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Round of Applause, Please – AWC Success Night– 24 April 2019

As another Ayr Writers’ Club year careered towards its close, it was time, once again, for our Success Night – the evening we celebrate the talent and achievements of members who either won or were placed in one of the club’s nine competitions.

So, pull up a chair. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin….

Our evening kicked off with Chris Palmer’s thought provoking first placed Book Review (read by Alan) on Waiting on the Last Bus by Richard Holloway which reflected on our attitudes to life, death and aging.

            Gill Sherry read her first placed Flash Fiction entry The Extraction – a powerful and intense story set in a war zone.

            Second place in our Article competition, with memoir theme, Carolyn O’Hara’s Dramatic Deception recounted an awkward invitation and an uncomfortable visit to a formidable university lecturer’s home during her student days.

             Greta Yorke shared her poignant poem The Brink, first placed in our Poetry competition and inspired the theme of ‘Liminal’.

            Next, we had a little bit of drama when Rose McGregor literally hit the floor, ably assisted by Joanne, to act out her equal 3rd, humorous Sketch McTavish.  Rose displayed Oscar-winning skills (Method Acting, perhaps?)  playing an inebriated Mr McTavish with a penchant for the cuddies while Joanne was his long-suffering Missus.

            Sheila Grant read her excellent first placed Scottish Article, Always Look on the Bright Side, based on the war-time memories of a stoic, elderly gentleman who served on the Arctic Convoys.

            I shared an extract from my first placed General Short Story No Shame – set in 1920, Ayrshire, a feisty widow tries to challenge old fashioned misogynistic attitudes.

            Baby Brain, Carey McCabe’s wonderful, 2nd Woman’s Short Story, used the competition’s theme of ‘Modern Life’ to tell a contemporary tale about a journey to motherhood.

            After all these fantastic readings we took a breather, grabbed a coffee and a biscuit, had a natter, then re-grouped for the second half.

            Polishing up my best French accent, I read Suzy Kelly’s 2nd Flash Fiction, a descriptive historical piece Pour La Revolution – The Death of Marat based on the assignation of the French revolutionary.

            Jennifer West read her 3rd Book Review on Robert Harris’s novel Conclave, an intriguing insight into Vatican machinations after the death of a Pope and the election of his successor.

            Second placed poet, Rhona Anderson, also made good use of the theme ‘Liminal’ in her eloquent and quirky poem Revival.

            The aptly named I Had to Smile had the whole room smiling too – Jan Walker’s bizarre flight to Turkey in the company of a colourful bridal party and bevvied up stags was a worthy 2nd in the Scottish Article competition.

            The laughs continued when Maggie Bolton read an extract from her 3rd General Short Story Well, Teeth Are For Chewing, Aren’t They? – a dog and misplaced false teeth …. what could go wrong?

            Marion Husband achieved Novice winner in the Flash Fiction competition with the amusing dilemmas of a struggling slimmer in Synergy Diet.

            Lastly, drawing our evening’s programme to a close, our other 3rd Drama script writer, Carolyn O’Hara performed Special Delivery.  A lonely, elderly lady looks forward to the daily visits from her friendly postman (Nigel) – a moving, feel good sketch with a delightful twist.

            Missing from the evening were our winning entries for Children’s Fiction – Maggie Bolton with Guzzle Guzzle and General Novel – Kirsty Hammond with Solar.

            Other successful placed writers throughout the 2018/19 session were Dorothy Gallagher, Susan McVey, Graeme St Clair, Pearl Willis, Catherine Lang, Derek Hall, Eddie Phillips Nicola Prigg and Kathy Wallace.

            Wow, what an impressive line-up of writers with a wide variety of excellent entries proving again that Ayr Writers’ Club has talent.  Round of applause, please, for our winners and all who entered our competitions.

 Let’s do it all again next year !

Linda Brown

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