed the Shetland Writers’ project and how well it worked on line. (David C had sent out the links for us to view.) Amy commented that she had received many different pieces of writing:- gardening tips, poems, monologues and short stories. The theme is to be Change/changes which offers solace, not necessarily ignoring the pandemic. Casting for one actor ideally – perhaps the one actor may be able to use three or four different voices. Accent not encouraged as it may be difficult to match up actor. Amy is happy to talk anything through (or not) and has an Open Door policy. Abby to add Amy’s email address to our mailing list. No stage directions to be added – Director will direct. Music to be traditional, or written by author. Modern music only allowed a 10 second play, to avoid copyright fee, e.g. KT Tunstall used in a recorded piece. Director may have different choice of music from writer. We may submit photos, no videos. Amy may make up a video. Sound effects free at Theatre and can be used in recording.
KEEP IT SIMPLE – GOOD WRITING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
Fraser asked – script dialogue or prose? Amy answered – prose is preferable with no worries about style. David’s Doric – it may or may not be possible to find an actor available.
ALL VERY FLEXIBLE – WRITE WHAT YOU WANT TO WRITE AND THE THEATRE WILL SEE IF IT IS MANAGEABLE. Abby stated that Deadline is end of January. David C commented that this gives us time as a group to go through review process. Roddie asked if Amy wished one document or individual documents and she asked for individual documents to be sent directly to her after group’s critique. Amy will be available at 6 pm on 17th December for any questions anyone wishes to ask. She wishes to inspire and support our creativity. Fraser thanked Amy and Abby. Amy replied that she loves working with Writers. Aileen said that the meeting with Amy had been very uplifting.
NW working conjointly or singly to write for PFT
This was mooted as a good idea for those who were not confident about writing their own pieces. Contact may be difficult. Richard suggested What’s App.
Fraser to ask group.
Roddie said there were ideas for writing monologue/dialogue online eg:-
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-tips-for-writing-dialogue-1277070
https://hobbylark.com/performing-arts/How-To-Create-A-Monologue-Easy-And-Simple#:~:text=How%20to%20Create%20a%20Monologue%20%28Easy%20and%20Simple%29,long%20and%20should%20take%20…%20More%20items…%20
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-a-monologue-with-examples#4-tips-for-writing-a-strong-monologue
Abby suggested we should ask a collective or a one to one to help with the words that a character may say – the authentic voice.
David thought that a monologue would fit better with PFT or prose.

  • Acquisition of group Zoom account

Roddie thanked Gillian for the use of the Zoom account.Group to get own account. Richard suggested the money paid to Dalhousie for room rental should be used.
There are many reasons this account would be beneficial:–
Writing pieces can get lost in email.
If bad weather then group can still meet.
Member lives far away.
If Member unable to attend meeting.
We could have Book Groups.
Collaborate working groups.
Fraser to research Zoom and recommend best deal.
Roddie to talk to Wyvern poets about their zoom account.
Abby pointed out we were destined to be constrained by technology. If members had written lengthy pieces then to read out an extract may be enough.

  • Frequency of meetings

It was agreed that we should meet before 2021 to critique pieces for PFT deadline of end January.
Writing during the pandemic – what have we been up to.
David C – enjoyed editing his previous work.
Roddie reviews his file of writing every three weeks and throws out nothing. He sometimes does prequels of sequels and used characters in another adventure.
Richard said sometimes that didn’t work and it was like making a car longer.
Sue and Abby said it was interesting to look over previous work.

  • Member contributions to website

It was noted that magazines would not accept anything which had already appeared digitally but if the piece was retitled and changed slightly that may work but to ensure this research on Google to check.
Fraser will ask monthly for writing on website to encourage more members.
It was suggested:- use some of the 50 Shades of Tay stories.
Write Flash Fiction
Presently the website won’t update and Fraser is to communicate with the website designer.

3.Work presented for PFT: Fraser timed the pieces.

  • I Again Am Strong – David C

David read this lovely piece in a wonderful Doric accent. Fraser commented that he understood the language when David read aloud. This piece plays on the heartstrings and avoids sentimentality by using the Doric. The link to the grandfather and the role reversal is very poignant.
Lasted – 3.30

  • Monologue – Sandra

Many people could relate to this – ‘jammies at 3 pm’, worries about touching the mail. Roddie said the terseness in the rhythm of questions and no answers was like a prose poem, a stream of consciousness. Fraser suggested take away the dates but the dates of the changing lockdowns made it easier to understand.
Lasted – 4.45

  • Dancing Shoes – Susan S, Read by Roddie

A wonderful story. The poverty is shown by the memory of the price of everything in the wardrobe, the clothes from Primark and Monsoon. There is so much detail in the whole piece. The shoes are beautifully described. The asides give us extra information – ‘out of it’. A powerful piece shown by the life of drudgery and poor wages compared with the beauty of the red shoes. The obscenity at the end when read aloud totally worked.
Lasted – 3.45

  • Death and All His Friends – Roddie

Fraser said it was a light relief for a very dark subject. Roddie said it maybe wasn’t for PFT. Not read.

4. AOB David C to send out Constitution.

Next Meeting – Zoom – Wednesday 30th December 2020 to read and discuss pieces for PFT .

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