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Critiquing and Chocolate Cake Eating – 15 November 2017

On Wednesday night, Ayr Writers had the opportunity to receive feedback on pieces of writing that they’re working on. These varied, from fiction to articles, scripts to poems, and we were split into groups of four to read and critique anonymous pieces of work. Lively discussion ensued and after the tea break, it was time to feed back. Each group had three or four pieces each, so one at a time we...

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Short story workshop with Ann Burnett – 8 November 2017

On Wednesday we were treated to a talk about short stories by Ann Burnett, one of the Club members. Ann began by saying that all authors need to warm up before they start writing. Ann got the group to write about themselves for five minutes, but that what we were writing was going to be a pack of lies. This idea would have the basis of a short story with characters, plot and action. Of some two...

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Passion, a Twix and Cereal Boxes: writing non-fiction with Gill Hoffs – 1 November 2017

As a writer, I’m a bit of an over-thinker, a bit OCD, a bit careful. Maybe I’m alone in this. But I suspect (and hope!) I am not. So, what a veritable breath of fresh air was Gill Hoffs, speaker on writing non-fiction at our meeting of Wednesday 1 November. Gill brought energy, passion, wisdom, honesty and… er… torn up cereal boxes … to a talk that inspired and encouraged writing about what...

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Scottish Article Competition – Em Strang’s notes

Nature Writing – up to 1500 words How can the writer articulate the relationship between ‘nature’ and the human body, where the body is not separate witness, but integral part of ‘nature’? What might this mean? How on earth might a writer approach this? Some questions that might help bring into focus thoughts and feelings in relation to this: What even IS nature?...

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Nature personified with Em Strang – 18 October 2017

Not many speakers invited to Ayr Writers’ Club begin by emphasising what they are NOT going to talk about, but then, Em Strang was not a typical speaker. Instead she explained that she wanted to use the occasion – and us – as a sounding board for her current passion: an exploration of what it is to write nature poetry, not writing ‘about’ nature but writing ‘towards’ nature as a human embodiment...

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This Is Your Life: A Life Writing Workshop by Linda Brown – 11 October 2017

‘Everyone has a story to tell, your life is your material’. This quote by author Claire Tomalin was the perfect introduction to Linda Brown’s workshop on life writing. It was also an ideal example to prove that you’re never too old (or too young) to write your autobiography. Claire was 84 when she wrote her own memoir, ‘A Life of My Own’. Perhaps even more impressive though, is Herman Wouk’s...

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Laughter at the Let’s Write Night – 4 October 2017

Well, my first blog for the Ayr Writers’ Club and as a new member I must admit I am finding this a wee bitty daunting. Not that I am a stranger to writing material that others are going to read; however these are mainly in the form of reports and assessments, nothing quite as exciting as a blog where I can express my own own thoughts and feelings on the subject matter. Speaking of which,...

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An evening with Sheila Templeton: a Buchan Quine – 27 September 2017

Ayr Writers’ Club was delighted to welcome Sheila Templeton, poet and past club member to give a talk on her personal journey in what is for some, the daunting world of poetry writing. From the outset of her talk, Sheila had the audience of old, although not in years, and new members hanging on her every word. In between readings of her works, Sheila told how from her earliest days she had...

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