Now we are a charity

Yesterday evening a number of our regulars and other supporters gathered to progress Thanet Creative Writers from an Unincorporated Association into an Unincorporated Charitable Association.

On the surface, this might not seem like much of a big deal but this is the end result of months of planning and a high point we have been aiming towards for a long time. Despite cyber-bullies, baseless legal threats (from said bully), and general unpleasantness from what is likely a single individual in need of a hug, we joyfully saw a project that has run for the last four years become something more.

The formal signing of the Constitution saw the first seven members added to the charity and this was followed by the acceptance of five trustees including the three officers.

  • Mr M. Brown (that’s me) was unanimously elected Chair
  • Mrs L. Winder was unanimously elected Secretary
  • Mr D. Clemence was unanimously elected Treasurer
  • Mr A. Winder was unanimously elected as a trustee
  • Miss D. Gifford was unanimously elected as a trustee

Membership of the charity is not required for coming to our events. However, sponsorship by a member and a donation of at least a pound to show you mean it is required to be a member.

It is safe to say that we are hugely thrilled by this new chapter in our community’s history. Not least of all because now the community truly can be owned by the members and I can stop saying “this group is all about you, not me” because now there is a huge constitution that says so with a lot of words.

Those who expressed an interest in being a trustee, (but not just now), or expressed an interest but did not follow through by giving us your details in time, we will be holding an AGM at roughly this time next year and that would be the ideal time to step up if you still want to.

I am rather hoping that some of our newly minted trustees will feel the inkling to post here too. I am sure that you will grow tired of hearing from me soon enough. Until then, I hope that you will join me in congratulating our new committee and the members that made it all possible.

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What this version of Careless Whisper can teach about telling stories

This is Careless Whisper on an acoustic guitar and it sounds amazing.

What has this got to do with writing? More than you might think.

It is often tempting to think that in order to “make it” as a writer we have to come up with entirely original stories, fresh settings, new and different characters and do something that no one has ever thought of before.

However, as demonstrated by the video above, taking a classic and putting it into a new setting can make something entirely great and unique to you.

  • Take Firefly as an example. The old done-to-death cowboy story but set on a spaceship. One of the greatest TV series that ended too soon (in my opinion).
  • What about A.I.: Artificial Intelligence? A.I. is pretty much an update of The Adventures of Pinocchio but set in a post-apocalyptic North America.
  • Edward Scissorhands is just Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein set in 1960s suburbia.
  • The Lion King, songs aside, is more or less William Shakespeare’s Hamlet told in the form of an animal fable.
  • The 1996 film, Independence Day is near enough a reworking of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds with a more modern setting. In both cases, a virus saves the day.

This is something you can do too. Take a classic, strip it down to the themes and narrative mechanics and rebuild it in a new setting.

Don’t copy; reinvent.

For example, what if you took Cinderella’s story – just the core elements – and set the whole thing aboard a pirate ship? Or recycled it in space? Or made it a young boy’s coming of age story set in the 1960s?

For example, what if you took the biblical parable of The Good Samaritan and respun it to tell the story of a white supremacist saved by a Caribbean man and the friendship that followed? You would have the platform to explore what it means to be a good neighbour as well as tell a very compelling story.

Reframing a classic is a time honoured tradition. Here is a list of reframed classics. Here is another list.

Why not try it for yourself? Find a much loved old classic and let it inspire you to tell a whole new story.

Here’s a geeky TV show theme tune on an acoustic guitar to show you anything can be reinterpreted into any setting and, with a little (or a lot) of skill, be amazing.

If you want to hear more amazing acoustic covers the guy in both these videos has a channel full of great tracks like this. Check it out.