Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Guisborough Writers Group

The Guisborough Writers Group formed in 1988 from Trev Teasdel's Creative Writing course at Sunnyfield House in Guisborough.

The Guisborough Writers Group formed as a way of enabling the students to carry on meeting after the course finished. Trevor, as tutor, helped the group to form and discussed possible formats and support for the group although some members, had been members of other groups in the area.

The original group in 1988 was quite dynamic and well organised, meeting monthly at Chair Dorothy Henderson's house and took part in early Write Around's. Although the group continued in some form into the 2000's, it's most dynamic period was while the class was going alongside, bringing new blood into the group and continuing with some of the discipline of the class.

In 1989 - members took it in turns to introduce a topic and exercise for the month - that included Songwriting / Childhood memories in writing / Humour in writing / Research in Writing / Writing for Children / Open Session - writers bringing in examples of their own work for discussion / criticism. (The programme sheet linked here).

Leading members were among the founders of Write Around and the group hosted events in Guisborough for early Write Around for eg in May 1990 they hosted Guest speaker Nicholas Rhea (AKA P.M.Walker) best known for his Constable series on which the TV series Heartbeat was based. In 1989 it had been playwright and poet Tom Haddaway.

In 1989 new Outlet editors Margaret Weir and Richard Briddon organised a network of local writers groups and Guisborourgh joined in joint readings with the Phoenix Poets / Poetry 20+ / Redcar Writers Group following on from the network that was established previously with the regional Write Together network, only involving the now expanded Cleveland network of groups.

As time went on and leading members left or passed on the group became more informal especially after the input of new blood from the Creative Writing classes in Guisborough lessened after 1990 eventually dividing in to two small groups.

Guisborough's contribution to Write Around

The early group included members later published by Mudfog such as Margaret Mawston and the secretary of the long standing Middlesbrough Writers Group - Cathy Smallwood

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