Christmas Quiz Quandries – 18 December 2019

Coffee beans on the left, books on the right. Yes, this year’s annual Christmas quiz took place, as it always does, in the writer’s safest place: Waterstones. Once the initial flurry of ‘Are you feeling Christmassy yet?’ had abated, we were informed on Waterstones’s best selling books. Had I written this blog sooner, now would follow a detailed list of what those books were. Unfortunately, this...

Read More

Travel writing, with Nigel Ward – 11 December 2019

As writers, we’re told to show not tell. But travel writing is different, said Nigel – we have to show AND tell. That’s because we not only have to entertain with our stories, we have to give direction to our readers – they might be climbing some distant mountainside, clutching our story in their hand – and if we send them in the wrong direction, we haven’t done our job. In his...

Read More

Scripts and screens, with Martin McCardie – 4 December 2019

Martin McCardie, actor; play-wright; screen writer and BBC producer, played to a full house on Wednesday evening, and what an entertaining and informative evening it was! He began by telling us how his career started from a Y.O.P. scheme in Cumbernauld, through drama school, where he was also encouraged to try play-writing. His early acting career began on the stage and progressed to television...

Read More

Take Five Opening Lines – 27 November 2019

‘First sentences are doors to worlds’ – Ursula K Le Guin Split into groups of four, notebooks and pens poised, sluggish brains cranked into first gear and we were off – ready to tackle the writing exercise prepared by our Presidents Chris and Graeme. We were provided, one at a time, with five different opening lines with the aim of inspiring Flash Fiction stories and given...

Read More

Bill Coles: Fiction Chat – 20 November 2019

This was no chat! It was a deluge of advice, hints, humour and experience from a most enthusiastic writer. I do not recall the club so silent as Bill bombarded us with tales of his career as a journalist, (wouldn’t mind hearing more of the stories he covered) and now a successful writer. And how reassuring to novice writers to learn that even established writers get knocked back from time to...

Read More

A Glowing Feedback – 13 November 2019

It was a brisk, clear evening last Wednesday, when I arrived at the Mercure Hotel. The rising, full moon was casting an anticipatory glow and, as I stepped in from the chill, I was not disappointed. For a warm welcome awaited, at one of the best turnouts for a Feedback evening at the Ayr Writers’ Club. Members were asked to bring four copies of writing; in any genre, up to a maximum of...

Read More

Scots, a cultural heritage to be shared: poetry with Rab Wilson – 6 November 2019

To a Sassenach whose first exposure to Scots was hearing about ‘dwangs’ in the ‘flair’ while renovating a house, the evening was an eye-opener. Rab Wilson, Convener of the Scots Language and ‘one of Scotland’s most accomplished poets’ explained that by the fifteenth century Scots had emerged from a battleground of tongues as one of the great languages of...

Read More

A Slick Production – 23 October 2019

False identities, deceit, bribes, grave digging, and a tail-less horse. Ayr Writers’ club night was full of unusual items and bizarre events. One bag. Five items. Endless possibilities. Police reports of a mysterious event in the grounds of Alloway Auld Kirk lead to mysterious and bizarre tales full of intrigue and curious characters. With far more laughs than you would expect from a room of...

Read More