Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MAY DAY IS SPECIAL THIS YEAR - WE CELEBRATE OUR 120TH BIRTHDAY!

Amazing things happen at this time of the year.  I've researched so much history and folklore in Essex and will be letting you know some of our old county secrets in a few days.

Lady Sarah Wilson reporting from the
 Boer War in South Africa

But first, members of our Society of Women Writers and Journalists are gearing up to celebrate a very special birthday on Thursday 1 May. Members, friends and colleagues will be celebrating the Society's 120th anniversary.

In 1894, a dapper, wealthy newspaper magnate, Joseph Snell Wood had a wonderful idea.  He felt sorry that so many talented female journalists, playwrights and novelists were not regarded seriously in Fleet Street. With this in mind, he created a special club, with premises in London, originally called The Society of Women Journalists. More than 200 women clamoured to join.  The initial subscription was one guinea and among those pioneers were names such as the dramatist Pearl Craigie, Clemence Dane, Lady Sarah Wilson, Madame Sarah Grand, Dr Marie Stopes, Dame Rebecca West, Radclyffe Hall among many others.  Later, luminaries joined us, such as Vera Brittain, Elizabeth Longford, Marjorie Allingham and, of course, our sparkling Joyce Grenfell who brought such fun and fame to our Society.
Best selling author Martina Cole
 
These days, we are equally proud of our members and patrons who are among the most well known of modern authors, playwrights, TV and Television aficionardos.  They include Baroness Williams of Crosby (Shirley Williams), Dame Victoria Wood, Lady Sandra Howard, Sir Tim Rice, Simon Brett, Lord Quirk and the Earl of Stockton. Yes, we now welcome male associates.

We will be advertising some of our special events to be held in London over the next few months and suggest that folk with an interest in writing, will take a look at our website: www.swwj.co.uk  You will also see the cover of my book entitled THE WOMAN WRITER with a nice portrait of Joyce Grenfell on front.

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