It was an inspired idea: A competition to write a review. ‘Of what?’ you all cried. ‘Of ANYTHING!’ A peach of a brief like that never comes around in the real world, so it’s good to make the most of it when we get the chance.
After some coercion, bribery and threats, our members produced the most amazingly diverse set of subjects we’ve ever seen in a competition. (No bones were broken, all the children were returned unharmed and Wayne Burrows was impressed with the variety and the quality of entries.) It was all worth it.
1st: Siobhan Logan - House of Horrors (Blogpost)
2nd: Mary Byrne - Blurred Vision (John Keane exhibition)
3rd: Andrew Bannister - Writer still worth Tarrying over after 45 Years (Sci Fi author)
T. D. Bradshaw - Angela's Ashes (Book by Frank McCourt)
Richard Sheehan - A Different Kind of Truth: (Van Halen CD)
Gwyneth Williams - Home From Home Comforts with a Personal Touch (Hotel)
Wayne Burrows was a delight to have as a guest and a speaker. He confessed that you start writing reviews in order to get ‘free stuff’. In the beginning, you write only about things you have a passion for. Eventually you become successful and it becomes ‘work’. That’s when you get asked to write reviews on all kinds of things whether you like them or not.
He had helpful suggestions for the writing of reviews: Try to be objective, strike a balance, use a writing style that reflects the subject matter, use a pun in the headline and, take a kid with you when you go to a kid’s panto.
He also reminded us what George Orwell said of a reviewer: “He is pouring his immortal spirit down the drain half a pint at a time.”
Thank you Jayne Stanton for all your hard work and for knowing such fabulous people.