Goldthorpe Writers: “steam trains”

Last week I joined a new writers’ group over in Barnsley. Goldthorpe is about 25 minutes away by car, even if I do have to wait on two level crossings for trains. The library is really nice and one of my favourites. When I lived in Barnsley, I used to go there quite often.

There were only five of us last week, but we’re hoping that with a bit of an advertising splurge over the summer, there may be a few more who come along in September. This week we were only four, as one of us missed her train. She’s going off on a work placement until September, so we won’t see her again until then.

With my previous experience with writing groups, “R” asked if I would mind “directing” the group and the discussion. I don’t mind that at all, but I don’t really want to take home any of the organisation. We had a chat about this year’s NaNoWriMo, and discussed the possibility of the library becoming a NaNoWriMo Write-In venue.

The group is very much in its infancy and we’re just starting to feel our feet. Last week, the founder suggested a theme of “steam trains”, and asked us all to write 200-1,000 words on the topic.

“P” kicked off with around 500 words from the point of view of the steam engine itself. But this was no Thomas the Tank tale. This was the sad tale of an engine that took its passengers to Krakow once a week, to the concentration camp there.

Then “K” started to read her slice of life, The Green Goddess, but she was nervous and so “R” continued to read it for her. This was all about a kids’ day out on a train and all the places they visited.

Mine was next, a massive 106 words that formed the opening to my new pocket novel The Fool. I also included a potted definition of the Tarot card, which added a further hundred-or-so words.

Due to a family emergency at the weekend, “R” hadn’t had chance to finish his contribution. But he did have the basic outline with him, which he read out (around 150 words), and he admitted that this was the first thing he’d written in about five years.

Next week’s 200-1,000 words will be prompted by the topic “death at the pit-head”. I already know how I’ll be utilising that in the pocket novel.

Goldthorpe Writers meet every Monday at Goldthorpe Library, Barnsley Road, Goldthorpe, Barnsley S63 9NE, from 3:30pm until 4:30pm. There is free parking to the rear of the library, buses stop almost outside, and the railway station is a short walk away. Refreshments are also currently available for free. All are welcome.