I have been a member of the Oxford Writers’ Group for many years. We meet in each others’ houses regularly. The meetings provide us with an opportunity to read our ‘work in progress’ aloud in order to receive positive criticism from the rest of the group. The members are extremely supportive of one another, and plenty of solutions to writing conundrums and plot dilemmas have been sorted out over coffee and cake in the mid-session break!
Several years ago members of the OWG decided to publish a collection of short stories connected with Oxford or Oxfordshire. The first collection The Sixpenny Debt and Other Oxford Stories sold extremely well, and so two years later a second collection was published The Lost College and Other Oxford Stories. This proved to be equally popular, consequently the third book in the series was published The Bodleian Murders and Other Oxford Stories. The penultimate collection was The Midnight Press and Other Oxford Stories, The Radcliffe Legacy and Other Oxford Stories was the final volume and continues to sell well.
Although we are a small group, many of the members have achieved a remarkable amount of success. Published members include the novelists Mary Cavanagh, Alison Hoblyn (also a garden writer,) Margaret Pelling, Jane Gordon-Cumming, Liz Harris, and Helen Rappaport (also a best selling historian,). Children’s authors include Jane Stemp, John Kitchen and Sheila Costello (writing as ‘Ann Lake’). Poets Gina Claye and Gillian Rathbone are also members. Our Chairman is Linora Lawrence, who writes features for the Oxford Times. Past members include novelists Veronica Stallwood, Catherine Fox and Linda Taylor.
To allow members time to read their work at every meeting means that numbers have to be limited. The OWG is therefore not accepting new members at the present time.