Lostwithiel Area u3a
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Creative Writing

Creative Writing GroupThis very informal writing group meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Royal Oak. Members write on an agreed topic and then share what they have written. Some examples of the group's work may be read on our blog by clicking on the "Short Stories" link on the left.

Unfortunately the Group has grown to a size that we cannot accept any more members at present. We will keep a waiting list, so please contact me if you are interested.


Contact the Group Leader

Group contact: Ronnie Puttock

Telephone: 01726 817149 or 07786 261525


Please look at the sub page to the left of this screen to see a collection of our work.

*JANUARY 2023. To mark the 10th anniversary of Lostwithiel u3a, a collection of stories from the current members of the Writing Group has been produced.  These stories can be read via the following link:  Anniversary Story Collection.


Another year and the Group is still going strong. It will soon be 12 years since the Group started and the number of stories written over the years must run into hundreds. The collective creative energy generated could, possibly, power the whole of Lostwithiel [maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration]. For our February topic we have decided on: Every Thursday morning. Let's see how many different Thursday mornings we can get.



Is it really so long since I updated this page, other than announcing our story collection. In that time we have been very active, writing and meeting every month [except for our August break]. The biggest piece of news is that as a result of the Anniversary Open Day we recruited enough new members to form a second writing group. Although this, the original, group is full, the second group is still taking new members. For interest, the topics we've written about since January are  -  Out of the Blue, The Clock, House of Cards, The Twenty Pound Note, The Postman's Knock, Still Waters and currently we're working on Neighbours.


We are now taking a break over the Christmas period and will be meeting again in January. Two stories from November on unwanted guests are attached. For January our topic is Room 5, the subject being inspired by a series of programmes on Radio 4. Not only will we be searching our brains for inspiration on this subject, we will also be thinking about how to mark Lostwithiel u3a's 10th. anniversary.



Two more meetings have gone by since I last posted. Some of The School Run stories are on the blog page as are examples of the October story about a Conversation on a Train. November will see us trying our hand at an Unwanted Guest.



Oops! More than half a year has gone by since I updated this page (and even longer since I posted any new stories). We are on our summer break at the moment using the time to compose a very short (500 words) story about The School Run. We have changed venue, too, and now meet at the Royal Oak. The biggest piece of news is that one of the Group won a short story competition. Well done, Caroline (and thanks for the round of drinks!)



Our move to the Church Rooms has proved popular and will be our permanent home. We have also got used to meeting on a different date. Since I last wrote we have written about, "The River", "The Night Watch" and "The Sea Wall". For February we are taking the Fowey Festival short story competition's topic  -  "Spring Picture". In due course, I will put a selection of stories on the blog page.



Despite not updating this page for a year (has it really been that long? Mea culpa) we have continued to be an active group. Our Zoom meetings continued until we felt it safe to meet in person. With the loss of The Platform for our meetings we are now gathering in the Church Rooms and we've also had to change our meeting dates to the second Tuesday in the month. The topic set for this month is "The River". Watch this space and I may get round to posting one or two stories on our blog page.



We held our first Zoom meeting at the end of September. It went very well but the time went so fast that we had to have a second meeting the following week to finish discussing the stories. The new u3a-wide Zoom arrangement will be a boon to us  -  unlimited chat!! Two stories about "Pearls" have been added to the blog. For October we've been very creative and chosen "October" as the topic.



A combination of factors led to only four stories being written in August. Three of them have been added to the blog sub-page. For September we have been set the subject of "The Pearls".



How time flies when you're isolating! The Group has been active with the writing and with the online critiques. It has, for some of the Group (including me) sometimes been harder to write a critique than write a story, They demand such different skills. I can see that to be a good critic you don't necessarily have to be a good writer  -  and vice versa. As usual there were a good crop of varied stories on the theme of "Green Door", most of them humorous, while the July topic of "Bike" brought in some more sombre work. Two examples from each month's entries are on the sub-page (blog). For August we start with an opening line: The place looked like something out of an old horror film.



Since the last update we have had two online critique sessions. One in April to discuss "The Prisoner" and at the end of May to discuss stories on the topic of "To The Lighthouse". The April topic attracted stories from all the group but the May topic was a bit more tricky, it seems, as there were only six stories written. Even so, there was the usual wide range of interpretations of the topic and I'll put two, wildly contrasting, stories on the blog page. For June, we are moving from a topic inspired by the title of a novel to a topic inspired by the title of a 1950's popular song. We will be writing about a "Green Door". Before I go, I must mention that one of our group has had a literary success. Back in February our topic was the same as that set for the Fowey Festival short story competition. Judith Jones submitted her story and, although she didn't win, she was in the final shortlist of 5. To achieve that in such a prestigious competition is, indeed, a great achievement. Well done, Judith!



At the end of March we had our first online critique session. It went very well, I think. We had much more time than in our monthly meetings to put our comments into words. This meant that the comments were longer and more in depth. A good exercise for both author and critic. I will get round to posting some stories. The topic for April is "The Prisoner", inspired by our self imposed incarceration and nothing to do with that cult TV programme (though there's no reason why not).



Our meetings have now been cancelled, but we will still be operating online. It will give us something to while self isolating. I will continue to post a selection of stories on the blog page.




We had eight members at the meeting but 11 stories to consider! Two members had submitted stories but were unable to attend while another had submitted two stories. The topic was the one for the Fowey Festival short story competition. Two of us are planning to submit their story. Best of luck to them. The closing date is March 16 (I think), so it's unlikely that we'll know how they got on before we meet again. For March we are writing to the topic: "R is for ...". We can choose any word beginning with R and write around that word. There are examples of the February tales on the blog page.

Next meeting: Tuesday 31 March




Our first meeting after the Christmas break saw another full house of 10 members (one sent her apologies) and 10 stories.The topic was an opening phrase: "he/she opened his/her eyes..." This seemed to bring out the morbidness in many of our writers. There were two drownings and several sad endings. It was hard to select examples to put on our blog page, so I've not posted any this month.

For next month the topic will be the same as the one for the Fowey Festival story competition: "Not After Midnight". Members of the group can decide whether or not they want to enter their story for the competition.

Next meeting: Tuesday 25 February




We had a full turn-out this month. 10 people and ten stories. The stories ranged from foxes to an obese monk, a monster female, a son missing in action, a dreaded Christmas and lots more besides. Three are on the blog page.

We will have a new member in January and we feel that the Group cannot accept any more members after that. There is simply not enough time to adequately discuss that number of stories in two hours. We will open a waiting list for prospective new members.

Next meeting: Tuesday 28 January. The group left it to me to choose the topic. I made a couple of suggestions and the group have chosen: "he/she/name opened his/her eyes..."



Unlike last month, we were rather thin on the ground this month due to members' prior engagements. Even so, we had a very lively meeting and welcomed a potential new member (the more the merrier!). There were only four stories and all of them are on the blog - one of them is very short. Two concern hospitals, one is an "unfinished business" not finished last month and the other is an early Christmas based tale.

The topic for November is "Feast".

Next meeting: Tuesday 26 November. It will be our last meeting until 2020. 



We had nearly a full house for our first meeting after our summer break. The topic "Unfinished Business" produced five stories but lack of time and/or inspiration meant that four of us arrived empty-handed - these things happen to all of us from time to time. Next month's topic is a story based around hospital: staff, patients, visitors, etc. However, I've made an 'executive decision' and extended the topic to writing about anything at all - maybe a sequel to a previous story or revisiting a previous topic. Three of the "Unfinished Business" stories are on the blog.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 29 October.


UPDATE: JULY 30 2019

Today, we held out last meeting before our summer break. Eight stories on the Bristol postmark topic were there to discuss and what a mixed bag they were. Themes ranged from gnomes (again) to astronauts via gay marriage and lost (and found) loves. There are three stories on the blog page.
We now have two months to write about the next topic: "Unfinished Business".
We meet again on Tuesday 24 September.


UPDATE: JUNE 26 2019

We've had two meetings since the last update. May was on "The Dinner Party" and the yesterday we held our June meeting when the topic was "Garden Ornament". A couple of stories on this topic can be seen on the blog page. The July meeting will take place on 30 July. The topic for that meeting has been taken from an article in the current "Third Age Matters" and is "it was postmarked Bristol".


It's been a very long time since I updated this page. Despite that, the group has grown in size and now numbers 10, when everyone can make it. Our next meeting will be today and the topic we have written on is "Gone Fishing". Stories submitted include one about Morgawr, another set in India and a ghost story; a veritable melange of ideas. It always surprises us how many different interpretations there can be on a topic. At the top of this page is a link to a Wordpress site where some of our stories can be read. This hasn't been updated for a long time.
I will be more diligent in future, I will be more diligent in future, I will be more diligent............
And here I am after our meeting today. It went very well and was very enjoyable (unfortunately, the biscuits were left behind!). Two stories will be put on the blog page.
The next meeting is on May 28 at 2 p.m. The topic that we have chosen is: The Dinner Party