This year we, ‘The Scriveners,’ a group of seven authors, celebrate seven years together. We were established in May 2013, in one of the smallest and most charming Cathedral cities in North Yorkshire, as part of a new branch of the U3A, founded locally the previous year. Most of the members of the group barely knew each other; some were complete ‘incomers.’ It was a great starting point.
From those early days, we have grown into a settled circle of passionate writers who feel able to present widely differing writing styles to each other, confident of honest, constructive feedback and unwavering support. Shallow praise has no place in the critique practice or with fiendish proofreaders. We feel comfortable with each other, both as friends and emerging writers.
From the ease of knowing each other well, came the confidence and courage to experiment with differing voices. Some of us joined with work already published, some had not; some had been invited to include work in greater anthologies, or popular publications, others had serious work in progress. Since then, more published works have been added to the general list. These include an anthology of poetry, a work of historical fiction, a collection of writing and a well-received handbook for Social Care. The progress of these publications – every faltering step and final success – has been followed and felt by each writer and is at least partially responsible for the slim volume that has just been released.
While A Chorus of Seven is rooted in the ancient charms of a Cathedral city, each of its writers springs from a different background. It is that collective contrast of childhood, careers, locations and livelihood; relationships, travel and humanity which formulates every piece of writing, but it is style and talent which enrich each voice. This collection of short stories explores observations of nature, loves lost and found, mischevious portraits, sadness and joy, reflections and challenges of contemporary life and past times.
We are: Andrew Burns, Sue I’Anson, Judith Lonsdale, Marla Skidmore, Kate Swann, Lesley Taylor and Sue Williams. You will find more about each one of us in our personal section in the collection. The Scriveners, meet regularly, as befits the title, in the atmospheric and historic Old Deanery, in the shadow of the Cathedral. To mark our seventh anniversary, The Scriveners present our collection, told in seven voices – take a break, put your feet up for a while and lose yourself between the fascinating pages of A Chorus of Seven.