Season XVI – Alpha Day 1

Hi Alphas,

Welcome to Alphaday 1 Season XVI.

We’ve put a lot of Alpha seasons behind us, and we intend to add many more – and making them better every time.

It is my privilege to set the Alpha machinery in motion. I give it the initial push, and then – with the willing and enthusiastic help of all our members – we’re off.

Our aim is simple: we get together to share our common passion for writing from every perspective. We try out new approaches in the challenges and we showcase our personal writing in the Open Page. The feedback helps us evaluate how certain tricks work, and it motivates us to make the most of our writerly efforts. Our strength lies in the variety of approaches. With such a motley group providing stimulation we don’t risk getting stuck in a rut … unlike the solitary writer struggling alone in their proverbial attic.  

So here’s to a fruitful collaboration to create a rich and enjoyable Season XVI. My Alpha team consists of the entire group, and here’s a brief introduction to show how the tasks are distributed:

Olaf: After his 90th birthday our honorary president and 2004 founder of Alpha has deserved the position of watching our progress as a spectator. We hope he’ll send us the occasional good vibe and a comment or two – maybe even a piece of his writing – and that he’ll approve of how we fare.

Christine: Yours truly. Kicking off my 9th season in a row. Relying heavily on everyone else for keeping the season going smoothly. For which I’m very grateful.

Ros: Our web mistress and keeper of records. Publisher of our Alpha books which are available from the web site. Ros also administrates the forum where you can consult records and leave informal comments.

Sarah: Our recruitment officer who sifts through applications for membership before forwarding suitable candidates to me.

Morgen: In charge of the Alpha Writers’ Reads slot. We know that reading is essential for writers and Morgen will give us a prompt every second Alphaday to discuss our reading. Morgen, incidentally, is also the Alpha Laureate and keeper of the prestigious virtual Alpha Cup; an honour she’s earned for two consecutive seasons for her outstanding writing.

Phil: Has accepted to take on the Alpha Log. He’ll collect and send out news of your writing outside the Alpha cocoon; your successes, submissions, ambitions, disappointments, work in progress and other relevant news.

You’ll hear from those in charge of these special tasks when they need your input.

Chris: As a valued founder member, Chris will continue to watch from the wings and take part in discussions when he wishes.

Then there are our rank and file members. Their tasks are numerous. They set challenges or take charge of an Open Page edition. They join in discussions and – of course – deliver dazzling challenge entries and feedback in plenty of time before the deadline!

They are (in alphabetical order):

Lizzie, Elke, Genya, Gloria, Jackie, Linda, Maria, Martin, Stephen, Suzanne and Zena.

They’re all special – Zena for being a fellow founder member; Elke for writing from down under in Queensland, Australia; Suzanne and Gloria for being fellow French expats; Genya for her east European side … and so on … all special for lots of reasons!

We’ve got a new member:

Rick lives in Blackburn which is probably in the part of England with the densest cluster of Alphas. A teaching background is also a fairly common Alpha trait. As a writer Rick’s an all-rounder. He’s had some success with travel pieces and short stories. He’s also got two novels ‘languishing’. We welcome Rick into our group and look forward to his input.

So much for the actors. Now for the action. Today’s agenda is meant to propel you into the new season and stimulate your appetite for what’s to come.

Alphaday 1, Season XVI agenda:

  • This bulletin from me
  • The brief for challenge 1 from Sarah
  • WR prompt from Morgen
  • Call for Log entries from Phil
  • Information sheets about the season for your safe-keeping:
  • List of members for Season XVI
  • Season XVI Calendar
  • Working routine for challenges and Open Page

Are you all raring to go? I think this is a nice lot for starters and I do look forward to getting involved in all the variety of the Alpha season. The agenda will expand next Alphaday and again until we reach the full routine.

This, I think, will do for now.


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