Saturday, February 4, 2012

Boyne Writers Group AGM - Chairman's Address

Boyne Writers Group chairperson, Paddy Smith, welcomed the members to the 2011 AGM held in Trim on Thursday, 2 February by saying “All the time, I count my blessings – and among them is the blessing of belonging to a writers’ group such as the Boyne Writers. It has transformed my life. I shudder to think what I might be doing if I wasn’t in the group: playing golf!”

He mentioned what was the year’s highlight for the group, the publication of the tenth issue of Boyne Berries and described it as “a fine booklet that we can all be very proud of”. He said that though it was a costly exercise it was well worth while.

Paddy was delighted that the group’s core activity, writing, was going well. Members produced some good stuff during the year. Many of them appeared in various publications, were successful in competitions, had published books and Paddy himself had three of his plays performed.

He posed the question: Are we better writers as a result of being members of the Boyne Writers Group? Answering it for himself he said “I personally feel that I have learned much about writing as a direct result of my involvement with the group. Not necessarily from the entire process of criticism, although this does help of course, but from the process of writing. If I wasn’t in a writers’ group I certainly wouldn’t be writing as much. Also from the process of listening – listening to what others are writing”.

He did go on to warn that, in his opinion some of the basics of good writing, such as punctuation and grammar, are being ignored by some or even many, members - “If we go forth into the world as writers, seeking publication here and there, we should care about such matters.”

Paddy did go on to discuss some of the group’s non-core activities which, he said, had not being going so well. Our Boyne Readings, for example were not resumed after last summer’s break mainly through lack of enthusiasm because of small attendances. He discussed what we expect from these readings and how we might attract larger audiences.

The Boyne Writers’ international satirical writing competition which we organise for the Trim Swift Festival has not been attracting large entries and in 2011 had a record low number of entries: “Is there no interest at all in this ancient form of commentary: satire? One would have thought that in these turbulent times satire would come into its own”. Again the group need to consider this.

In conclusion Paddy said how much he is looking forward to the coming year in the Boyne Writers and he hoped that this will be the year it all happens for each and every member.

1 comment:

Peter Goulding said...

Some interesting points there from Paddy. Yes, you'd have thought satire should be flourishing these days...