Author Topic: Doing things for the BFS  (Read 4498 times)

Offline CarolineC

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Doing things for the BFS
« on: April 26, 2012, 08:57:43 pm »
First, just to say that this isn't me saying something in any official (non-committee role) capacity - it's just me making a suggestion as an ordinary member.

It's been drawn to my attention that the BFS online writing critique group, Whirlpool, kind of fizzled out. Someone has asked about the possibility of getting it up and running again. Plus, on another thread, Stephen has, of course, kindly set up the reviews ebook, Shelflings, and suggested that other members could get involved with volunteering for things like that if there's something they fancy doing for the BFS. So, this is a follow on from all that ...

Basically, I thought I'd round up some ideas for things folk here might like to volunteer to do (without the need to actually be a committee member). Personally, I reckon the best way for the BFS to do things which its members really want is for those members to take it on themselves to do it! If a few more people volunteered to do a few more things, we could really get things moving here.  :)

1. WHIRLPOOL
As metioned above, whirlpool has faltered. Now, if the members really do want a BFS-only online writing group we need someone who could run this. The section on the forum is all there ready - it just needs someone to run it (Jen, who was doing it previously, has too much else on at the moment she tells me) and lots of people to make use of it.

2. LOCAL BFS EVENTS in your neighbourhood
As has been mentioned here many times before, if anyone wants to set up a BFS open evening in their area then Martin (events@britishfantasysociety.org) can help with this. Did I see someone somewhere mention the possibility of a Welsh one recently?

3. SOMEONE TO HELP ME WITH POSTING EVENTS ON THE EVENTS CALENDAR
I'm struggling a bit here with workload. Until Del resigned, he was putting a lot of events on the calendar he'd set up. But now it means double the work for me - I'm struggling to source and post news, let alone source and post events, and I don't know if the new webmaster will be able to help with that like Del did. So, if anyone wants to help me by seeking out events and posting them on the website, please email me at news@britishfantasysociety.org and I'll get in touch with the committee and see if we can sort something out

4. ANYTHING ELSE?
As has been mentioned on Stephen's Shelflings thread, there are a few ideas for other e-publications people might like to set up (it would all have to be agreed with the committee, of course). And is there anything else anyone here might fancy volunteering for? If you've got a great idea, post it here - or get in touch with a relevant person on the committee to see what they think of it (or email me and I'll go and hassle someone about it  ;D)
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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 07:37:30 am »
It's been drawn to my attention that the BFS online writing critique group, Whirlpool, kind of fizzled out. Someone has asked about the possibility of getting it up and running again. Plus, on another thread, Stephen has, of course, kindly set up the reviews ebook, Shelflings, and suggested that other members could get involved with volunteering for things like that if there's something they fancy doing for the BFS.

I don't know if Whirlpool ever really got going... I gave lots of people access to the forum when I was the moderator, but I didn't see much going on. I wonder if perhaps it would attract more interest if rather than being limited to members of the Whirlpool forum group, it was visible to all members of the BFS forum group. I'm not really interested in joining a writer's group, being so awesome already, but if I was hanging out on the forum and saw someone asking for opinions on their writing I probably wouldn't be able to resist, opinionated as I am...

Is there an actual BFS members' only area, by the way? I'd thought it was a mere legend, but then I saw a link to a thread I couldn't see..!
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 07:39:51 am by Stephen Theaker »

Offline sandranorval

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 03:21:53 pm »
I would love to see the Whirlpool really take off but also have a lot of commitments so I'm not certain I can fully take the lead, but would be happy to help. I've also never run an online forum so that would be new to me. We did start with Whirlpool, but we tried using the now defunct Google Wave for submitting documents, which some (including me) never really got to grips with, so I think it would need to be something that was driven through the forum. We'd also need to be careful about access as some are sensitive about their work being viewed by just anyone, which would be the case if it was on the general forum. There is also the issue of what is regarded as published on line, so we would need to be able to guarantee that no access is generally available.

I wonder if there would be more in the idea of writing support, not just critique as there are lots of critique forums online already - I've recently joined one with Fantasy Faction, which is building up quite nicely and is structured as a couple of limited number groups. They also do a range of articles aimed at writers and there is a strong multinational community there, which offers opportunities for connections with us focussing on the best of British.

What the BFS is very strong on is access to writers, editors and agents as well as having live events available too. I'd also be happy to consider links with the Get Writing format that I organise, which has been very successful and some key members of the BFS have been involved with. Get Writing is all about getting people started, helping them to learn about the industry, get inspired, network, challenge themselves and so on, but it is for all genres. 2012 had more of a slant towards fantasy because I wanted it to but that won't be the case every year so there is plenty of scope to provide more here as it did prove very popular there so there is a clear market for that kind of support.

I think really the key question is - what do people want, or need, from Whirlpool - learning, advice, critique, general support and encouragement? Could we forge links with bookshops to provide a network for recently published writers to set up signings, or maybe kick off some Open Mic events where writers can read their work and get some exposure?

So, what do we want? If we can get answers to that then we can take it forward, it seems that the critique commitment didn't work too well, it does eat into your writing time if you have a lot of members to cover but maybe a chance to hook up with a writing buddy might be useful, or the chance to have a piece of work sent to a professional for critique? Maybe a sub section of the website not just the forum, with articles from writers, editors and agents giving tips and advice and 'How I wrote my book' or 'What I do when the inspiration slows down' etc. I don't know the answers but would love see more discussion around the possibilities for us to work from.

Sandra
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Chapter One of Libertine available at www.sandranorval.co.uk
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Offline CJOverend

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 06:43:59 pm »
Caroline & Stephen,

Nice to see you on here! I've spoken to you both a few times on another forum, but as I'm trying to pick up the pace on my writing, I felt it a good idea to become a member on here, another place where the cool kids hang out...

For critiquing, would it be possible to use a previously set-up critique service such as http://www.scribophile.com/, and set up a group within it? I'm not sure if the group could be made private if desired, but there might be a chance of that if we were to speak to the site's architects.

I'd also be more than willing to set up BFS events in my area, and the lady who manages the local bookstore here is already helping other societies with active evenings; there may be a possibility of hosting it there, although that is something I would have to confirm. A good idea might be to write a pack of information about how to go about publicising something like that, and a few key points for the set-up. A second-rate job would not reflect well on the society's 'corporate image', and a first-class job may very well boost membership. Setting up a 'BFS Event Pack' could be a first step to making those who are willing but not knowledgeable, capable of setting up an event of quality that would do the society justice.

I'd also be more than willing to help source news and events —even write material— if it would be of help to you and the team. I am new to this scene though, so it would take a little time for me to get up to speed. I'll send you what I can; please tell me if I am hitting the mark!

Chris

Offline cavscott

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 12:23:04 am »
The events pack is a great idea Chris.

And don't worry about being new - jump right in!

C

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 01:16:05 pm »
Hi Chris and Sandra - sorry, I've only just noticed your replies to my post.

Sandra - those are fantastic ideas about Whirlpool. If you don't mind, I'll copy your post to a new thread asking people to comment specifically on this. I think it needs a thread of its own. What we need, of course, are (1) people who are willing to take part regularly in whatever system is set up, and (2) someone to run it. Let me start a new post with this, and we'll see what kind of response we get.

Chris - as regards news and events, yes please, send me any news and events you come across on news@britishfantasysociety.org. I'm toying with the idea in my mind (haven't broached it with the Committee yet) of asking for someone else to help me with posting news and events to the site - a kind of Associate News Editor perhaps. But I'm not sure what to do about that at the moment, so please bear with me.

I must say, it's great to see people "jumping in" and offering their services like this. Keep 'em coming!  :)
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Offline CarolineC

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 01:21:33 pm »
Oh, Chris, sorry, forgot to say .. about events ..

Yes, that's a great idea about an events pack and also about setting up events within Waterstones and the like. Why not email Martin Roberts, our Events Co-ordinator, with your suggestions (events@britishfantasysociety.org) as I'm sure he'd be happy to help?

I did a little event last year, at my local literature festival, with Ramsey Campbell, Mark Morris and Pete Crowther doing readings and a Q&A. I was thinking of doing more of these - at various literature festivals - but then I took on this news editor role and realised I wouldn't have time for that too. But I do think that literature festivals are a great opportunity to get the BFS's name out there. The events are already arranged in effect, with venue and organisers all set up - all the BFS person has to do is contact the organisers and arrange a slot with them. I have broached this will Lizzie (PR) and Martin, so we'll have to see if anything comes of this.

But, yes, bookshops ... great idea!
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Offline mightyjoeyoung

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 03:19:49 pm »
Regarding a way to give a more private 'service' for critiquing that doesn't require work to be 'published' in a forum there's a free resource available that could be useful.

It's called 'Dropbox', here's the link to it...

http://db.tt/V9j06ZR

If the BFS had a Dropbox account it could share the login password on request via private message. Members could sign up too, load their files directly, and reviewers could access them easily. The free version has a limited size of 500mb, but if you are 'recommending a friend' and they sign up, you get an increase of 500mb as a reward. This is up to a 16gb limit, and if lots of members join up for reviews the BFS allocation grows. So plenty of space for a large number of files.

Security issues and 'publication' issues are solved, and if the password is regularly changed there will be no problems of too many people having access at any one time. Only the review team will know all of the passwords all of the time.

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 03:35:31 pm »
Hi Joe - thanks for this info. Do you mind if I copy your post to the other thread I've set up specifically about "Whirlpool"? I think it would be better if folk discussed that all in one place on that thread. Cheers!  :)
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Offline mightyjoeyoung

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 03:37:20 pm »
No problem at all ;)

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Doing things for the BFS
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 03:40:20 pm »
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