Welcome to Expat Writers

Expat Writers is an international online writing group for those who live (or have lived) in a place that is not their native land. Members benefit from obtaining and providing feedback, discussing related topics and sharing market information. Applications for membership are always welcome.  More details and how to apply.


Happy Birthday wishes to John, July 9th. Wishing Patti a happy birthday today, 4th July. 6 week poetry workshop up and running - join in the fun beginning Monday 2 June. Happy Birthday (April 23) to our Expat Member Bruce in Sweden. Congrats to Jax whose poem "Blue" is published in the current issue of ArtAscent. Happy Birthday to Maggie April 6th. Bruce (#89) and Sue (#65) both have flashes in the running at the Lascaux250 Flash Comp. Sue is pretty tickled to find that a resolution was read in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulating her on the "Knickers' publication in Foreign and Far Away. Newsflash: Jax and Sue both have pieces published in the winter Dark edition of ArtAscent. Out of a total of 7 pieces of writing, to have 2 in the same journal from XPW is something to wave the flags about. Rescued greyhound Flying Lucy's story by Sue has won her (Lucy) a place on doggie shampoo labels. Writing gets you everywhere! Newer news flash from Sue: The Sequence Dance, a short story, is now published on page 45 of the October issue of the arts and lit journal, ArtAscent. From Mona: “Marriage” my most recent short story, was shortlisted and will be published in my college anthology due out in November! The authors are invited to the launch event to read our pieces! From Mona From Sue: "Yay - my nonfiction piece Knickers has been given the thumbs up for the next Writers Abroad anthology "Far Flung and Foreign." Sue. From Natalie: My monthly column about life in Europe is now about Life in Africa! Live from Cairo in the Caribbean Intelligence: http://www.caribbeanintelligence.com Natalie. From Jacqueline: My travel article published in Bus-pass Britain is advertised in http://www.seekernews.co.uk/2013/09/local-bus-journeys-in-new-book/ and my flash story 'Care in the Community' has been shortlisted and included in an anthology by Earlyworks.press and 'Still Life'a poem written with the help and support of Expat members, has been accepted by Artascent whoo hoo
The Pros & Cons of being an expat writer
Posted by John G

One of the best things about on line writers groups like ours is the variety of circumstances in which the members find themselves. Some live in a different country because of their career requirements or that of their partners others from pure preference. I am lucky to be one of the latter. Having spent my working life in the old country I can only write about my experiences but perhaps others might converse about theirs later.

For me it was a simple lifestyle choice; to move to a balmy climate with time to enjoy it and pursue the dream or stay with the grind and buy a bigger plot in the graveyard.

Without the pressure of workaday life, sitting in the sun and typing that novel that’s been lurking in the back of my overloaded brain should be a doddle. So there’s the first “con.” You can’t see the screen of a laptop in full sunlight. No problem I’ll work indoors. At least I can have the doors and windows wide open. Even on this February, morning sun is streaming in through the open front door and low as it is this time of year almost reaches the full eight metres to my desk. However, in this climate most people live largely outside, sitting on their verandas conversing with passersby, socialising with coffee or later maybe a beer. A distraction indeed. There was a time when being heavily into my first novel that I was not seen outside in daylight for weeks, my neighbours thought I had turned into a vampire or had taken up hermitting but that was the freedom retiring from industry gave me.

Working, I like to call it work although it bears little resemblance to that activity being neither necessary nor remunerative, has become an early morning activity. It is what motivates me to get out of bed and often keeps me enthralled for most of the day. However, by starting at six or even five in the morning I can be free for normal social interaction in the afternoon with at least the satisfaction of knowing I have justified the self-imposed demands of taking a professional approach to writing. Others might prefer the afternoon, when in summer it is too hot to sit outside, to consign themselves to the air-conditioned comfort of their study, but for me that is when I catch up on my reading, correspondence and maybe have a little snooze. So for me the freedom, not only to choose my working hours, but also from the mental demands of employment is a major “pro” factor.

Becoming ambitious, in what might easily be termed a hobby, brings its problems. Living as I do in an island community with a limited English speaking population having a contingent little bigger than that of a London borough limits local marketing opportunities. There are English language periodicals produced locally but the majority with their limited funding cannot pay for professional journalism and articles....Read More

Witter & Trivia
Posted by CMcG

For any writer (or writer manqu é e, me), current wisdom dictates that the proliferating social networking possibilities are embraced. Our own XPW site follows that contemporary guidance with bells and whistles, Pinterest and whathaveyou, and I do know that many of us have nobly taken up the gauntlet. Nay, may even relish brandishing it.

My vocabulary choices might tell you I am not one of them. Read this, as I write it, with an arched eyebrow and a giant question mark, cartoon style over my puzzling head.

Generally I'm no Luddite; I think anyone who's old enough to have wrestled with typewriter corrections can only weep with relief at cybertronic cut'n'paste. I have, and use, various gizmos and for me their convenience and time-saving potential are their saving graces.

Yet it appears we have managed astonishingly to manufacture a loss of time with this gadgetry because it is all too easy to get sucked in to the frittering delights of procrastination and social guilt. “I must just see what my friends abroad are up to before I tackle the dishes.” “I should respond to those comments in this snatched half-hour between classes.” “I'm so behind with my email correspondence, I'll prioritise that.”

Instead of writing. Properly.

On a keyboard, yes, I'm not that daft. But I'll hope to meet my own expectations and desires, no-one else's.

Articles now proliferate about attention span deficits and fearful lack of genuine communication skills, about thumbs getting longer, and handwriting disappearing, and children being seduced online in more ways than one. Privacy has been gaily abandoned, accounts are hacked, people lie blatantly and, frankly, if one more 'FB Friend' wastes energy by wishing me and his entire world a happy Monday morning, I shall spit.

Bitter and twisted? At least Twitter has been avoidable; it's there in the very name - wittering. Maybe it's just me, grumpy gran. Perhaps I should embrace the twenty-first century instead of thanking any gods that I may die soon and be able to leave it all behind me? Ah, the relief.

Is it simply that I suffer the classical inadequacies of the elderly Brit who baulks and winces at the spreading of personal news, for fear of silting up someone else's day with my trivial concerns? (Crumbs, I'm still inclined not to phone nearest and very dearest in case of interrupting something important. Like lunch.)

What I resent deepest - and you'll have noticed I do have the odd resentment - is the assumption that I am missing out in some crucial way, that I am letting the side down by refusing to keep up, that I should follow the herd and not be an old goat!

No, I'm more of a gladsome ostrich. Please do not take offence, therefore, when I run the risk of you considering me out of touch when I remain silent. Of the very few compensations...Read More

A suspension of Disbelief
Posted by John G

One of the things that have kept me from being fully active on this site is a promise I made to my good friend Brian Hodgkinson. He came to me just over a year ago with a draft manuscript entitled “A Suspension of Disbelief.” He hoped I would edit and help him publish it. Flattered at being asked I set about reviewing the short novel, to be honest it was not his best work and after obtaining a second opinion from a mutual acquaintance, we prevailed upon him to carry out a limited rewrite. Brian was a lively octogenarian but physically frail at the best of times. I knew he was fighting a serious illness and there were several short stays in hospital before the new version was produced. He was reticent about his ill health and I did not press him about it. He assured me that although debilitated by these bouts he was now properly diagnosed and a regime to put him back to full vigour was underway. He wanted to press on with publication as soon as possible but I felt that the ending needed a bit more punch. He agreed to take a look at it and we should plan on initially taking the E-book route. Shortly after this, I received the sad news that he had died. In a matter of days, he succumbed to a sudden unrelated infection that his overstretched immune system could not defeat. At his funeral, his widow told me that it was his dearest wish that his novel were published and I agreed to take care of it on her behalf.

It is difficult enough to edit another authors pride and joy but when it is that of a good friend one becomes torn between a duty to press for the best he can produce and consideration for his feelings. Not wishing to impose my persona on the writing, I have decided to go ahead with the last version he created. Later this week it will become available on Kindle.

A Suspension of Disbelief

A novel by Brian Hodgkinson

When reclusive artist Christopher Woodford died shortly after his one-man show at the Carillion Gallery was pronounced a resounding success the official conclusion was a boating accident. However, some of his friends were not so sure.

Set in South Australia each of his acquaintances review his last days in turn. Could it possibly be a result of foul play or even suicide? You decide.


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Our collaborative book is still available at authors'/poets' prices.  Let us know what you think.

One of last year's achievements by the poets of XPW

available in many formats for all tastes and pockets:  paperback,  hardback casebound, or softback, with colour images and the same edition with images as a downloadable pdf copy from lulu.com, or from Amazon for Kindle

Follow Distant Voices fans on facebook Distant voices, talking drums

When ordering be sure to check the international options.

Here is the book's first review:

  • 26-Mar-2013

    Like language itself, poetry is a living thing and, over the decades, it has changed so much. This book was recommended by a friend of a friend and I have to say that I have enjoyed seeing language in motion. The use of cleverly-placed words and the emotion exuding from them has left me wanting more of this style of poetry. Well done to the poets of today! 
News in Brief
This month in brief
Posted by Patti

This has been a reasonably quiet month at MWA.

Sue has been on holiday in Prince Edward Isle. Is that where Anne of Green...Read More

Members' Blogs
Monday, July 14, 2014
I Want To Write a Diary.
Sunday, July 06, 2014
New Language
Monday, June 09, 2014
Blind Howard and the Drunk
Monday, April 07, 2014
A Trini in Egypt: Life remains troubled
A Trini in Egypt: Life remains troubled
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