Sunday Writers’ Club Blog and Podcast

Stories and more from Sunday Writers’ Club members

Apricity by Sarah Roos-Essl

Apricity by Sarah Roos-Essl

(Then)

With few exceptions, 365 days a year, there was warm sun by noon and a bone-chilling fog whisked in by dinner time. Temperatures stayed between 13-18*C, day and night, July, December, no matter. The landscape was almost always dotted with orange poppies, the ocean always that same slate blue. I frequently asked myself, “Did that thing happen in February? Or August?” Photos didn’t help.

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Christmas Story Share 2021 Part 2

Christmas Story Share 2021 Part 2

With so many Sunday Writers’ Club members contributing wonderful stories to the Christmas Story Story Share, we’ve created a 2nd post here with all new stories.
 
The holidays are a time for sharing and Sunday Writers’ Club got into the spirit of it. Our story share this year was about the unexpected, from visitors to gifts.  And our writers sent some amazing stories, through the post, to friends near and far to celebrate the season.  We thought we would share a few with you as the holidays wind down, hoping you can keep some of the spirit of sharing with you as we “slide into the new year”, as the Viennese would say.

How the right mindset can fuel your writing     by Brigid Whorisky

How the right mindset can fuel your writing by Brigid Whorisky

Brigid Whoriskey is as an executive coach who specialises in helping business leaders take control of their future roadmap by setting clear goals for themselves. She is also one of the most popular, enthusiastic and supportive members of SWC. She will be running a ‘Growth Mindset Workshop for Writers’ in the New Year and has written this blog as an introduction and taster to how she can help you and your writing.

Christmas Story Share 2021

Christmas Story Share 2021

The holidays are a time for sharing and Sunday Writers’ Club got into the spirit of it. Our story share this year was about the unexpected, from visitors to gifts. And our writers sent some amazing stories, through the post, to friends near and far to celebrate the season. We thought we would share a few with you as the holidays wind down, hoping you can keep some of the spirit of sharing with you as we “slide into the new year”, as the Viennese would say.

How 2021 became the Year of Writing Reslilience

How 2021 became the Year of Writing Reslilience

If anything, 2021 has shown us all what can become of those best laid plans: From one lockdown to the next, Sunday Writers’ Club has had to adapt—moving live creative writing sessions online, workshops and other club events too. Many of us have missed meeting up in a Vienna cafe on a Sunday morning to write and share our stories. Good friendships have been formed around those coffee tables. Some fine coffee and delicious breakfasts have been polished off too.

Hidden Presents by Janice Cutting

Hidden Presents by Janice Cutting

I still believed when my brother pushed me into the cupboard at the back of Mum’s bedroom with a panto laugh.

Christmas was my most favourite time of year and I loved seeing the first signs of it slowly emerging into my 6 year old world.

The first sign was the earlier arrival, each day of the dark cloak of night, laid across the trees outside my window and tucked in around the pavements and streets. The yellow street lamps turning everything into golden optimistic light.

A Christmas Mission by Caroline Stevenson

A Christmas Mission by Caroline Stevenson

In the spirit of the festive season, we’re excited to present the latest short story by Caroline Stevenson. With a truly unique perspective and filled with good humour, A Christmas Mission was written during the final SWC Sunday creative writing session for 2021. We hope you enjoy reading Caroline’s story and feel inspired to get out and play in the snow or go shake your snow globe.

How the right mindset can fuel your writing     by Brigid Whorisky

How the right mindset can fuel your writing by Brigid Whorisky

Brigid Whoriskey is as an executive coach who specialises in helping business leaders take control of their future roadmap by setting clear goals for themselves. She is also one of the most popular, enthusiastic and supportive members of SWC. She will be running a ‘Growth Mindset Workshop for Writers’ in the New Year and has written this blog as an introduction and taster to how she can help you and your writing.

How to Start a Story by Jennifer Cornick

How to Start a Story by Jennifer Cornick

We’ve all been there, staring at a blank page wondering how to start the story that crept up on us in the middle of the night. The cursor blinking back at you, words refusing to appear on the screen. Or sitting in a café, staring at the cleanest page in your notebook, the pen categorically rejecting your attempts at telekinesis.

Syzygy by Connie Phlipot

Syzygy by Connie Phlipot

Tap, tap, tap, click. I heard the footsteps leading into the park before I could see her stiletto heeled boots tightly molded over the swell of her calves. My trainers barely whispered as I followed her. I stopped and pulled my ski cap low over my brow as I passed her, then sat down on a bench to wait.
She tugged her short, pencil skirt down over her rump with one hand, then tossed her head, flinging orange-tinged blonde hair. The flounced edge of her bra peered over the low-cut blouse.
“Hello!” I stood up from the bench and reach out toward her. She shrunk back a step, then stopped.

Guides for your Writing Journey by Jennifer Cornick

Guides for your Writing Journey by Jennifer Cornick

Sometimes writing can feel a bit like wandering. In the wilderness. Without a compass. And no map. Fortunately, other writers have been there before and have written handy guides to the undiscovered wilderness of the blank page.

Read on to discover the best writing guides, including Novelista: Anyone Can Write a Novel (Yes, even you) by Claire Askew.

Splatch by Jonathan Pickering

Splatch by Jonathan Pickering

Read the latest fantasy story by Sunday Writers’ Club member Jonathan Pickering based on the following prompt: Write a conversation between two spectators in the crowd at a football match (or other sporting event). Is their team winning? Give the reader a sense of the action on the pitch but maybe the conversation is about more than just the game…

Spectators by Connie Phlipot

Spectators by Connie Phlipot

Enjoy reading the latest short story one of Sunday Writers’ Club’s most prolific members – Connie Phlipot.

Inspired by the prompt:
Write a conversation between two spectators in the crowd at a football match (or other sporting event). Is their team winning? Give the reader a sense of the action on the pitch but maybe the conversation is about more than just the game…

Rakki’s Field Trip by Janice Cutting

Rakki’s Field Trip by Janice Cutting

This week we’re pleased to present the latest short story by Sunday Writers’ Club member Janice Cutting. This imaginative and thought-provoking story for young readers is inspired by two SWC prompts:

– Write about what “Climate Emergency” means to you – have you experienced it already? What are your thoughts about the future?
– UFO: The Pentagon is about to release a landmark report about UFOs. Ride the current wave of public intrigue and write a story featuring a UFO.

First Kiss by Tamara Raidt

First Kiss by Tamara Raidt

I didn’t like my first kiss:
this is the first thing I reminisce.
Strange how the intention (or here,
the non-intention), is stronger than
the kiss itself, than the taste,
than the impression, I guess
I wanted to impress him.

The Many Faces of Rain by Janice Cutting

The Many Faces of Rain by Janice Cutting

The month of May in Austria has been one of the coolest and wettest in decades. What better way to celebrate the blessing of rain in an ever-hotter world than to capture it’s feeling in a poem. We thank Scottish Sunday Writers’ Club member Janice Cutting for sharing her refreshing poem entitled The Many Faces of Rain with us all.

Zwerg, Spitz and Maus by Connie Phlipot

Zwerg, Spitz and Maus by Connie Phlipot

“I don’t like this name they call us. It’s derogatory on two counts.”
“How so?” asked Spitz.
“Pygmy denotes something inconsequential. And shrew is some nasty bitch in a boring Shakespeare play.”
“Zwerg, stop worrying and eat.”
“I just ate 10 ants and I’m bloated. I must weigh six grams by now.” Zwerg belched and toddled off to rest under a leaf.

Song for Dolly by Tamara Raidt

Song for Dolly by Tamara Raidt

Enjoy Listening to Sunday Writers’ Club member Tamara Raidt and Julien sing “Song for Dolly” inspired by the prompt: Did you know Dolly Parton has recorded and released well over 900 songs? And she’s written thousands more! Now’s your chance to write her tribute song. You might use the title “Song for Dolly” or come up with your own title for a song about someone who loves and lives for music.

Treacle by Connie Phlipot

Treacle by Connie Phlipot

Enjoy reading “Treacle” by Sunday Writers’ Club member Connie Phlipot. Based on the story prompt: Write a story entitled “Treacle” where, ironically, the story’s pacing is quite the opposite – no backstory, no pondering protagonist, no narrator interjections – it howls along, leaving the reader gripped with anticipation to the big question: Why the hell is this story entitled “Treacle”?

HOW GOOD AM I LOOKING? A note on 1st person POV narration

HOW GOOD AM I LOOKING? A note on 1st person POV narration

This is a short extract taken from April 2021’s “Writers’ Lab” Masterclass. Every month award-winning author Keith Gray offers idiosyncratic advice and indispensable guidance on many different aspects of creative writing – perhaps how to build Suspense, maybe ideas for combining Words and Music in your stories or poems, and even why Literary Agent’s matter. The “Writers’ Lab” also includes imaginative writing tasks which challenge you to experiment with the way you write.

Change

Change

Dana wasn’t alone.

A whisper of warm air against his skin, the echo of an undefinable rasping against the wall. Sweat dripped down his side into the drawstring waistband of his pants. He got up from his knees — he’d been going through his morning exercise routine. He had devised it years ago to define and delimitate his days.

His Seventh Birthday

His Seventh Birthday

Ronan peered out at the coast rushing past the train window, the tide was steadily rolling in. He remembered a time before that, when the water had been his home. A time, when he had been a creature who moved through it, as if liquid himself, swooping down between the waves and coming to shore to play in the sunshine.

The Announcement

The Announcement

ALL BEARDS MUST BE SHAVED BY MIDNIGHT.

The priest launched into the sonorous voice reserved for incantations as he read the bold sign on the village hall. He spat. God had determined that holy men must have their faces covered.

“What if a woman were told to shave her head?” he thundered to the baroness, who had stepped out of her carriage to read it.

The Sleeping Elephant

The Sleeping Elephant

Marie sat on top of her favorite cliff by the seaside and looked out over the intensely turquoise and azure blue water. Wet mist crept over the nearby rock formations and kept the world at a distance. Moss in many different shades of green and ochre surrounded her and all she could hear was the meditative sound of waves breaking against the grey rocks countless feet below her.

A Note on Imagery

A Note on Imagery

This is a short extract taken from March 2021’s “Writers’ Lab” masterclass. Every month award-winning author Keith Gray offers idiosyncratic advice and indispensable guidance on many different aspects of creative writing – perhaps how to build Suspense, maybe ideas for combining Words and Music in your stories or poems, and even why Literary Agent’s matter. The “Writers’ Lab” also includes imaginative writing tasks which challenge you to experiment with the way you write.

The Ossuary

The Ossuary

Enjoy reading the latest creative writing by Sunday Writers’ Club member Caroline Stevenson.

Inspired by the following prompt: An ossuary is a box or building made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. Write a poem or a story about, or set within, an ossuary.

Good Things Come in Threes

Good Things Come in Threes

Good things often come in threes, stories included. So, this week we’re sharing three brand new stories from Sunday Writers’ Club members for your reading pleasure. As with all the creative writing on this blog, the stories are inspired by our unique Sunday writing prompts. A big thank you to Eleanor Keisman, Connie Phlipot, and Jonathon Pickering for their contributions.

An Anecdote About Agents

An Anecdote About Agents

It seems so unfair to shove a contract full of labyrinthine legalise in front of a novelist and expect them to understand it. They’ve probably just spent their whole day imagining haunted heroes, or at the very least trying to invent new metaphors for woolly gloves. And now they’re expected to sign away their beloved book, their rightful rights and their financial future to those ‘herein known as The Publisher’?

Ghost Town

Ghost Town

Many thanks to Connie Phlipot for sharing her Ghost Town story based on the following SWC prompt: From Japan to Spain, regional populations are now dwindling; entire areas are returning to wilderness, leaving ghost towns visited only be packs of wolves, roaming bears, and the very occasional adventurers…like the character/s in your story. What happens when they make it into such a town just after sunset?

The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us

This week we’re pleased to share with you two songs written by Sunday Writers’ Club members Dagmar Bayer and Tamara Raidt. We also welcome Dagmar Bayer into the SWC community as one of our newest members.
We hope you enjoy reading and listening to the music.

Lacunae

Lacunae

The cardboard cover was bent at the edges, the red coloring faded to pink in the center. Angela didn’t buy expensive leather bound notebooks for her journals in those days. She scooped up a handful from the college bookstore sales bin at the end of the term. She had only one requirement — that they were lined. She couldn’t journal across blank pages. She needed some structure to guide her wandering thoughts. This one was from her late 20s. One of the last notebooks she had bought at school.

Punctuation Poetry

Punctuation Poetry

This week we’re excited to present three terrific poems written by participants at our very first official creative writing workshop. Tutored by Australian poet John Malone, writers at the “Red Pencil Sharpener” workshop crafted poems about everyday things seen through the vibrant, hyper-real lens of the poet.

Thank you to Holly Girling ,Stephen Hewitt, and Tamara Raidt for sharing their “Punctuation Poetry” with us.

Ode to Woody

Ode to Woody

This week we’re excited to present our very first song that has come out of a Sunday creative writing session. Many thanks to Tamara Raidt for the lyrics and singing along with her friend Julien.

The Blacksmiths Cosmos and Damian

The Blacksmiths Cosmos and Damian

The villagers loved them, or to be more precise, “respected” them, because the love was tinged with a bit of fear. How could you not be a little afraid of such strong characters. They looked as if forged from the same iron as the harnesses and rails and pots and pans they made. No one had ever seen them get hurt, or look sad.

January Podcast: I Never Said You Were Stupid by Holly Girling

January Podcast: I Never Said You Were Stupid by Holly Girling

Podcast interview with and short story by Holly Girling.

“I never said you were stupid.” Florian shook his head at his feet despite his eyes floating up to Mount Olympus. He thought he was a god among men. Why so many people in his life should misunderstand so much, and so often, was beyond him. The time it took for others to discover what he’d felt he was born knowing infuriated him. Florian had a life motto and that was: do not wait.

The Winterbourne Water

The Winterbourne Water

The canes of the raspberry bushes had to reach a purplish stage of red. Each early January morning the villagers would gather around a patch of raspberries at the edge of town. They didn’t need to say anything or make some kind of an announcement.

Empty City Streets

Empty City Streets

I drove like my life depended on it. I really felt it did. Every empty street a wasteland bereft of humanity.

I had been so looking forward to the holidays. Although holidays seemed too rich a word for what we had this year. Of course we didn’t have to work, but the lines between work and home have blurred to an insignificant grey whisper like the vapour trail of a plane we used to see in the sky long after they had disappeared over the Atlantic and far away. Will the pilots even remember how to fly?

Secret Santa Story Share

Secret Santa Story Share

What better way to spread the Christmas joy than to share a delightful collection of Christmas stories from Sunday Writers’ Club members Tamara Raidt, Brigitta Serbán, Connie Phlipot, Jennifer Cornick, Sandra Völker, and Stephen Hewitt. These enthusiastic SWC members (and more) participated in our Secret Santa Story Share – writing a Christmas story and sending it by mail to another member.

The Last Tree of Serengia

The Last Tree of Serengia

This week, Sunday Writers’ Club member Sandra Völker takes us to the futuristic city of Serengia for a poignant story about trees and the destruction of their habitat in the name of progress, about waking up to their importance all too late. But perhaps in Sandra’s story, like the climate emergency we’re all living through, there is a glimmer of hope. What do you think?

The Central European Species of Tram

The Central European Species of Tram

Trams are a much-loved mode of transport–rattling and clanging along busy streets in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. But the Central European species of tram is particularly fascinating, as Sunday Writers’ Club member Connie Phlipot shares with us here.
Do you enjoy riding the tram? Please do share your thoughts about this story and how you feel about riding trams in the comments section at the end of this blog post.

Two New Stories from Sunday Writers’ Club Members

Two New Stories from Sunday Writers’ Club Members

This week we’re delighted to present two new stories from Sunday Writers’ Club members Brigid Whoriskey and Connie Phlipot. With a ghost at the stairs and a frightful discovery to a stone carver commissioned to capture the vision of a city in a century long past, these stories will take you on journeys of the imagination. We hope you enjoy them and encourage you to leave your thoughts for the writers and other readers.

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