Opening Night: setting the scene – 11 September 2019

While the club’s summer ended in the blaze of an autumnal sunset, the only ashes in evidence were those being competed for south of the border. Instead, it was clear that the glowing embers of a creative summer are about to burst back into flames, fuelled by an exciting programme put together by our new presidential pair, Chris and Graeme.

A healthy gathering of nearly forty existing, new and potential members were fired with enthusiasm at the prospect of ten speakers who will be sharing their expertise and encouragement on an array of genres. From novels to non-fiction, from poetry to screen writing, there’ll be plenty to stoke our imagination and inspiration.

Seven workshops will help us take our work from kindling drafts to literary conflagration. They’ll start with the appropriately entitled “Good beginnings and opening lines,” and be followed with intriguing themes such as mythobiography. We’ll learn how to survive in the crucible that is a Dragons’ Pen and develop flame-proof skins as we expose ourselves to publication.

Our competitive urges were ignited with information about ten club competitions and another dozen as part of the Scottish Association of Writers. If points, prizes and pride don’t spark your interest, maybe the trophies and tokens will.

We learned that we’ll be able to incinerate our bad habits and dodgy drafts round the campfire of Feedback Nights. At Success Nights we’ll be warm our hands and hearts and bask in reflected glory while our colleagues share their prize-winning entries. Christmas will again see Waterstones burn the midnight oil as we party and spend.

Writing is an addiction we were told, one we should be happy to declare being burnt by. We should use the opportunities in the year ahead to write outside our comfort zone. Being a member of the club allows us to walk over the heated coals of a genre we’ve never explored before. Go on, try it.

We were worried that people would drift off during the refreshment break, dissolve and disappear like smoke in the breeze.

But we were wrong. We struggled to douse the pyrotechnics of conversation. Mind you, it might also have had something to do with Marion’s home-baking.

As the evening ended, promises were made to return, to enter, to take part, to simply write. Prevarication was going to be a thing of the past.

Our 2019-20 year has begun.

And hopefully that’s me getting a stock of clichéd metaphors and thesaurus indigestion out of my system – extinguished in fact.

Nigel Ward

One comment

  1. Great blog Nigel. You captured the night in all its glory.

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