A SAW First Timer

Writers Chill-Out at Erskine Ice Hotel
This year was my first time at the Scottish Association of Writers’ Conference and it was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry!
It was interesting to spend a whole weekend surrounded by people so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about writing. It was thought-provoking to hear guest-speaker Alan Bisset’s view that we, as Scotland’s writers, occupy a very important place in Scotland’s future from 2014.  Scottish literature, he argues, has a very powerful role to play, no matter the result of the Referendum.  And the weekend was memorable, not only for the Glitches (capital letter intended) but for the relaxed atmosphere, the conversation and the encouragement.
One of the highlights for me was Matthew Fitt’s workshop where he had everyone scribbling down hundreds, yes hundreds of words in Scots. At great speed, with Matthew’s encouragement we could create metaphors, (mine was ‘blid-wabbit’ which, translated, could mean anaemic). We also described the weather, “a gowden blatter o spring rain” or “smorin snaa”. Briefly, Matthew explained the use, or lack of use of the apologetic apostrophe in writing Scots words. He stressed that it is important for writers using the Scots language to be clear about the differences between English and Scots.

To be cheered on by friends from Ayr Writers’ Club; to celebrate successes; to read the judges’ feedback; to hear some of the winning entries read out and to share warm jackets – all added to an atmosphere of creative conviviality.
Rhona Anderson

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