Contact Name Pat Dowding
Contact Telephone 07977 196156
Email prefix writerscircle
Frequency/Day/Time 4th Thursday, 2pm
Venue Woodbridge/Aldeburgh/Saxmundham area
Vacancies Yes
group contact members only


This long standing but flourishing group meets on Zoom and in members' homes around Ipswich and East Suffolk. Whilst most of the writing is short stories we also welcome poems and prose, fact and fiction and an eclectic range of themes. We welcome new members. Our aim is not to teach members how to write creatively – there are plenty of courses around and some are offered by National u3a as well as the useful tips printed in their Newsletters. We learn from each other instead, by example. And most of us are avid readers too.

We quickly moved to Zoom in May 2020 when Covid restrictions no longer allowed us to meet in person. We went back to 'in person' meetings as soon as allowed but then resumed on Zoom again. In fact, Zoom has been very helpful in keeping the majority of our group together over the last few years and in winter months has proved to be popular with those members who are happy to use this medium. A few members have retired but others are kept in the loop and we send them an Anthology of our monthly writings and they plan to return once we are meeting in person again in 2023.

2023 and onwards: We envisage that we will be meeting both on Zoom and In Person, dependent on the circumstances prevailing and time of year; some meetings might be hybrid - combining Zoom and In Person. Please don't be put off by Zoom - if you have broadband and an email address you can use it; we'll help if need be.

All members are asked to contribute to the topic list that is compiled every year or so in advance and then each one selected is allocated to a particular month. Ideally all members write to that theme, but we recognise that sometimes the creative juices just do not flow when a subject does not appeal. We write for pleasure and therefore happily accept that an alternative topic has been chosen when this happens. At our meetings we read out our efforts to the rest of the group which normally ends with some discussion after each piece but we are not too judgemental. On average we perhaps write 1000 - 2000 words but sometimes 'less is more' and other times we need more words to make the story work. It is amazing how we can get 10 completely different writing ideas from one topic heading.


The 11 Subjects we wrote about last year were:

A Winter’s Tale; An Animal Story (poignant event);

As he/she opened the newspaper she gasped in horror (or in fear/amazement/surprise/delight/ etc!); Vegetables; The Present;

Something heard - a Sound eg music, machinery, the cry of gulls, the screech of chalk on a blackboard etc; The Grand Entrance;

The Grass is Greener on the Other side; Darkness; The Suitcase, A Gothic Horror Story (probably the most challenging topic)


Future topics include:

Nationalities (eg: being English/Scottish/Welsh/French/American/Chinese etc); A Job; Reconciliation; Surfaces eg tarmac, shingle, ice, granite; Meeting Up With An Old Friend; A Fresh Start; While the World Sleeps; Betrayal; A letter/email from a friend who is in Africa/Asia/South America etc for a year - this is their first communication to you; A painting or any piece of art that you feel strongly about (eg: love/enjoy/dislike/ etc); Broken Promises.

The group is not too prescriptive and the aim is to enjoy the writing we undertake and each other’s company. Note that tea and cakes are a prerequisite for each meeting in person!!

Last Updated on Friday 27th January 2023