Sadly I couldn’t make Central North’s recent Christmas bash due to a family wedding. Fortunately, Gill Hutchison stepped once more into the breach and sent me this report so that I didn’t have to renege entirely on my network reporting duties. (There was a suggestion that I might want to make it sound sober and sensible but why would I do that when the reality was so much more fun?)
On December 14th, Brown’s Pie Shop on Steep Hill, Lincoln, hosted a Christmas party for current SCBWI members, some we haven’t seen for ages and some we hope to convert to the SCBWI cause. Best behaviour, then? Well, you can if you want to, but at the atmospheric Brown’s anything untoward can always be blamed on Humphrey, their resident Poltergeist!
Even at Christmas, we take our writing seriously and many useful critiques were exchanged, such as: “You know my new (hic) shtory? Ish about a boy wizzy…wizzy…wishard.” “Thasha shuper idea, Sho orig’nal…” and so on. Secret Santa gifts were exchanged, including a Dragon Tooth, a set of Great Literary Moustaches and something which I did not see but which by the next morning had apparently rendered the inside of Alan Gidney’s nostrils “like Formula One piston shafts”
|Gill and Norah entertain|
The theme of Gill Hutchison’s special crackers this year was “Rude Shakespeare”.
The answers to the first three questions were Bottom, Titania and Coriolanus. You get the picture. There was also a competition to select the best Shakespearean oath, but the typeface was a bit small and by dessert, it was easier to focus on Norah “Mother Christmas” Pellatt’s outsize card game! (with prizes).
It’s a far cry from the days when our Christmas party was a small, all-female affair with a couple of sheepish husbands whose idea of a great children’s writer dates back to Richmal Crompton. All four of our literary men turned up! Sam Hawksmoor was even brave enough to sit between Norah and Anita ‘Fred’ Yorke. Addy Farmer, wedged so tightly in the centre that it was almost impossible for her to use her knife and fork, presided benignly over the proceedings. As ever, Addy has everyone’s grateful thanks for her wisdom and support over the past year.
My thanks go to Gill for making my job this month very easy and for saving me a rude cracker! And now for the sober and sensible bit. . .
Upcoming in Central North this year:
- Our Monthly Critique meetings at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life
- Picture Book and YA Workshops
- Lincoln Inspired Festival in May • New for 2014 – Goal Setting Brunches in Nottingham • Schools’ Challenge
- Travelling Critique Groups and Mini Critique
- Summer Scrawl Crawl
Gill enjoys everything about SCBWI, from the critiques and workshops to the friendship and support within our Central North group – and of course the wisdom of guru, Addy. She won Sarah Frost’s July 2013 “Slushpile Challenge” with My Mum’s bigger than your Mum.