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Oh What a Night: AWC Really SAW Success – 28 March 2018

Once again the members of Ayr Writers’ Club who entered work in the Scottish Association of Writers competitions did the club proud, amassing no less than a dozen accolades.

A success night was held on 28 March to showcase their winning pieces.

First up was Greta Yorke who won 1st place with her children’s self published book Tartan Witch, a delightful and practical tale of finding a way to understand each other’s language. The book is illustrated by Maggie Bolton. Greta was placed 1st in the poetry wall with a moving poem about the tragic life of a young child named Jessica Randle, and also achieved 3rd place in the 3/5 min sketch category about a wish-granting fairy. Fiona, Helena and Greta acted out the humorous sketch to rapturous applause.

Kirsty Hammond, in her first visit to SAW, won 2nd place in the flash fiction competition with the story of an innocent saved from the flames by a resourceful witch, and took 3rd place in the children’s novel. This tale tells of how a few sips reveal a whole different story. Excellent beginning to your own SAW story Kristy.

Maggie Bolton took 3rd place in the self-published book category with Come Back Jack, the story of a naughty puppy. Maggie was also placed 3rd in the children’s novel comp with the story Whoopee My Tail’s Come Off. This tells how a little tadpole becomes a frog. Both books are beautifully illustrated by Maggie and were highly commended by the judges. The judges highlighted that Maggie’s use of a landscape format would have added to the cost of production and suggested an A4 format would keep the cost down. Speaking as someone who has read storybooks with children, I would highlight that the landscape format enables the book to be spread over two laps, allowing both adult and child to share in the pleasure of reading the story together.

Linda Brown was awarded 2nd place for her book review of Douglas Skelton’s recently published The Dead Don’t Boogie, a crime novel with a humorous twist about a missing teenager. Linda’s story A Clean Slate, about a girl seeking a new start, gained a commended in the general novel competition.

Kirstin Brown took 2nd place in the general article competition with her entertaining and detailed description of the Harry Potter Trail walk in Edinburgh. I’m sure everyone hearing the reading of the article was left with a vivid picture of how J.K. Rowling came up with ideas for the characters and settings in her record breaking books. This article was Kirstin’s first entry at SAW, and didn’t she do well.

Ann Burnett was commended for her self-published book of stories and poems for young children A Drop of Rainbow Magic. Within the book are spaces where children are encouraged to draw the pictures the stories create in their minds. They become the illustrators of the book.

Nigel Ward took 3rd place with his absorbing book review of James Rebanks’ memoir The Shepherd’s Life, which perfectly captured the essence of Rebanks’ account of his life as a shepherd in the Lake District. Nigel’s women’s short story entry Outsiders a humourous tale of pride and plumbing was highly commended by the adjudicator.

Helena Sheridan claimed 3rd place in the drama competition with a hilarious play about the return of a not so deceased first wife. The piece was acted out by a soon to be Oscar nominated cast comprising of Nigel, Fiona and Helena. Bravo to them all.

Susan McVey, who was unable to attend success night, took 2nd place with her entry in the young adult novel competition. Look forward to hearing an extract from your entry at a later date.

Well done to all the above winners and a huge thanks to all AWC members who entered the SAW competitions and attended the SAW conference. Be in no doubt, without your presence at the event the Scottish writing world would be a poorer place.

Best of luck for next year everyone.

Kathy Wallace

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