Welcome to the Hack

Hello and welcome to the Hack Oldham Writers Group (sometimes referred to as the ‘Hack Writers Group’ because we find that play on words funny).

We will be hosting a casual writers group once a month, every second Wednesday evening from 7pm till 10pm, for anyone interested in creating written works of fiction.  The aim of the group is to get writers to help, support and advise one another.  All are welcome, regardless of whether you are just starting out or have years of experience, we only ask that prospective members follow the below “house rules” if you wish to join us.

This group will not charge its members, but we would ask for the occasional donation to the space itself (largely to help keep the lights on). We leave how much up those attending based on what they can afford and what they think they have taken away from the event.

Before attending an event, please take a moment to read through the HOUSE RULES and FORMATTING GUIDE pages in the menu above.  This may take a few minutes to digest each page, so please take your time (tests show that a cup of coffee or tea helps).

March the 13th (Freaky Wednesday)

Another month, another meeting on the 13th. The weather was indeed inclement, but thankfully it was warm and dry in the Makerspace as we gathered for Marches meeting.

Once more we only had three pieces to review this meeting, another surprise piece from Andrew Mullington, and further instalments on the ‘Works In Progress’ by David Soponski and Eric Ian Steel.

We also welcomed Zack Robinson as a new member to the group this month. We look forward to his participation in the coming months.

Andrews story ‘Wednesdays Child’ introduces us to a character whose relationship with the midweek is anything but straightforward. But what is the source of this frustration, and what does it have to do with the Blackbird living in his back garden?

Eric’s ongoing story Bestiary introduces us to the protagonists children proper, showing us the split in the family and the ongoing issues each of them are facing. But strange portents seem to surround the family.

This month David continued Winterland with only a short instalment, continuing the sudden reunion from last month. Mostly backstory and scene setting, it fills in much needed information for future character interaction to come.

Also this month we also spoke a little on drafting and redrafting, on how some amateur writers give up after 3 redrafts. Eric spoke about how his own previous works tend to go through numerous drafts, 10 or more in most instances, and how that there are several different types of drafts that focus on different elements.

Also, if an editor is asking for redrafts, that isn’t a bad sign, but rather an encouraging one meaning they are willing to put the time and effort in because they see merit in your work. We as writers should never be daunted by redrafts it seems.

We broke up around the usual time of 10 o’clock having a successful meeting and we hope to meet again on the 10th of April.

Until then, keep up the good work everyone.

And now a quote

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.


February 13th (Unlucky for some)

This month we start with a Quote:

A Good Story Is a Good Story Regardless of Genre or Form.
Segmentation. Checking off the little boxes. Putting stories in the appropriate story slots and narrative cubbyholes. Is it a sci-fi show? A fantasy novel? A superhero comic? A video game about duck hunting? An ARG about the unicorn sex trade? We like to think that the walls we throw up matter. But they’re practically insubstantial, and once you get them in your mouth they’re like cotton candy, melting away to a meaningless slurry. A good story is a good story. Those who cleave to genre and form – whether as tellers or audience – limit the truth and joy the tale can present. Cast wide and find great stories everywhere.

Chuck Wendig
The Kick-Ass Writer

This month we had only three submissions once more to peruse and critique. Andrew Mullington asks us to “Make Love not War”, whilst Georgina Clark-Dowd continued her story from last month “How I became a Serial Killer (working title)” and David Soponski also continued his ongoing story “Winterland”.

We also spoke a little about accents (when and how to use them in stories) along with touching upon note taking and the irritating moments when inspiration can strike (Middle of the night, when you are driving or a meeting when you are the person taking the minutes).

Andrews “Make Love not War” takes us to a rather polite battlefield, where the fairer sex fight anything but fair.

Georgina’s latest installment of “How I became a Serial Killer (working title)” gives us a little more insight into the protagonists life and mindset as she takes a working trip to Dublin.

“Winterland” continued from last month, cutting out the last few pages of the previous installment, following the main character through the ghost town that was their childhood home.

We once more closed a little earlier than normal, but the extra time spent with each story was well spent and the group left with plenty of feedback for future development.

Our next meeting will be on the 13th of March. We hope to see you all there.

New Year, New Stories

9th Jan 2019

First Meeting of the Year

So with the Christmas break and the recovery from new years, behind us, we once again gathered to share our work. With only three of us this month, Georgina Clarke-Dowd , Eric Ian Steele and myself (David Soponski) we were able to spend a little longer than normal giving feedback.

This month we read the continuation of Eric’s ongoing story ‘Bestiary’, whilst Georgina shared with us an opening draft of a twisty tale ‘How I became a serial killer (working title)’, and David shared a rough draft of a science fiction story ‘Winterland’.

There was some useful observations made this month in regard to character and story structure and development, along with the usual aids to grammar (understandable with first drafts).

The latest chapter of ‘Bestiary’ gave some insight into the protagonist’s change of world view as the story’s timeline progressed.

‘How I became a serial killer (working title)’ proved to be a surprise dark comedy in the making.

‘Winterland’ required a lot of feedback, but still managed to surprise the readers with an unusual protagonist. Though developed as a short story, it was agreed that it had the potential to be a much longer, character driven piece.

We closed a little earlier than normal, but in good spirits all the same and we look forward to seeing these stories develop over the coming months.