Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Redcar Writers Group

Redcar Writers Group was formed in February 1989 at Redcar Library and is still going 2010, albeit in a reduced form.

The idea began when Joan Dalton, who had been a member of the Berwick Hills Writers group since 1986 following

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 Cath McCreery's residency at the library. Joan was a student on Trev Teasdel's WEA Creative Writing course at  Berwick Hills Library in 1988 and said it was a shame there was nothing like that out at Redcar, where she lived.

Trev suggested she might form one there and he could give her some help with it.

Joan booked a room at the library in Redcar and put out a press release to the local Free papers and Evening Gazette while Trevor mailed all those in the Redcar area on the Outlet and WEA Creative Writing mailing lists and put a notice in Outlet Magazine.As a surprise, 30 people turned up on the evening at Redcar Library and Trevor outlined possible structures and aims for the group to adopt. About 15 had come along thinking it was a Creative Writing Class,so Trevor directed them to his Saltburn Class and through the WEA set up an evening Creative Writing course at Ryedale School in Redcar and later another at the Library itself. 

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With such a good contingent, even if half were wanting a course, the group formed with Joan acting as secretary and organiser. A committee was elected and a programme was organised. That's not to say there weren't disputes and problems along the way with different people acting as chair but, although quietly spoken, Joan Dalton managed to steer the group through troubled water and the group survived.

Among the chair people were Sarah Telfer and latterly Brian Morton who has run the group since Joan's passing.

Along the way, the Redcar Writers Group played an important part in Write Around, hosting events in the library during  Write Around, competitions and producing anthologies. In 1991 for instance,they had Elvi Rhodes who writes Historical Fiction as the Write Around guest.Their format included invited guests, joint readings / workshops with The Phoenix Poetry Group, Poetry 20+, Guisborough Writers Group through Outlet Editors Margaret Weir and Richard Briddon. Some of the members, like Joan Dalton and Brian Morton, Caroline Duck, got involved with the early meetings towards Write Around.

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More recently, although only a handful of writers are now involved including poet Alan Wattkiss, Brian Morton,who was

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 a Leed University Creative Writing Tutor in the 90's and a performance poet, has tried to run some course to attract new members.The group, like others that were started from Trevor's early courses in the 80's have suffered from the demise of the WEA / Leeds University adult education provision of courses which always resulted in new people replacing those who left for various reasons.

There will some minutes and other documents relating to the Redcar Writers Group on here soon.

From Outlet magazine (Redcar Writers had a double page spread in Outlet issue 11 April 1990)
"some members are in the process of being published and others are still struggling. We meet to encourage each other in our writing though we all seem to be interested in different types of writing, including Science Fiction, horror,romance, poetry, fact and fiction - novels and short stories. We meet on the first the first and third Thursday of every month in the lecture room of Redcar Central Library at 7.15 pm. Anyone interested is welcome"

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