MIDDLESBROUGH WRITERS' GROUP
Formed c1962 - As with Poetry 20+, this was one of the earliest writers groups in the modern period and one of the longest running. I haven't got an official start date but it began in the very early 1960's and I believe it began in 1962. If anyone can confirm this one way or the other, then please do so using the comments below. The group finally ended around 1993 (again not sure of this date but it was in the early to mid 1990's after about 30 years.).
This was a highly popular writers groups with an average of at least 30 members. The long standing chairperson was
Guisborough. In 1987-88 Derek Gregory of Middlesbrough took over the chair for a while as did Margaret Weir of Gt. Ayton 1988 - 89). The group had a number of well published writers on board including Eleanor Fairburn who's most popular novel was The Green Popinjay and Middlesbrough based Eleanor was also an early Creative Writing tutor working with Leeds University Adult Education and the local colleges in the area up until the 1990's. Eleanor's courses were based around Writing for publication. Gt. ayton based Novelist an Creative writing tutor Barbara Gamble was another high profile member of this group. Heather Bennett (Norton based) was another published short story writers and Creative Writing tutor in the group.
Where did they Meet
The group met at Acklam library in Middlesbrough but may have also met in the past at Leeds University's Harrow Rd Centre in it's early days. Again if anybody can throw more light on this group - then please do so. They met on the second Wednesday of the month in the evening.
In their own words "The group aims to help members achieve a saleable standard of writing for fact and fiction markets. Guest speakers, market research studies, competitions, mutual support, Q & A sessions, New members welcome" Guest speakers covered were published writers, agents etc. Mostly centred around article and commercial short story writing or novels and nonfiction books. The members came from all over the count of Cleveland.
This was one of the most highly successful and long standing and well organised of the Cleveland Writers Groups. It had a narrow focus towards commercial forms of writing but boasted some of the areas most successful novelists and writers and functioned efficiently for them for over 30 years. In the early days writers were more isolated in the area but in the wake of Outlet and Write Around the group's long standing experience and contacts enabled it make a goodly contribution to the developing local writing scene. The group took part in the Annual Write Around Festival from 1989 to c 1993.
The group held annual conferences - usually in a local hotel around a theme such as Article writing with a published writer and a meal.
Finance - Membership fees / door charges, grants from time to time.
Links with Other groups etc.
writers didn't cater so much for poetry. Writers who straddled poetry and prose forms might attend both. In 1984
Writers Tips - PDF Link below or on Issuu
This link HERE is to a PDF file of Middlesbrough Writers Group booklet - WRITERS TIPS publication which some writers might find useful albeit written before the cyber days! It has articles on Article Writing, Writing outlines, Mills and Boons etc by Eleanor Fairburn, Diane Taylor, Gordon Wells.