Writing Hour Roundup: 15 February 2022


Shutterstock / 13_Phunkod © writing hour

We had so much fun at the Writing Hour again this week.

It’s great to see both old and new faces. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Now, in case you missed this week’s hijinks . . .

What’s your news from the last seven days?

So many of you spent time with family over the past week, which is lovely to see.

It seems to have been a writing heavy week too, with lots of you busy working on current projects, as well as submitting manuscripts, stories and serial ideas. Good luck everyone!

Cherry Radford’s big news is that her book, “The Spanish House”, was featured on our bookshelf!

You can read Karen Byrom’s review in our latest issue.

Do you enjoy reading romantic fiction or is a thriller more your sort of thing?

Most of you enjoy a healthy balance of each and we’re inclined to agree on the Fiction team!

Individually, the hopeless romantics came out slightly on top, but the thrill-seekers weren’t far behind.

Do you think you will always want to write fiction?

Well, that was a resounding yes from all of you!

While some of you like to write non-fiction and other forms as well, none of you can imagine ever giving up the fiction bug.

Fay Keenan summed it up – “I hope so! Youngest child asked me the other day when I planned on stopping writing books. I replied ‘when I can’t physically type or write any more!’”

Our three word story starter this week was ‘school’, ‘medicine’ and ‘circus’.

Once again, you all delivered!

Alison Wassell had us intrigued in just a couple of sentences.

“Her parents encouraged her to work hard at school, hoping she would go on to study medicine.  But all Melanie had ever wanted to do was join the circus.”

We want to know more about Melanie and her plight!

Jenny Worstall’s flash fiction gave us a laugh.

“We found him at last riding an elephant under the big top.

‘Bertie!’ I snapped. ‘When I said you were wasting your time at school and might as well run away to join the circus, I didn’t mean it literally!’

He mumbled something about giving me a taste of my own medicine . . .”

And Kitty-Lydia Dye’s story ends with a twist.

“Jenny’s mouth puckered. For some reason, the bitter liquorice always reminded her of medicine, but she could never say no to something that was free.

With the younger kids in their group mobbing the stilt walker to get to the other sweets, this was their chance.”

Read on to find out what happens!

Do you ever go back, after a while, and reread your own stories?

The answers are very mixed!

Most of you do tend to revisit your past writing but with varying results.

The worst outcome being that you cringe or find a flaw you want to fix, the best being that you love it and wonder if it was really you who wrote it!

What book are you reading at the moment and would you recommend it?

After adding another dozen books to my TBR thanks to all your answers, I turned to the rest of the Fiction team to find out what they’re reading too.

Tracey is reading ‘The Corset’ by Laura Purcell.

She said, “it’s wonderfully spooky. It’s a gothic mystery and like all Laura’s books, beautifully written and completely engaging. I highly recommend it.”

In fact, we’re a big fan of Laura Purcell at the “Friend”! You can find all the times we’ve recommended one of her books here.

Manon absolutely recommends the book she’s currently reading – ‘Great Circle’ by Maggie Shipstead.

She said, “it was recommended by Tracey in the first place and is superb so far! I’m taking my time to read it because it’s exactly the kind of book that makes you travel (both in place and time!).”

Finally, the book I’m currently gripped by is ‘A Thousand Ships’ by Natalie Haynes.

It’s an account of the Trojan War from the perspective of the women who were there – the goddesses, Muses, queens and slaves. I’m enjoying it very much.


Thank you for joining us.

We’ll see you at our next Writing Hour on Twitter — 11 a.m. on Tuesday 22 February, 2022.

Or click here for our previous roundups.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.