Grab yourself a journalist: self-publishing and self-promotion with Ken McGaffin and John Crowley – 27 January 2021

A.W.C. was treated to a highly enjoyable and informative evening as our own Ken McGaffin and journalist John Crowley shared their expertise. Co-authors of their, soon to be published A Digital PR Recipe Book  (tip number one there, by the way – start promoting your work before it’s finished) they gave us a wealth of information, tips and examples of how other successful authors had found unique...

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Subverting the obvious from Tuscany to the bathroom: Writing for children with Linda Strachan – 20 January 2021

To do justice to the wealth of advice and ideas Linda Strachan shared with the assembled Zoom Squares on Wednesday evening it would simply require a transcript. Alternately, you could buy her 2019 title Guide to Writing for Children and YA (Go on, I’m sure you got some book tokens for Christmas). The pearls and insights just kept on coming, accumulating like the snow that must have been falling...

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An evening with Henry Bell: biographer, poet, editor – 13 January 2021

Ken McGaffin, committee member and moderator for the evening, gave a warm and enthusiastic introduction for Henry Bell: the editor-in-chief of the award-winning Gutter magazine, widely published poet and most recently a successful biographer. The evening was organised in two parts, the first an exploration of Bell’s biography – John Maclean, Hero of Red Clydeside. He discussed how he chose...

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‘Twas the night before Christmas: a Party and Awards Evening – 9 December 2020

Gathered round our screens, we waited for the Sanquhar Santa (aka Jeanette our President) to read us a story, to give us some cheer, to reassure us about whichever Covid Christmas ghost might haunt our festive prospects. Instead, we were encouraged to time-shift – between a balmy May evening and driech gloomy one of mid-December. As Jeanette unwrapped our present she promised us a trip back in...

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Poetically Performing Spoken Theatre, with Jenny Lindsay – 2 December 2020

There was a good turn-out for this extremely lively, entertaining and (exercise-wise) challenging talk by Jenny Lindsay. As one of Scotland’s best known spoken words performers and winner this year of a prestigious John Byrne award for critical thinking (the only award she has ever won, she told us modestly), she had plenty to impart. After growing up in Maybole where she hated school, she...

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Humorous Poetry: Rhyme Time with Greta Yorke – 25 November 2020

Carolyn O’Hara kicked off the evening with a rousing and heartfelt introduction to her friend and fellow AWC member, Greta Yorke. She touched on Greta’s long association with AWC, her career as a primary school teacher, her love of language and her success as a writer of both fiction and poetry; including the many awards and prizes and her major break that came with the children’s book Witch...

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Ghosts, Invisibility and the Spectre of a Certain Mr. D Trump – 11 November 2020

The second club night of the 2020-2021 season proved that Ayr Writers’ Club members’ pens and fertile imagination are always at the ready. Jeanette launched us off with a selection of ‘what if?’ writing prompts. The first one was What if you could go forward to the end of 2021. What has changed?             Interestingly, both Nigel and Matthew took the view that, in the case of a certain...

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Mining the facts: articles and non-fiction with Donald Reid – 4 November 2020

On Wednesday twenty of us gathered by Zoom to hear Donald Reid’s talk. I didn’t know what he was going to tell us except that it was related to writing non-fiction. However I ended up with seven pages of notes, because he provided so much information on topics he is passionate about. Donald retired after a career in the police force in Ayrshire and around Glasgow. He began writing in 1993 and so...

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