Endings, Titles and Blurbs

On 10th January, Dorinda Cass led a lively session on Endings, Titles and Blurbs (Sue Grogan). Members shared the last paragraph of a short story of their choice and discussed how the story may be affected if the last sentence were removed, how appropriate it was to the content of the story and the genre, and whether it was better or worse, or made no difference at all, by being omitted.

The evening continued with discussing why the writer chose that particular title for their story and whether they thought it was the right one to draw readers in.

Members also looked at various book blurb requirements and examples (after all we were in a library so there were plenty to choose from!) and note the general pattern of these.

All went away from this buzzy meeting with some fresh insights into the whys and wherefores of book blurbs, short story endings and titles in general and were asked to look at their own writing to repeat the exercises and discover what they learn from doing it/thinking about it.

The next meeting, which will be led by Jill Boyes, will be held at 7.15 pm on Tuesday 14th February at Newby & Scalby Library, 450 Scalby Road, Scarborough, YO12 6EE.

Please bring along a small object to set on a table. It can be old, new, useful, decorative, organic, man-made, metal, wood, fabric, paper, ceramic, stone, etc. The possibilities are endless. We will use the objects as inspiration for writing individual micro-stories – which could be about where it came from, who owned it, what it was used for, what journey it took, what drama surrounded it or anything else you want it to be. To be shared on the night.

We look forward to welcoming members and non-members alike. Our fees have not risen for several years and remain at £36 per year for full membership and £4 each month for guests, with an additional £1 to the library for refreshments if required. Membership is currently open.

For info on future sessions please go to our Diary page and keep checking in for further info that may be added as each session approaches.

Submitted by Julie Fairweather

Nibbles and Drabbles

The Scarborough Writers’ Circle December meeting involved a lot of nibbles and cake and the reading out of festive ‘drabbles’ – that is, complete stories told in 100 words. We also congratulated Anne Morley on becoming a Circle Lifetime Member in recognition of her many years of active support for the group. Writing hopes and plans for the forthcoming year were shared and a festive time was had by all.

The Writers’ Circle meets again on Tuesday 10th January at 7:15 at the Newby and Scalby Library.

Our exciting 2023 timetable is available to view here and includes sessions on writing craft, writing content, guest workshop facilitators and competitions.

Guests £4:00 but membership is open and we very much welcome new members.


The November meeting of the Scarborough Writers’ Circle focused on writing craft. Members were invited to bring short pieces to read out and accept feedback on pace, energy, interest and story arcs.  The theme for the evening was ‘Fire!’ and what a wonderful assortment of writing we heard.  There were stories of dragons eggs, of school pranks, feisty witches and the gunpowder plot. We had poignancy of a mother coping with autism and lots of crackle, woodsmoke and flame. Discussion was lively with lots of helpful feedback given and generously received.

Our next meeting will be at Newby and Scalby Library and Information Centre on 13th December at 7:15. Members are invited to bring a festive 100 word story to share.  There will be nibbles!

Attendance is £4.00 for non-members – but membership is open and we very much look forward to welcoming new members and non-members alike. For more information and our year timetable see our website pages (https://scarboroughwriterscircle.com/)

(submitted by lelmeleyal@hotmail.com – Lel Meleyal – Chair SWC)

The Shirley Waite Poetry Award

The Award’s second airing was the nucleus of the 11th October meeting. The trophy was introduced into the circle’s program last year to honour the memory of our dear friend and fellow writer Shirley, whose sudden death in November 2018 stunned all who knew her.

Her absence from the writing scene in Scarborough is tangible and she is still missed by many who knew and loved her as their treasured memories live on.

The Award is part of the circle’s contribution to National Poetry Day’s annual celebration of poetry. The remaining part of that celebration is – reading poetry. Namely, poetry written by members for the competition.

This year’s theme was Environment and was judged by guest speaker Jane Sudworth.

Jane is highly regarded for her shrewd judgement of poetry and she has assisted in several poem-sifting processes for local competitions. She is an exceptional poet herself and her work has been featured online as well as published in various anthologies. She is part of a trio of performing poets known as Poetry on Fire and is also a member of the Scarborough Poetry Workshop.

Jane gave a brief commentary on the process of how she approached the competition in order to make her final choice, before reading out a poem by Shirley entitled Pink Frog and announcing the winners as follows:

1st Place to Jill Boyes for Starless.

2nd Place to Lel Meleyal for Zakynthos.

3rd Place to Katie Wilkinson for Wild Orchid.

Jill receives the trophy from Julie Fairweather (last year’s winner)

The reading of all entries and Jane’s feedback comments encouraged lively discussions and the final part of the evening informed what we, as writers, can learn from poetry to enhance our prose.

It was an engaging evening and a fitting tribute to Shirley’s memory.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 8th November, 7.15 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. at Newby and Scalby Library, 450 Scalby Road, Scarborough YO12 6EE.  All are welcome to attend (18 years plus). Guests £4, Members Free. The theme is FIRE. See the DIARY page of the website for further details.

Submitted by Julie Fairweather

Shirley Waite, 19.4.1953 – 09.11.1918

Beginnings and Omens at the Scarborough Writers’ Circle

At 19:13, on the 13th of September, 13 members of the Scarborough Writers’ Circle met and discussed the importance of opening paragraphs and the power of omens. Members shared the beginning of their own work, along with examples from established writers, to demonstrate the variety of ways in which writers can arouse the interest of today’s readers. The meeting concluded on the hour, but disappointingly, the clocks failed to strike thirteen – perhaps leaving that omen for a night about endings.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, the 11th October 22, at Newby and Scalby Library. The evening will be a read-through of the entries to the Shirley Waite Poetry Competition, in celebration of National Poetry Day, followed by an announcement of the winner. The evening will conclude with an examination of rhythm and what fiction can learn from poetry.

Attendance is £4.00 for non-members, but membership is open so please browse the website for further information at http://www.scarboroughwriterscircle.com

Report submitted by Stewart Ashton. 

A personal reflection of the August session led by Felix Hodcroft entitled ‘Environment’ can be found on Julie’s Personal Website here.

July at the Circle

The July meeting of the Scarborough Writers’ Circle focused on writing craft, specifically dialogue. It was a lively discussion covering how dialogue adds pace, how it can be used to add depth to characters and how ellipses and the ‘Em dash’ can be used to increase drama and tension in a story. We concluded the evening with a demonstration of a story plotting plan and how it had been used in planning a novel.  

Our next meeting will be at Newby and Scalby Library and Information Centre on 9th August at 7:15. It will be a poetry workshop facilitated by local poet, Felix Hodcroft.  The Shirley Waite Poetry Competition will be opened and guidelines for submissions announced.  

Attendance is £4.00 for non-members – but membership is open and we very much look forward to welcoming new members and non-members alike. For more information and our year timetable browse this website.

June’s Circle Session

The June meeting of the Scarborough Writers’ Circle celebrated the awarding of the Nikki Barker Prize. The trophy was won by local poet Adrienne Silcock for her evocative short story ‘The Girl in the Lemon Dress’.  Adrienne delighted the attendees with a reading of her story. The quality of competition submissions was, as usual, to a high standard and judging was challenging but the well-attended group agreed that Adrienne was a worthy winner.  After the reading, the group discussed their current works in progress.  The Scarborough Writers’ Circle is a lovely mix of both published and beginner writers and the sharing of story ideas and ‘how to beat procrastination’ proved to be a lively and enjoyable discussion.

Our next meeting will be at Newby and Scalby Library and Information Centre on 12th July at 7:15 where the group will be discussing writing craft, plotting, dialogue and publishing requirements.

£4.00 for non-members – but membership is open and we very much look forward to welcoming new members and non-members alike. For more information and our year timetable see Diary.

Report submitted by Lel Meleyal – Chair SWC

Lel Meleyal awards the Nikki Barker Shield to the winner, Adrienne Silcock

May’s Circle Session

The May meeting of the Scarborough Writers’ Circle were delighted to welcome two new members to our ever-expanding group of wordsmiths. This month’s session was on writing practice and developing our craft. Drawing on found examples of both dull and exciting texts, the group had a useful discussion about words which add energy pace and excitement to written words.

Our next meeting will be at Newby and Scalby Library and Information Centre on 14th June at 7:15 where the winner of the 2022 Nikki Barker writing competition will be announced and the trophy awarded.  Story entries to the competition will be read by their authors, which is always a joy.

£4.00 for non-members – but membership is open and we very much look forward to welcoming new members and non-members alike. For more information and our year timetable see our Diary section.

(submitted by Lel Meleyal – Chair SWC)

April’s Circle Session

A lively April meeting when we talked about elements of writing: different ways of writing short stories, point of view, show don’t tell and genre. Members had researched in advance and shared what they had found out. One member had exciting news-more about this soon, if everything works out. Lel Meleyal sent details of the second members’ short story competition of the year.

Our next meeting will be on 10th May 2022 when we will be bringing a short piece of writing to share: something dull made to sound exciting or something exciting made dull! And our usual writing chat.

Hope to see you there.

We meet at Newby Library, Scalby Road, Scarborough at 7pm for a 7.15pm start. We’d love local writers to join us. Come and spend an evening with us. Sessions for non-members to attend are £4 plus £1 for refreshments (optional) or if you want to become a member the cost is £36 per year (pro-rata). Over 18s only.

For further information please browse our website.