Important Announcement from ‘Pens or Erdington’

You may be aware of the changes that are happening in the Birmingham Library Services in recent months, unfortunately, these are also effecting the Library of Erdington where Pens currently meet.

♦   Although not all the plans are known yet, one thing that we do know is that, because of these changes, we are having to move out meeting day to a Tuesday for the time being. The next regular Pens meeting will now be on TUESDAY the 4th April, still in the Community Room and still starting at 1.00pm ’till 3.00pm and still the comfort of tea and biscuits.

♦   As a group, we are having to look at other aspects of how we work, including, frequency, finances, and possibly other venues sometimes, but, these matters are not yet finalised but we will let everyone involved know as soon as we can.

♦   Please don’t think that this is the end of the group, NO! In recent years, we have gained so many new members with amazing creative work, we intend to continue this growth and development and, as our much-loved leader often says, ‘go forward bravely’.

♦   Please watch your in-box for further updates via email and also ‘Follow’ the website at the top of this page for the latest News as it happens.

Thank you all

Jude and David

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Merry Christmas to you All

Wishing you all a very

Merry Christmas

and a

Happy New Year

from all of us at Pens

Thank you to all those who have taken part in the many activities over the past
12 months, you have all made it a very special year.

Thank you also to Jude, our wonderful facilitator under whose guidance and
keeping of order, we have shared so much amazing work, ideas and
constructive comment.

Please remember to turn your computer off on Christmas Eve,
unless you want Santa to give you some inspiration!

Christmas gif 10

See you all in

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Poetry event for the New Year

Gunmakers Arms

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The 10 Emotional Stages of Editing

A Writer's Path

by Samantha Fenton

A long time ago, I started revising and editing my manuscript. And today… I am still revising and editing my manuscript. Rest assured, there have been many emotions involved. Here are some of them.

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Marketing you books – a collection of guides

Courtesy of those lovely people at Createspace, I have put together their information and guides on Marketing your books, self published, or other routes, I find they are written simply and very useful to read through to consider applying some, if not all their ideas to your individual publications.

Each of these three documents can be opened as a PDF and printed or saved,
by clicking on the titles below.

Basics of Book Marketing

By Joel Friedlander

10 Ways to Market your Book

By Brian Jud

Developing a Marketing Plan and Strategy

By Brian Jud



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How to Get Useful Ideas for Stories

A Writer's Path

by Doug Lewars

If you ask most writers where they get their ideas, the answer is ‘everywhere’. And that’s true. You can get ideas from anywhere and everywhere; however, the trick isn’t to get ideas, the trick is to get useful ideas. For example, suppose you’re writing a thriller and you’re describing a car chase. An idea about snorkeling in Bermuda is not helpful. It might be fine for another book or another scene but if our hero is careening about a corner on two wheels while being shot at, it isn’t going to do either you, or him, much good.

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10 Ways to Survive Your Day Job

A Writer's Path

by Phoebe Quinn

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that being a full-time writer, a fully-fledged author, is one of your dream scenarios. Working for yourself and doing what you love – it couldn’t get better.

Unfortunately, most of us have a day job, and it may not be that great.

My employment record hasn’t been awash with jobs I’ve sprang from my bed for each day; in fact, I’ve only had one job that I truly enjoyed. My current job is one of the worst I’ve had (coming second only to the private mental healthcare company who paid me five thousand pounds less than the living wage for working 48-hour weeks and asking me to devise and deliver therapies to adults with serious mental health problems, with no training or adequate supervision).

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Another Pens year draws to a close

This is nearly the end of the Pens year but a new schedule of events will be posted soon,
just a few more T’s to cross

and I’s to dot before we reveal the exciting pattern of meetings for next year! Meanwhile –

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all


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When Your Blog Can’t Be Your First, Or Only, Priority

A Writer's Path

by Meg Dowell

We all enthusiastically launch our blogs promising ourselves we’re going to give it all we have, every day, every week or month, until … forever? There’s no end date to a dream. But while bloggers fade into oblivion for many reasons, many of them fail to commit because they underestimate how much time and effort it takes to run a decent site.

But what if you’re not a quitter? What if you want to continue blogging, you have no intention of stopping … but suddenly, there’s just too much going on? How do you make posting things on the internet a priority, when it’s not your only priority?

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Anne Cullen promoted top of the class

Recent promotion activity by long-standing Pens member Ann Cullen, has seen sales of her books quicken and are now also seen
in esteemed company too.Ann Promotion pc01

Ann Promotion pc02Ann Promotion pc03

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The Value of Forgetting (For Writers)

A Writer's Path

by Richard Risemberg

A good memory is both blessing and curse to a novelist. As with all two-edged weapons, you have to wield it with caution, lest you damage your own self…or in the authorial case, your story.

When you’re battling through that first draft, it is indeed a blessing: it helps you keep the plot tight and the characters consistent. A good memory gives you a world you can step into and live in along with your characters, and watch them build the story as you record it. You are a participant observer in a fully realized world that lives, in fact, only in your memory, after all.

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