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Table 52: Writing Their Own Story

By Pippa Duncan

A group of local writers, who all met while on a creative writing course in Richmond, have published their first collection of short stories

Many of us love the idea of doing a creative writing course and some may imagine that one day they may get into print, but one small group of writers took matters into their own hands and have now published their first volume of short stories.

The Table52Writers – so called because they always meet at Table 52 at the No1a Duke St pub in Richmond – first met on a Creative Writing course at Richmond & Hillcroft Adult Community College (RHACC) in 2019. Many of them went on to the second Critical Writing course and, when that finished, wanted to continue to meet and support each other. So they’ve met regularly every couple of weeks – initially in person and then online – ever since and at each session one person will read out their work to be analysed and critiqued by the others.

Says one of the writers, Sinem Erenturk: ‘It is such a supportive group, everyone wants to lift the others up. It can be harsh, but it is very constructive. As a group, we are more than the sum of everyone’s individual stories.’

The group is very focused on writing and not their personal lives, says another of the writers, Trevor Aston: ‘It’s unusual as we don’t really know each other well outside of this incredibly narrow context. I may know where someone’s going to come from on a particular story, but I don’t really know why.’

They all believe their work is all the better for the input of the group – re-writing paragraphs that don’t quite work, dropping or adding characters and even improving their grammar.

Once they were well-established as a group, the idea of publishing their work grew. Each member had a skill to contribute to getting into print – one did the marketing, another the website and Trevor, a professional photographer for many years, the photos.

And all proceeds from the book go to Richmond MIND. ‘We’re not trying to make a living out of our writing,’ says Sinem, ‘we just want to publish our work and it felt right to give the proceeds to charity.’

The book is available on Amazon both as an e-book (£2.99) and hard copy (£4.99).

‘And I close my eyes as I always do when taking the fabulous initial breath… feeling the infusion of air into each and every cell, absorbing all the nice and gentle things in life and all my sweet singing memories hanging in the air, scene by scene, and suddenly making me feel at home…’ Short story, The Chorister from Istanbul, by Sinem Erenturk

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