8 September 2022

Annual General Meeting


You chance to find out about the programme for 2022/23, discuss and agree the future format of West Sussex Writers, elect the new committee and participate in that future.


Due to various committeee members having decided to stand down from their roles we have a number of key roles to be filled. If you are interested and would like more information please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact Liz.



Review of the Meeting

A small group of members enjoyed a useful and entertaining meeting, chaired by Ian Black for the last time before his retirement from the post. Copies of the various reports were available and the agenda set out on the screen.

The minutes of last year’s meeting were approved. No matters arising.

Reports from committee members.

1. Chairman's Report WSW is making a slow but satisfactory recovery from lockdown, and we very much welcomed our return to the hall after the successful Zoom meetings.

2. Treasurer's Report Funds have been depleted after the pandemic, some free meetings and people feeling a bit nervous to socialise. New bank charges, added to the usual costs on top of problems created by the pandemic and Zoom/hybrid meetings. HSBC started to charge amonthly fee and transaction costs. The charges for bank and Paypal amounted to £47.39. Liz hopes to change to a new bank, that does not charge Clubs and Societies for transactions. At the end of the year and after the usual expenditure the net current assets stand at £3,154.93. We look forward to an easier 2023.

3. Membership Derek Eastwood gave the report on Membership. We have gained 10 new members over the year and totals 69 full members. An honorary member, Eric Harvey had died, and this raised the question of how honorary members, who do not have to pay subs, are appointed. Rose Bray, an honorary member, suggested that the matter needed looking into, which was agreed. Membership fees, now at £20 Ordinary and £40 Saver per annum, would not be increased.

4. Programme Simon Davey and Amanda Davey have resigned from the committee. They were thanked for managing the programme, publicity, competitions and for their interesting talks. Ian
Black read out a report written by Amanda.

5. 2022/2023 Programme: this presented some exciting and unusual subjects, of great usefulness to writers. Michael Wearing gave enthusiastic accounts of what can be expected from Graham Bartlett and Darren Rapier. Phil Williams is an expert on self publishing, and Richard Buxton on historical fiction. Beth Miller and Isabel Ashdown are both well renowned published writers and speakers. Members were asked to suggest any new speaker they would like to see at future events.

The programme for 2022/2023 that Liz had organised - with help from Phil Williams for the flyers and posters - was thoroughly approved by all and thanks given to Phil and Liz. Michael Wearing has been acting Publicity Manager and agreed to continue in role. He is an experienced journalist and giving a talk in October on how to write a press release. Audrey Lee spoke briefly about her November performance of The Waste Land and there was general conversation afterwards.

Discussion about future direction of WSW.
There was a suggestion that we might consider applying for grants. Mary Jones suggested that we display a box for donations and perhaps start a three-monthly hard copy magazine. As a result of her suggestions, a list of WSW Helpers – members who would like to help, but not join the committee. For example, covering for committee members unable to attend a meeting and/or putting leaflets or posters in libraries and other venues. Liz, and everyone, thanked Alison Hawes for cover refreshments whilst Wendy was unable to join us. Fortunately, Lucy Critcher has been appointed Refreshments Manager, in absentia.

Committee Members Election. Members voted and approved the following:

Chair: Derek Eastwood
Treasurer: Liz Eastwood
Membership Secretary: Derek Eastwood
Publicity Officer: Michael Wearing
Programme Manager: Liz Eastwood
Secretary: Liz Eastwood [1]
Refreshments Manager: Lucy Critcher (taking over from Alison Hawes temporary and
Wendy Swarbrick)

All the officers were thanked most warmly for what they do. It was suggested that to relieve their workload, some ‘helpers’ without official jobs should be able to help the committee and maybe come to occasional committee meetings (tasty muffins!).


POETRY Judged by John McCullough

FIRST: Teresa Gooda, for her poem ‘Tides’

MEMOIR Judged by Teresa Gooda

FIRST: Audrey Lee, for her memoir ‘Common and Uncommon Birds’

NB: The winners' awards will be presented at the end of the November 10th WSW Meeting.

The evening ended with a presentation to Ian Black for all the hard work he has put into the club. Liz thanked him on behalf of everyone.

We rounded off the evening with a most enjoyable Open Mic and the raffle.

[1] Wendy Swarbrick has not been able to perform as Secretary due to the accident to her son. Thankfully, he is on the road to recovery. The club send their good wishes.

Audrey Lee