Post Lock-Down Catch-Up

In June 2021, we emerged from our online meetings and began meeting tentatively at Scalby/Newby library, as we had done pre-Covid days, following the re-opening of venues after the Government’s lock-down restrictions were lifted.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the things we’ve been up to in our sessions:

9th June 2021:

We’re Back!

The results of the Nikki Barker Shield short story competition were announced at the Scarborough Writers’ Circle session which was held in our usual abode at Scalby/Newby Library at 7pm on 9th June.

This was our first live meeting since the pandemic started! It felt great to be back there and on such a lovely night we were able to sit in the garden to hear the eight stories read out by the entrants before enjoying our tea/coffee/biscuits, promptly followed by discussions around writing and the ever-changing circle format. What joy!

The Nikki Barker Shield was presented by Anne Morley (judge) to our newest member Lel Meleyal for her winning story, Into the Depths. She comments: ‘I am chuffed to bits to have won – a lovely surprise and honour.’

The Arthur Hastings Cup was presented, duly engraved, to Julie Fairweather by Carol Bell (judge) for her winning story Final Resolution in 2020 (pre-pandemic days) which Julie then presented as judge of the 2021 competition to Dorinda Cass for her winning story First Impressions. 

Julie presents Dorinda with The Arthur Hastings Cup for 2021
Carol presents Julie with The Arthur Hastings Cup for 2020 (belated because of lock-down!)
Anne presents Lel with The Nikki Barker Shield for 2021

Congratulations to all winners. A strange year indeed! Hopefully normal service is now resumed (pending data of the R rate for the Corona strains).

The theme of our next meeting is An Unsung Hero – Mini Biography. The challenge is to find and research an example of an unsung hero/heroine then present it in its context in an interesting way (500-1000 words for a story/narrative or up to 40 lines as a poem) to be shared for discussion at the next session on Tuesday 13th June at 7pm at Newby and Scalby Library.

Scarborough Writers’ Circle is open to writers over age 18 to come along to a meeting or become a member. For more details please contact Dorinda Cass (SWC member) on (01723) 377139.

Julie Fairweather


14th September :

The Shirley Waite Poetry Award Cup Competition 2021

Shirley Waite, who died suddenly on 9th November 2018, was known across the literary spectrum in Scarborough as a prolific writer of poetry, short stories and novels. She was a kind, caring person with a wicked sense of humour, generous with her time in encouraging others with their writing and a great friend to all who knew her. Thus, this award has been introduced into the circle syllabus as an annual celebration of National Poetry Day in her memory.

Members of the circle, Scarborough Poetry Workshop and U3A writers were invited to submit poems to this FREE competition on the set theme of CHOICE.

The meeting on 14th September began by sharing memories of Shirley followed by the reading of three of her poems:  Felix Hodcroft (Sonnett for a Seagull), John Cooper (Offenbach’s Barcarolle), and Julie Fairweather (Essence of Love). There was a selection of memorabilia available to reflect on as the evening progressed.

The anonymous entries had been judged prior to the meeting by Felix Hodcroft: poet, creative writing tutor, speaker and performer based in Scarborough. Felix, a captivating speaker, gave an in-depth commentary on poetry in general and an intricate analysis of the poems entered, stating that it had not been an easy task in choosing three winners from the good standard of entries received.

He commended four poems to the meeting before announcing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners in reverse order: Reflecting on Choice by Christine Evans, A Time to Choose by Jean Martin, Parent by Lel Meleyal and Weekly Shopping by Judith Woodroffe.

1st Prize of £50 and the coveted cup were awarded to Julie Fairweather for her poem, Fall from Grace.

Felix presenting Julie with prize

2nd Prize of £30 was won by Adrienne Silcock, who could not attend the meeting, for her poem, Fist.

3rd Prize of £20 was won by Dorinda Cass for her poem, Saucery.

Felix presenting Dorinda with her prize

The atmosphere was dramatic to the end and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

All entries will be on display to the public at Scalby/Newby Library from 8th to 15th October as part of the celebrations for National Poetry Day.

The next meeting on Tuesday 12th October invites members (and guests) to bring along a work in progress for sharing, discussion and feedback – whichever is called for by the writer. The session begins at 7.15pm at Newby & Scalby Library, Scalby Road, Scarborough, YO12 6EE.

Anyone over 18 years of age is welcome to attend. There is currently no charge. Optional refreshments at break are available from the library for £1.

More details from:

Shirley Waite 19.4.1953-9.11.2018
B.A. (Hons) in Creative Writing (1st)

Julie Fairweather


9th November 2021 – The Leslie Richards Competition Results

Gloria Swansong

That’s not a misspelling. It’s the winner of Scarborough Writers’ Circle autumn competition. There was much soul-searching and regret — missed opportunities, words left unsaid, in ‘The Letters’ (the chosen theme). There have been songs, poems and stories written on the subject, and this postbag did not disappoint. There was a letter to Mary in York, a brave feminist pioneer and nun to boot. Another one to a William in Stratford (from a woman called Desdemona) the years having miraculously melted away. There was a letter within a letter regarding one Guido Fawkes – treachery cleverly juxtaposed with hints for marmalade-making. Through modern technology a woman caught up with an ex (Rhyl 1960s). It could have all been so different (sigh). ‘Sandie’ wrote to her old friend and mentor — too late, he’d moved on. Just space dust in the universe. Two sisters discovered a third sister, with never a chance to love her as they should have.

But back to ‘Gloria’, with ‘Contemplating a Eulogy’, a dynamic tragicomedy: a woman striving to provide clarity at her funeral (at some point in the future) when her voice would be silenced by death. ‘I don’t want all and sundry running up to the lectern on my big day adding their own bits in to fill the time slot’. Gloria had sometimes wondered if she was even at the right send off — so she’s written her own eulogy. The woman, who reinvented herself many times, tells of her limitless talents. Her prowess in dancing is, ‘Not just strictly ballroom, but ballet, burlesque and belly…’. She’d have you believe she’s a published writer, a singer, a pianist of great renown, a pillar of society and general good egg. So convincing.

It turned out that ‘Gloria’ was Julie Fairweather all along. Was it all fiction Julie? Hmm, maybe some, but not all surely?  

Julie receiving the Leslie Richards Cup from Jill

Everyone is welcome to join us at Newby and Scalby Library on the second Tuesday of the month – no experience necessary. The next meeting is Tuesday 11th January at 7.15. Information on the website. Hope the New Year will bring in some budding new talents.

Jill Boyes


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