Anyone that has ever visited the bustling town of Midleton Co. Cork knows what a busy, vibrant and progressive town it is. Even during the worst parts of the recession, the streets were busy and the restaurants kept opening, the farmers market provided the locals with fresh produce and the areas around the town brought in visitors, both national and international. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that within the town, there is a welcoming and talented writing group.

The group is called Midleton Writers group and has been in existence for 45 years. It is thought that it is the oldest such group in the country, although if you know otherwise, please do get in touch and tell us which group is older. After much discussion and debate, the Midleton Writers Group decided to put together a collection of their writings and publish it, the name they chose was simply Midleton Miscellany.

Putting a book together for a group isn’t an easy task as everyone involved will have their own opinion, should they make one? Or should they not? What format should it take? How should it look? What should be included or not included? It just so happened that while they were deciding this, we were in the process of creating our own guide for writing groups, a guide that helps to answer all these questions and more it is called Get Published Now!!. There is a link to it here, which includes a voucher for our publishing services.

We provided the group with a proof copy that we were working on with the aim that it would help the group. We also added answers to questions that some members of the group had, with the hope that it will help other writing groups put a book together.  The result was that Midleton Miscellany was published and designed, much quicker than without the Get Published Now!! book.

The group contributed wonderful stories to collection, but decided to broaden the scope of the publication, by including the local school. Art students from Midleton College were asked to provide illustrations for the stories, they were helped with this task by a professional illustrator. This has turned the book into more than just a book from the authors, but a book about the town and the people in it. Everyone from the authors to the illustrators can be proud to see that their work is now published for the community to see and enjoy.

In these pages you will find life, love, laughter, death, nature, the seasons: you will be moved, saddened, uplifted, engaged….

From a boy’s memory of cutting the turf in West Cork, to reminiscences of a first day at school, to a poem about a lost sock. Oh, and one advising you against taking your horse to Tesco. Why? “He’ll only let his mess go.” But of course!

A Sheer delighted

John Dolan

Editor, Cork Holly Bough & Assistant Editor, The Echo

If you are part of a writing group, or any group for that matter and you are interested in publishing a book, we recommend reading our Get Published Now!! book, it will help answer the majority of questions or queries that members might have. Alternatively, give us a call in the office or email us and we will talk you through all that you need to know.

Midleton Writers meet on the first Thursday of the month at My Place Community centre between 7.30 pm and 10.30 pm.