Diary – 2020



Welcome to our new season of exciting events in 2020!

14th  Jan 2020:  writing by the sea

 Dorinda Cass:  Writing plans for the year and work in progress.

Announce Arthur Hastings Competition and theme

11th  Feb 2020:

Jill Boyes leads a session on Descriptive Writing – see her suggestions for preparation here:

“It would be great if you could bring an example of descriptive writing which you think is effective, dramatic, imaginative or even inappropriate and clichéd. This could be from a book, a newspaper, a poem or the lyrics of a song. It need only be a few words or sentences. Now here’s the second part of the ‘homework’. (To those members who were at the January meeting – please ignore the following, as you already have your ‘word’ and know what to do). For those who weren’t there – please think of a simple everyday word and write it down.  Then write down a few words or phrases which might be used in place of the word in a variety of contexts. For instance: SAID – explained, suggested, shouted, shrieked, bellowed, snarled etc. You can use a thesaurus if you wish.

I look forward to seeing you then.


10th March 2020:

The Art of Memoir Writing. 

With special guest Mary Anhome_grace_book_cover_2ne Willow, who will be joining us via Skype to talk to us about her her debut memoir “The Grace of a Nightingale” 

Read more about her work here



 14th April 2020:

Arthur Hastings Competition Results evening; Carol Bell (Judge)

12th May 2020: 

Editing with special guest Paul Smith; Editor 

9th June 2020: 

Writing evening with Ian Mackenzie – Topic tba

14th July 2020:

Results of the Nikki Barker competition with Jill Boyes (Judge)

11th August 2020:

Work in progress

8th September 2020:

Work in progress

13th October 2020:              landscape-1436398_1920                  

In celebration of National Poetry Day (1st October 2020)  with Lesley Young.  Not surprisingly, perhaps, the theme for this year is “Vision”!

10th November 2020:


Leslie Richards competition results with Ian Mackenzie (Judge)

8th December 2020:

Writing evening – topic tbc




Past Sessions 

20th November 2018 

Dorinda Cass;  FLASH Fiction

Bring along your ideas – maximum 500 Words on any theme.

If you are happy to read it to the group on the night, that would be great.  If you’re not, that’s fine as well.  The main aim is to have fun writing!

flash fiction

23rd October 2018

Our special guest and speaker is the Writer Glenda Young




25th September 2018 – Monologues Evening / special guest Rosie Larner

28th August 2018

Judy Woodroffe presents the results of the Leslie Richards competition – reading of members’ entries


Tuesday 31st July 2018

A Writers’ Miscellany – facilitated by Dorinda Cass

This session is going to be a mix of writers’ tips and help.  Dorinda would like us to bring along something to share with other members and our guests – wise writing advice from a writer you admire, a website link to something writing related, a helpful crib sheet or hand-out that you’ve come across, or if you have a a particular skill, pass on some useful advice – how to set up a blog, how to set out your writing, how to publicise yourself.  We look forward to seeing you there!


Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Lesley Young presents the results of the Nikki Barker Competition – reading of members’ entries.  And we will announce the Leslie Richards Competition (Judy Woodroffe)

Tuesday 5th June 2018

First half of the evening:  Anne Morley discusses her publication; ‘Curiosities from Scarborough’s Children’s Charities’

Curiosities from Scarborough's Children's Charities

Two tin trunks labelled ‘Scarborough Amicable Society’ were dumped at our house. I blew the dust off the old Minute Books and allied documents to find a real treasure trove from a  forgotten world. Coincidentally I was given a pivotal contact, David Moore in Australia was researching his great-grandfather in Scarborough, an early secretary of the Society would you believe! I was hooked.

As a result we have a full-blown journey through Scarborough’s fascinating history meeting real people who walked the same streets as we do today. A guide to the three inter-linked charities, Scarborough United Scholarships Foundation, the John Kendall Trust and the Scarborough Amicable Society simply grew and grew.

Tostig, Roundheads and Cavaliers, Thomasine Farrer, Robert North, the Rowntree family, the Woodalls, fossil hunters, neglected children, shipwrecked sailors, a variety of clergymen and dozens more emerge from the pages. We travel to the cotton mills of Lancashire, to Chesapeake Bay and Tasmania. Did you know that a mariner from Scarborough almost made it to Australia six years before Captain Cook landed there? You’ll have to read the book to find out who he was . . .

And after coffee . . . 

Members and guests can share some of their current writing and writing issues.

Also on 8th May 2018, Lesley Young will be announcing the Nikki Barker Competition:  ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ award 2018 – for members.

The theme is:  A Fairy Tale for our Times 

Critics and writers have frequently presented Fairy Tales as neglected, spurned, on the point of being lost (Newton, 2015).  My intention is to encourage a revival of the Fairy Tale, by bringing old traditions to the fore in this century.

Your story could take the form of

  • A re-write of a fairy tale already in existence that would be applicable to modern life,  Or
  • A brand new tale of your own imaginings

Notes:  Fairy tales are not just for children, and of course do not need to include a fairy!  In the original Danish, fairy tales were known as ‘fantastical tales’, so I’m looking forward to reading some creative entries!   Please see below for some background information on the historical context of fairy tales.

Please feel free to add illustrations – any words on these will not be included in the total word count.

1,000 words; normal competition rules apply (see competition rules page)

Entries in: 5th June 2018

Results and reading of entries: 3rd July 2018

Tuesday 8th May 2018     

Mandy Sutter, Novelist and Writer,  will talk about her new book;  Bush Meat’ which was published in October 2017, and about the process of Life Writing.  Read more about her on her website by clicking here:  

Mandy Sutter

mandy sutter

Tuesday 10th April 2018

Dorinda Cass will be facilitating this evening’s session and has prepared a set of writing exercises for us to attempt in preparation.   It would be good if you could have a go at all of them, but if you don’t have time, just one or two will be fine.

The idea is to see what different writers come up with given the same brief.

Tuesday 13th March 2018

The main theme of the evening is to find out the results of the Arthur Hastings story competition, where members read out their entries and the winner is revealed!

Members and guests who didn’t enter the competition are invited to bring along a piece of writing of around 500 words to share if they wish. It can be a poem, a story, or a non-fiction piece.

13th February 2018

Felix Hodcroft will talk about different forms of poetry.  Those attending will be encouraged to try writing some poetry on the night.



16th January 2018

Our first session of 2018 is a ‘work sharing’ session. Please bring along anything you’ve written recently – it could be a story, a poem, a travelogue, non-fiction or something that forms part of a longer piece of writing you are working on. Approximately 1,000 words only please. We’ll read the pieces and, if you wish, you can specify any constructive feedback that you would find helpful.