Category Archives: Announcements

Bristol Literature Festival

This is in full swing and yesterday the Writers Group did their thang at the M Shed. Stories of the Sea competed with the ambience of a Saturday tourist attraction and didn’t always win but we took another step forward. Lunch at the Watershed, after, recharged batteries and cemented the team spirit.

Coming up, Mr Mike and Helen Hart will discuss self-publishing on Wednesday – a topic dear to yours truly. If it was good enough for Milton, Jane Austen and Mark Twain, it’s good enough for mere mortals.

On Tuesday the Bristol Short Story Prize will launch with Tania Hershman, also at Foyles, which is fast becoming the literary hub of Bristol. Then next weekend, and not part of the Festival but a happy coincidence, the Ramada hosts BristolCon for the SFnal among us. It’s an exciting few days.

Online Membership

The real, live physical group is actually full at the moment but feel free to subscribe to the website (left). This will put you on the mailing list and you will receive whatever gets posted here.

Your friendly Webmaster will then promote you to a contributor. This means that you will be able to post to the website and we intend these posts to be pieces of writing that you want critiqued. Then visitors will be able to leave their comments on the pieces. The concept here is a sort of second-tier membership of the group while it is full. (Note that you don’t even have to be in Bristol to take advantage of this!)

Don’t Freak Out

I’ve changed the look and feel of this website again to bring the software into line with the other outposts of my burgeoning empire. One day I’ll achieve total domination – heh-heh-heh! Indeed, mwah-ha-ha!

Sorry, I’ve just taken the tablets and will be OK in a minute.

Things should operate pretty much as before but if you notice any ugliness, you’re looking in the mirrorI mean, let me know. I’ll be bedding in and ironing out in any case over the next few days. In fact this change should fix some old bugs and add some must-have features (check out the whizzy Posts icon top-right for an easy RSS feed). And if any arty type would like to contribute a banner, or banners, to replace the one up above, that would be fab.

Word of Mouth

A free event at the Thunderbolt, Bristol, 8 o’clock tonight. Stories of ghosts, tales of riots, anecdotes of love and legends of lost and forgotten Bristol. Writers performing their work include: Trevor Coombs, Andy Gibb, Franca Davenport, Louise Gethin, Justin Newland, Mike Manson, Jari Moate, Terry Stew, Tom Sykes and Gavin Watkins.

You are guaranteed a compelling evening of Bristol stories taking you to places you never knew existed. To mark the performance the Group has put together a volume of ten short stories called Hidden Bristol. The book will be available for sale and can also be purchased for £5 from Tangent Books.

OK, I’ve Logged In

Now what do I do?

The answer is “not a lot” if you’re a mere Subscriber. You can change your profile.

The core members of the Group, though, can do much more and are confronted by a humongous WordPress dashboard after logging in.

Don’t panic.

The most important bit is the left-hand side and you can safely ignore the rest. From top to bottom you’ll only need the Posts, Pages, Calendar, Profile and Email sections.

Posts and Pages allow you to add new and edit existing posts and pages. Posts are what appear in the blog; pages appear in the Visit menu. Feel free to post like crazy. You should only need to change your own pages and subpages, and not often.

You can add events to the Calendar and change existing events. It’s really a tool for whoever does the rota but, hey, if you want the group to know about your birthday or dental appointment, knock yourself out. Note that only the core members (and a few select others) will be able to see the events.

The Profile is pretty much self-explanatory.

You can Email any number of users without having to know their addresses. The more useful aspect of this is the ability to email a group, as in Administrators, Editors, Authors, Contributors and Subscribers. These are WordPress categories of user.

The core members are all Administrators and Editors so you could send an upload of your week’s submission as a media file. You may also want to include Authors in this.

Which brings me on to what they can do. They can post but not page. They can add events but can’t see the calendar from the website. They can email one or more users but not as a group.

Contributors can post and an Editor needs to approve the post. Otherwise they are only one step up from Subscribers.

This is a Post. I’ll also create it as a Page when it makes sense to everyone – in fact a subpage of a new How To page. There will be more.

So, go forth and… post, page, email, whatever.