From The Woman Writer - Reviewed by Pat Alderman
Wordfall is the 2010 Anthology of Southampton Writing Buddies, the successful informal writing group who meet in Southampton for 'writing-related chat' once a month. It contains the winning entries of a first anniversary competition to showcase the various talents of the group.
The anthology contains a wide variety of genres - short stories, poetry, articles and drama - and it is nice to see SWWJ members so well represented amongst the winners. There were some amusing and accomplished contributions and the book makes a pleasant read, but competitions offer an invaluable opportunity for adventurous and experimental writing and I was disappointed to find the entries in general rather too safe. I would like to have seen more edge - more risk-taking.
Among the more unusual ones I particularly liked 'Permanent Ink' by Catherine Miller, winner of the One Act Play Competition, with its original setting of a tattoo parlour, sharp, convincing dialogue and a final twist I didn't see coming. I also enjoyed the article 'Living with an Invisible Disease' by Monica Rees, a lucid, informative and very personal look at the latest information on a complex and poorly understood subject.
The notion I have work out there is strange enough, but to find it's been read and well received is astonishing and delightful all at the same time. It's been just the pick me up I needed whilst in the final third of rewrites (the part where you can't quite see the light at the end of the tunnel) and if I lose faith I can look at this to find some reassurance.