© Brentwood Writers' Circle, 2011 - 18 All Rights Reserved.
7th July 2018

Speaker - Robert Hallman, Southend

Robert says: “As a teenager in Germany, while training as typesetter, I’d decided I wanted to write, so after a lifetime in advertising, typography, design, photography and illustrating articles for magazines and newspapers – I finally turned to writing. History and research got me into books and I’ve now written five books on local and Essex historical themes, two collections of ghost stories and a children’s book so far, with more books in manuscript form.” “As a child in and after wartime Germany I found that in spite of their religious persuasions many people turned to the occult in times of dire threat and uncertainty. Now, with all the research and my love for stories, I set events, sometimes actual events and actual people, into times and places that make ideal settings. Essex has quite a past with ghosts, poltergeists, witches and warlocks. I have played our own local ‘Cunning’ Murrell on several occasions as part of local folklore.”
Winners of the Circle’s 101 International  Writing Competition Announced! Entrants were asked to write a piece of exactly one hundred and one words about something they wished to consign to oblivion in reference to George Orwells’ Room 101. First Prize Award £51.00 Winner: J. Ruth Towler of Rochford, Essex. The Glossy Deceiver The remnants of my grandmother's kiss, smeared on my cheek, undetected until an older sibling poked fun; the smear on a cup or glass, that needs scrubbing to get it off; the tell-tale stain on a man's shirt collar, that makes a woman cry. Bright, glossy, promising romance. Tarty or classy. But what might it contain? Wax from bees, lanolin from sheep's wool, dried blood from beetles, poo from whales, Slap it on, lick your lips. Enticing, alluring, shiny. What's left behind? Chemicals on your tongue, stains on your teeth. Don't swallow it! Fickle lipstick. Off with it, to room 101. Second Prize Award £30.00 Winner: Joanne Hunter of Kidderminster, Worcestershire From posh breakfasts to afternoon tea, graduation celebrations to leaving commiserations, girls nights out to girls' night in, on sunny days, rainy days or even just because, there it is, displayed and applauded, the ubiquitous Prosecco. Equally at home in plastic or glass, the thin stems impossible to grip except in a pretentious manner, little finger raised, as tea was once drunk in delicate china cups, now usurped from its spot as the number one drink. But cheap white wine is still cheap white wine, even if you add bubbles to it. Are we becoming the Prosecco generation? I loathe it. Third Prize Award £20.00 Winner: Pam Corsie, of Poole, Dorset Professional Football into Room 101 Some Premier League players are paid the price of a small house every week, yet appear to make no effort for their fans. The cost for Joe Public is monstrous - overpriced tickets, travelling expenses to away games, pressure to buy ever-changing kit for the kids - all from a monthly salary equivalent to some players' hourly rate. Every game results in disappointment for half the supporters and if it ends in a 0-0 draw then everyone goes home unhappy. Even worse, the money-grabbing, self-serving prima-donnas are often the ones who become role models for our children. The beautiful game has been bastardised.
7th July 2018
© Brentwood Writers' Circle, 2011 - 18 All Rights Reserved.
First Prize Award £51.00  Winner: J. Ruth Towler of Rochford, Essex.  The Glossy Deceiver  The remnants of my grandmother's kiss, smeared on my cheek, undetected until an older sibling poked fun; the smear on a cup or glass, that needs scrubbing to get it off; the tell-tale stain on a man's shirt collar, that makes a woman cry. Bright, glossy, promising romance.   Tarty or classy. But what might it contain? Wax from bees, lanolin from sheep's wool, dried  blood from beetles, poo from whales, Slap it on, lick your lips. Enticing, alluring, shiny. What's left behind? Chemicals on your tongue, stains on your teeth. Don't swallow it!   Fickle lipstick. Off with it, to room 101.    Second Prize Award £30.00  Winner: Joanne Hunter of Kidderminster, Worcestershire  From posh breakfasts to afternoon tea, graduation celebrations to leaving commiserations, girls nights out to girls' night in, on sunny days, rainy days or even just because, there it is, displayed and applauded, the ubiquitous Prosecco. Equally at home in plastic or glass, the thin stems impossible to grip except in a pretentious manner, little finger raised, as tea was once drunk in delicate china cups, now usurped from its spot as the number one drink. But cheap white wine is still cheap white wine, even if you add bubbles to it. Are we becoming the Prosecco generation?  I loathe it.    Third Prize Award £20.00 Winner: Pam Corsie, of Poole, Dorset  Professional Football into Room 101   Some Premier League players are paid the price of a small house every week, yet appear to make no effort for their fans. The cost for Joe Public is monstrous - overpriced tickets, travelling expenses to away games, pressure to buy ever-changing kit for the kids - all from a monthly salary equivalent to some players' hourly rate. Every game results in disappointment for half the supporters and if it ends in a 0-0 draw then everyone goes home unhappy. Even worse, the money-grabbing, self-serving prima-donnas are often the ones who become role models for our children.  The beautiful game has been bastardised.
Winners of the Circle’s 101 International  Writing Competition Announced! Entrants were asked to write a piece of exactly one hundred and one words about something they wished to consign to oblivion in reference to George Orwells’ Room 101. Entrants were asked to write a piece of exactly one hundred and one words about something they wished to consign to oblivion in reference to George Orwells’ Room 101.
Robert says: “As a teenager in Germany, while training as typesetter, I’d decided I wanted to write, so after a lifetime in advertising, typography, design, photography and illustrating articles for magazines and newspapers – I finally turned to writing. History and research got me into books and I’ve now written five books on local and Essex historical themes, two collections of ghost stories and a children’s book so far, with more books in manuscript form.”
“As a child in and after wartime Germany I found that in spite of their religious persuasions many people turned to the occult in times of dire threat and uncertainty. Now, with all the research and my love for stories, I set events, sometimes actual events and actual people, into times and places that make ideal settings. Essex has quite a past with ghosts, poltergeists, witches and warlocks. I have played our own local ‘Cunning’ Murrell on several occasions as part of local folklore.”