Welcome to the Scarborough Writers’ Circle!

Don’t forget to scroll down for all previous posts…

The Scarborough Writers’ Circle, which has been going for over sixty years, exists to share practical writing experience, encouraging  both new and more experienced writers.

We meet at The Oasis Centre, Castle Road,  at 7-30 pm on alternate Tuesday evenings. (See programme details for dates and events)

We aim to be a friendly and supportive group, and if you are not already a member, but would like to write, then why not join us? You can come any time to a meeting as a guest, and if you decide to become a member you can join later.

Members should be able to use this blog as a reference, because dates, reports, competition details and members profiles will be regularly added. (If you want to add your details, such as a brief paragraph about yourself, your current projects, and previous writing successes, please contact us.

The range represented by our members is very wide. We have novelists and crime writers, magazine article composers, and some who write short stories. There are  poets amongst us, and some like to write children’s stories. Family history is researched, and our visiting speakers have ranged from successfully published authors to publishers themselves.

Some of us just write for friends and family, and some try to earn money from their work. Whatever your interest, writing about it can be exciting and rewarding, so what are you waiting for?  If you’re a member already – keep coming; keep writing! and if you have an inkling you might like to start, don’t wait any longer-come along, and get scribbling!

Contact  Secretary SWC <gsec.swc@gmail.com>

Fantastic Books Publishing

At the meeting on Tuesday 15th April, our president, Bill Kitson, commented on the takeover by the larger publishing houses of the smaller independents. It was therefore a pleasure to welcome the speaker for the evening, CEO of Fantastic Books Publishing, Daniel Grubb.

Dan, a former agent, explained that his small independent company, established two years ago, began with a cookery book when he realised that many old family recipes risked being lost. From his experience within the industry he expanded into other genres including crime, poetry, children’s, science fiction and fantasy, producing books in both digital and paperback formats.

His business model is simple; fairness to authors. His aim; ‘To achieve respect in the industry.’ Most publishers take ninety-five per cent of profits, but Dan believes this should work on a 50/50 split, as a fair division of labour, as without authors, there would be no stories, and without publishers, there would be no books. His authors agree to both sides contributing five per cent to charity. Larger publishing companies have attempted takeovers but Dan remains steadfast in his goal. He is currently working on the Elite books linked to a new computer game. His new division, Fantastic Books Audio, recruited actor Toby Longworth (Star Wars) as narrator and Dan intends, in time, to record the entire backlist.

During the Q & A, Dan advised members not to rely on their overworked publisher to publicise their work, but to use social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc., and their own author websites. His own website, www.fantasticbookspublishing.com is packed with information, including submission guides for would-be authors, competitions and the site will soon host a new bookstore.

The next meeting on 29th April, Geoffrey Wilson will host a session of Call my Bluff.

STOP PRESS – Scarborough Flare 2014 April 24th – 27th


Here’s a new one for your diary from Julie Fairweather ….


For ticket information please scroll to end of page
  Venue Time
1st x 3 events are continuous from Thursday 10.00 a.m. through to Sunday
Tony Howson/Shush Exhibition + displays from S6F The Studio Gallery Continuous (start Thursday. 10.00 a.m.)
Marion Atkinson/of what one shouldn’t speak Exhibition The Studio Gallery Continuous (start Thursday. 10.00 a.m.)
Julie Fairweather/ The Postcard Challenge Vernon Road Library Continuous (start Thursday. 10.00 a.m.)
Bridget Cousins/The Mermaids Tale/workshop Sitwell Library 10.30 – 13.00
John, Julie and ShirleyWriters on the Loose Again Sitwell Library  13.30 – 14.30
Gingernut and Tripod/Move the Earth performance Sitwell Library  15.00 – 16.00
Hull to Scarborough Line/ ‘The Remarkable Mr Rutherford’ Sitwell Library 18.00 – 19.00
George Cromack/Folk Horror creative writing workshop Sitwell Library 19.30 – 21.30
Jo Reed/Women’s Works Workshop The Studio  Gallery 10.00 – 12.30
Bridget Cousins and Co/ Heart and Harp Lupin Cafe 13.00 – 14.00
Official Story Chair Launch Vernon Road Library 15.00 – 16.00
Linda Randall/ “A Victorian Scandal: Ruskin, Millais and Effie Gray”/ performance and talk Sitwell Library 18.00 – 19.00
Bill Hammond and the Scarborough Poetry Workshop/Poetry Slam The Old Vic Doors open: 19.00 for 19.30 start. Ends 23.00
Ross Wilson/Pleasure Domes public readings The Brunswick Centre 10.30 – 12.00
David Lewis and others / One Day in December / rehearsal workshop Westborough Methodist Church 10.00 – 12.00
Scarborough Poetry Workshop/100 years of British Poetry/ Readings Crescent Art Gallery 14.00 – 15.00
Tales from the Story Chair/guest readers Vernon Street Library 13.30 – 15.00
Kate Evans/ Taking Tea with Edith Sitwell The Mezzanine, Woodend 15.30 – 16.45
Wanda Maciuszko and Alexandra Bradley / from Strangers to Friends The Studio Gallery 18.00 – 19.00
Gingernut and Tripod/Move the Earth performance Nomad Cafe 19.00 – 21.00
Jo Reed/ Beloved performance The Studio Gallery 20.00 – 21.00
David Lewis and others/ One Day in December / performance Westborough Methodist Church 19.30 – 21.00
Steven Ayckbourn / and Gillian Martin performance: A man carrying a trunk” Sitwell Library 20.30 – 21.30
Scarborough Amnesty International / See no Evil, Speak no Evil / Roger Osborne and Jay Prosser Vernon Street Library 10.30 – 12.30
Adrienne Silcock/ Waves and Wishes/workshop The Studio Gallery 14.00 – 17.30
Marion Atkinson and Tony Howson/ Secrets /night performance The Studio Gallery 20.00 – 22.00

All tickets cost just £3.00. Some events are free.  Telephone (01723 384523) or visit the Scarborough Flare box office, Woodend, Tuesday to Friday between 10.00am and 4.00pm. You can also contact us through the website, which gives dates, times and details of each performance, on http://www.scarboroughflare.co.uk

Nikki Barker Competition

Nikki Barker Competition
‘All in a good cause’
My intention is to encourage passion for some burning issue out there that really fires up individual members. I would like to see some background knowledge, research and campaigning.
It could take the form of
· a plan of campaign,
· an account of an achievement for the cause
· a story about a campaign, fact or fiction
· an article for the media
· or anything else you want to make of it
Please feel free to add illustrations, no more than three, and any words on these will not be included in the total word count and indicate under ‘market’ where you intend it for.
Go on, move me to tears, to signing up or, even more difficult, to putting my hand in my pocket!

1,000 words; normal competition rules apply (see website)
Entries in: 13 May 2014
Results and reading of entries: 27 May


Our President, Bill Kitson, reminds everyone of John Cooper’s important evening.

Dear All,

On May 13th, John Cooper is leading a session encouraging members to analyse the mechanics of narrative writing. I believe this is an essential weapon in a writer’s armoury. The importance of the ability to write coherently is crucial. As language changes, the requirements for writers also change, so we are in effect, always learning.I think this is a session from which all members, even the most successful and experienced can benefit.

Author of the DI Mike Nash crime series,the Eden House Mysteries and the Byland Crescent Saga.

Bowing out…

Well, here is the last post from me. After setting up and maintaining the site since the beginning, I am passing on the general upkeep to Valerie and Tony . Tony already edits the ‘Roundabout’ pages, and Valerie will be poster in chief  as I hand over.

Members should contact them to add information or notices.

Thanks for all the support!


World War One Cameos

Thanks to Jill Boyes for a really well organised evening, and for the research and preparation that had preceded it.

When so much has been written, both fact and fiction, around the subject,  one could be forgiven for feeling that enough has been expressed already, but still new light shines here and there, illuminating events both personal and universal.

Along with Jill’s own presentations, there were contributions from Anne Morley, Dorinda Cass and John Dickinson, containing direct family links through diaries and personal recollections passed on.

Maybe only now, a hundred years on, can we gain perspective on this terrible time.

‘When will they ever learn; when will they ever learn?’

Phil Watson on Newsjack!

The topical programme Newsjack, which is on BBC 4extra, is built largely around submissions they receive each week. Phil had one of  his jokes accepted and used on last Thursday’s show!

Well done, Phil !

Here’s the joke…
We review the latest ‘App’ in which you upload photographs of yourself and your friends and sit back and watch yourself having a good night out without leaving the house – and avoid getting a hangover! It’s called CGI Fridays

Zoe Sharp – inspiring!

Zoe gave Scarborough Writers’ Circle members a fascinating insight into her  world tonight.

Presented with pace, humour and a wealth of practical information  which belonged to the ‘that’s a really useful idea’ category, this talk was both entertaining and inspiring. I’m sure we all learned something.

Many of us came away with signed copies of books from the  Charlie Fox series, of which there are at least ten.

Thank you Zoe for a great evening!