Last Week’s Meeting

Chaired by David F. Minutes taken by Roddie.

Present: David F, Roddie, David C, Sue, Sandra, Richard, Susan S.
Apologies: Fraser, Rupert, Aileen, Abby, Susan S (arrived later).

Matters Arising/Business

Previous Minutes

These were approved with minor typographical corrections.

Nethergate Anthology Progress report

Progress was updated by Roddie who attended the steering committee (SC) meeting on 9/3/21.  Abby was meeting this week with Pulse North to see about the cover design.  The SC thought that perhaps the three fonts used in ‘50 Shades of Tay’ might be used in the anthology partly to simply matters and also for brand consistency. 

All going to plan, the book should be ready to send to the printer in Forfar by early April. Rupert is liasing with the printer.  Some provisional deadlines were noted below.   A critical one is that when the typeset master PDF is released from the printer, members will have a two-week interval to check or arrange a check on their text.  This is for typos or spacing problems due to type setting, no changes to the existing text will be permitted. Members not submitting modifications to or arranging for their text to be sent to the typeset manuscript coordinator (Roddie) may either miss inclusion or will have the existing typeset text sent back to the publisher as the final. David C noted that perhaps arrangements could be made for exceptional circumstances.  The schedule is tight because a print run will have to be booked in advance. David F asked whether members would have time to scrutinise the edited final submission to the printer; Roddie said this would depend on how fast members returned their checked manuscripts.  Also, the ISBN had to be registered with Neilsens before Waterstones could stock the book.  Richard asked about the purchase of ISBNs and Sue said that ten had been purchased for £164 and that we had one left over from before.

Roddie said that 64 copies at £7.99 per copy had been ordered by members from the initial print run of 100 copies.  Rupert would bring the copies from Forfar and Rupert, Fraser and Roddie would distribute them to members by hand.  David F asked whether an initial print run of 100 was enough to furnish sufficient copies for a Waterstones launch.  Roddie though that a quick second run could be arranged, but Rupert could better answer that.

The question of a physical launch (provisionally the first week of June) was raised.  Waterstones was raised as a possibility and Abby was looking into that.  A virtual launch was also proposed, and Fraser had noted at the SC meeting that this could include readings at the locations of stories which could be posted on the website. 

A debate ensued on hearing plans to sell copies off the website (Fraser looking into this) and about the final price and whether to include postage.  The consensus was that a single price including postage was preferred.  Other places to sell the books were discussed and included: Oxfam, Dundee; WH Smiths, Dundee; Toppings/Waterstones in St Andrews; the Birnam Institute in Pitlochry and others that Fiona had identified for ‘50 Shades’.

Post for person to distribute mail orders of anthology (Dispatch Officer)

Roddie explained the proposal from the SC that a volunteer be sought to be responsible for dispatching copies sold through the website.  The individual would be supplied with packaging materials and petty cash for postage and would take an inventory of books for dispatch.  Payments to the NW account would be made through the web site and the volunteer would liase with Sue.  Susan S expressed interest and was appointed.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre (PFT) collaboration update

In the absence of Abby, there was no further details available, but David C mentioned that he had had emails from Amy and was due to record his piece on Mar 11th.  He said he would report back with any tips.

Financial Update

Sue gave a financial update –

Recent Payments:

Zoom subscription- £143.88.

Website – £86.11

ISBN purchase (10) -£164

Pulse North -£250 (+ £250 to follow on completion)            


Subs, 9 x£25 =£225 (6 still to pay)

Current Balance – £1381-84   (Deemed to be healthy).                    

Work presented:

The Wood (Susan S)

Susan’s intriguing piece about the peregrinations and adventures of a female sexual predator was universally liked and admired for the breadth of material and authenticity of locations and backstory covered in the tale.  The ending was liked for Susan’s skill in creating a feel-good factor for the reader from a cast of rather, unsavoury characters.  Several remarked on the beautiful, lyrical lines in the opening paragraph.  Susan noted that perhaps it had an ‘anti-male’ agenda, but it was suggested by others that this was a good time to send such material to competitions.                                                              

Strangers in the Night (Roddie)

This is Roddie’s first play (15 mins) and the parts were read out by the company to much amusement and which proved a good way to bring the text to life.  It is about a declining writer struggling to compose a talk for a meeting in Dundee Uni on the following day, about his supernatural fiction, which has hit a bump in the road. He stays the night at the ‘Queens Hotel’ on the Nethergate and is woken by a party in the lounge of his suite, held by a unique and unusual company.  The piece was thought amusing and the historical characters was liked.  Roddie thought he might send it to the Dundee Rep.  Susan S suggested that the play would stand a better chance there if there were more high-status females in it and useful suggestions were received on how to do that, including having female mill worker militants included or making the literary agent a woman. Very useful comments had already been received from Fiona on stage direction.

Havoc (David C)

‘Havoc’ is a comedic short, short story between William Shakespeare and his friend and actor, Richard Burbage.  This was liked by all, particularly for the hypocritical complaints by Will of plagiarism, while in the course of the amusing dialogue, he continues to appropriate others’ remarks for his own work. The exchanges between the two characters and the historical accuracy of the piece and the moral issues it raised were remarked on and enjoyed by all.  Many enjoyed hearing, once again, the immortal quotations that they had learned in school.


None: covered in ‘Business’, except the next meeting on the 24th of March would be chaired by David C and minutes taken by Richard.  The same repeating link that Fraser set up will allow access.

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