Enthusiastic endorsement: Feedback Evening – 29 January 2020

When Carrie asked me whether I would like to write this week’s blog, in that gentle way she has, I immediately blurted out: “Yes of course, why not.” There, it was done. Now I had plenty of time to worry and as we all know you can never do enough worrying! Besides, this was my first read-around making me uniquely qualified – not! Then I got to thinking, maybe my newbie status could provide...

Read More

Rab Wilson and and the Valentine build-up – 22 January 2020

With all the Burns celebrations we were indeed honoured to have Rab Wilson, winner of many poetry awards and Makar, at the Club. Rab suggested the format as follows… the first half would be his response to the competition entries, the second half would be a writing workshop. ‘The best laid schemes o mice and men…’ Poems were as follows – Chew Chew, a train journey exposing the horrors of close...

Read More

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