Formed in 1991 by two local writers from very different backgrounds, the group was launched to coincide with the official opening of the Grantham Guildhall Arts Centre at the start of October the same year.
The idea blossomed from a meeting at the White Swan pub in nearby Barrowby, between former teacher Paul Groves, author of hundreds of educational books and famous for the popular children’s television series ‘Bangers and Mash’, and long established journalist, author and poet Peter Clawson.
They set up an agreement with June Whiteside, then the Arts Centre manager, to hold regular meetings at the Guildhall with grants from South Kesteven District Council to offset the room hire on a twice-monthly basis.
In the early days, well-known members and associates included people like Eric Chappell, creator of many TV sitcoms including ‘Rising Damp’, Duty Free’ with Jean Warr, and ‘Only When I Laugh’; the late Howard Imber, who provided jokes for ‘The Two Ronnies’ and others; as well as John Pye, who was responsible for many of the great comedian Ken Dodd’s jokes.
During its 23 years unbroken run, the group’s successes included winning a national competition for anthologies, sponsored by Writers’ News, beating 80 other entries from all over the country with ‘Chapter & Verse’ and also reaching the last four of the competition the following year.
These triumphs, plus the annual Showcases at the Guildhall Theatre, charity events and hosting appearances of top-flight poets like Wendy Cope, earned Grantham Writers the reputation among country literary officers as the number one circle in the Midlands.
Although the group has gone through a relatively quiet period of late, as the club reaches its 25th anniversary in 2016, it is preparing to move forward and work in a new vibrant style. With the introduction of an internet site and an email address it embraces new technology whilst retaining the true values of writing.
In 2014 the group held a very successful showcase event in collaboration with Sleaford Writers for Halloween.
New young authors were encouraged through its Primary Schools Competition and several members have now had their work published.
We are a friendly group of members from different walks of life who share a common interest in writing of all kinds.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an absolute beginner, established professional or anywhere in between, the welcome is still here.
Maybe you have recently retired and would like to take up an absorbing pastime, meet people with similar aims or simply occupy your spare moments with a challenging pursuit. Whatever, you can be sure that any help you need with your work will be forthcoming from established writers and keen amateurs or professionals or those at the same stage of achievement as yourself. The fact is that the group’s basic aims are still the same as they were over 20 years ago when it was formed.
‘To promote creative writing, encourage and support anyone in and around the Grantham area with their literary activities.’
Members’ interests cover genres such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, film, TV and theatre, as well as journalism in all its forms, biographies, autobiographies and anything else which requires such creative skills.
To supplement our regular manuscript meeting at Grantham Museum on the third Monday of every month, we also invite specialist speakers to come along and give us the benefit of their experience, plus occasional workshops run by recognised experts.
Couple that with an annual Showcase of members work we aim to reintroduce and shows for charities in the district and you can see that, whatever your aims in writing, if you accept our invitation to come and join us, we are sure you will find something to interest you.