Those of our members that have supplied biographical details are listed below.  It is entirely optional to be included.


Stewart Ashton

Having successfully completed the formation and division of cells, Stewart entered the world with a scream. At this point in his life he found writing difficult, more interested in how a pen tasted rather than using it to write the next bestseller.

After an artistic period of surrealist crayon scribbling (mostly on his bedroom wall) his first foray with writing came many years later when, to lighten the mood at work, he wrote a comic newsletter reporting on the adventures of his puppet sidekick and the life and times of traffic cones. This publication (presumably the product of head trauma) kicked off some ridiculous escapades but set the square wheels of writing in motion.

Gaining approval from the franchise owners of Sooty & Sweep, he progressed to writing short stories featuring the pair and, with a Sweep puppet who never behaved, taught lessons on safety to young children.

T’ Shift were stories featuring an eclectic group of toys who policed the derelict side of town. Accompanied by 6ft cartoon cut-outs of the characters and a collection of silly voices, Stewart visited primary schools for a number of years reading his tales to children
aged from 5 to 11.

With his love of writing increasing, Stewart tried his hand at script writing and, after a vision (that was perhaps more wine related than religious), embarked upon a quest to write a novel that people would willingly read without the enticement of cash or a loaded firearm.

Believing he was mastering the whole writing thing (it is rumoured he can recite the first six letters of the alphabet by heart), by 2022, he had five unpublished novels sat idly playing solitaire (three middle grade, one young adult, and one adult crime). He intends to send a couple forth into the world, but has promised not to cry if they are rejected and ask to move back into their old rooms – even though one is soon to be a gym and the other, home to a rather large racoon.

In 2022 Stewart’s middle grade novel, Children Pie, made the short-list in the ‘Searchlight Writing for Children Awards’ for best novel opening, proving, that with a bit of work, even a surrealist crayon scribbler can garner a little success.

Diana Campbell

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My passion for writing short love stories, flash fiction, as the very short story is called, apparently, appeared out of the blue in the middle of February 2022 and to date, I’ve just begun my 186th.  Not a bad monthly average, although four of these are poems in blank verse.

Maybe my writing didn’t come out of the blue after all: my first story, entitled ‘My Mother’ was written at my Lincolnshire infants’ school in the 1950s:

My mother is fairly fat.  She has black hair and turquoise eyes and when she isn’t looking the milk boils over.

Mother was not pleased!  She was only fat compared to my skinny little self and she thought that not keeping an eye on the milk made her look neglectful!  I’ve put turquoise here although the teacher wouldn’t spell it for me and told me to put blue.  Not so imaginative was it?  I don’t remember any more writing feats until the little stories I made for my children and grandchildren but I’d always been a diarist and letter-writer.  I must have loved writing, musn’t I?  Then came the family history obsession, compiling my sister’s research.  And a gardening blog, published every Tuesday: 

My short stories come under the umbrella title of ‘The Dizzy Mavis Chronicles’, with the first in each collection being about Dizzy Mavis.  All are written in the first person singular.  There are three of my garden-related stories on my blog, by the way.  Just search for Dizzy Mavis.

14th September 2022

Dorinda Cass


Dorinda says:- My junior school teacher used to take the pen out of my hand to make me look up from the story I was engrossed in writing. And I still get excited by words on paper. I get twitchy if I haven’t got a book on hand (sometimes two!). I used to read pieces in the evening paper about Scarborough Writers’ Circle, but didn’t really know what went on there. In 2006, after taking early retirement from the Civil Service, I gathered all my courage and went along to a meeting. When I realised what fun it was, I couldn’t understand why I’d left it so long to join the group. In 2012 I graduated from Hull University (Scarborough) with a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing.  I enjoy research and history. My writing interests are varied – short stories, novels, non-fiction articles. I regularly submit stories to women’s magazines, other publications and competitions.  My stories have been published in the People’s Friend and the Weekly News.    I have had stories and poems published in three anthologies – Illumination, Making Waves and The Plotting Shed.  Since 2015 I have been a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers Scheme and have written a romantic suspense novel. Cross Your Heart is set in Hong Kong in 1967.  As well as that, I have just finished a time-slip romance set in North Yorkshire. I am currently studying for a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Hull (online).

Julie Fairweather


Originally from Rhodes, Middleton in Lancashire, I have lived in Scarborough with my husband since 1997.  I have two adult children – a daughter in Derbyshire and son in the Czech Republic.

My writing life began in early childhood when I used the written word as a way of dealing with emotions that I found difficult to express orally.  My work is influenced by my own and others’ life experiences and emotions.  I read fiction and non-fiction work by other writers, too numerous to list, and keep a journal of ideas. The journal encompasses my responses to everyday occurrences and conversations, overheard or otherwise, my dreams while sleeping, my constant and consistent observations throughout my day (especially whilst walking) and my emotional outbursts about various topical subjects. I read through my journal intermittently because words I wrote in the past often spark a draft for a new poem or story, which I express in works of fiction.

I find the beautiful North Yorkshire Coastline a great resource for encouraging creativity.  I enjoy walking by the sea and believe that to be a great inspiration, not only because it is fascinating to watch but because of water’s strong connection to the emotions, which is what I love to write about.

I’d be happy to hear from you if you want to visit my blog/website at:

For the Journey – skimming the surface of life:

Sue Grogan

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My first step into writing for pleasure was the Writers badge at Brownies. The brief; a poem about snow. I gave Brown Owl my poem only for her to refuse the badge – the reason: “Poems must rhyme”. A rewrite from my parents followed, the writers badge was mine, and, undaunted by the experience I’ve been writing (without parental help) ever since.

Reading ‘Anita and Me’ by Meera Syal in the 1990’s was both a revelation and inspiration. This was the first book I had read where, not only was the author a woman of colour, the story was about a Brown skinned girl growing up, as I had, in 1970’s Britain. The desire to advance my creative writing was ignited and I began dipping my toes into the world of Adult Ed creative writing, short university courses –writing for comedy, screen writing etc.

I was a founder member of my local writing group when I lived in Kent and we were lucky enough to be able to host workshops with Jackie Kay.

Much as I tinkered with and enjoyed writing, my word count rarely expanded into more than 500 words – short, real life, observational pieces were favoured.  A life changing event in 2017 altered this. Suddenly I was spurred on to begin writing my memoir. 500 words on my screen morphed into thousands, then tens of thousands and although it’s an ongoing process, it’s one I’m enjoying, and determined to complete!!

Following my move to Scarborough, I joined the Scarborough Writers circle just as face to face meetings resumed. It’s hugely beneficial to meet up with such an interesting group with an eclectic range of writing genres.

Lel Meleyal

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I read before I started school – I distinctly remember irritating my first teacher because I was already reading Winnie the Pooh. I was uninterested in picture books or learning my ABCs. By eight years old I decided I would be the new Agatha Christie and at 16 I started my first job in a bookshop, going on to work in libraries. In my 20’s I revisited the formal education I had given very little energy to in my formative years and took great joy in learning. After years of studies, I earned my doctorate in 2004.  I ended my career as a Lecturer/Researcher at the University of Sussex – my career cut short as a consequence of a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.  I never stopped writing but the style and demands of policy, report and research paper writing left little room for imagination or the joys of creative writing and my dreams of novel writing were left untended.

In 2015 I threw myself into National Novel Writing in a Month (NaNoWriMo) which encourages writers to commit to writing a 50k novel in a month. I achieved a whole crime novel and creating the story was the best fun! I have been addicted to creative writing ever since.

I have had a few small fiction and poetry publishing successes and my novel Everyday Wendy is to be published in 2022.

I am proud to have been elected as Chair of the Scarborough Writers’ Circle and thrilled to be a member of such a talented group of writers.

My website is at

Anne Morley

Author Anne Morley came to Scarborough over fifty years ago initially to teach at anne betterBrompton Hall School then moved to the newly built Woodlands School. She met John and has now found time in retirement to indulge her lifelong ambition to write a book. Anne was educated at Middlesbrough High School for Girls. She chose to become a teacher and trained at Kesteven Training College near Grantham. Her career has been mainly in Special Education culminating in the Learning Support Department at Yorkshire Coast College. Having honed her skills with the Scarborough Writers’ Circle, she has delved into one of her many interests, the children’s charities that she and her husband John support.   

Her new book, ‘Curiosities from Scarborough’s Children’s Charities’ is available from  


Judith Woodroffe

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Judith first came to Scarborough in 1980 after studying medicine at Leeds University. She spent two years working in New Zealand and six months travelling through South East Asia before settling into General Practice back in Scarborough, marrying Richard and having two children. She retired from Medicine in 2013, and started writing in 2014 when both her children were away at University.

She lives in Scarborough with husband Richard, two dogs, a cat, four hens and a double allotment. She is also a Trustee at Newby and Scalby Library, which hosts Scarborough Writers’ Circle meetings every 4th Tuesday evening.

Judith enjoys writing poetry and short stories, particularly fantasy and this year has had poems published in Reflections magazine and in the anthology Terror Tales for a Winter’s Eve.

Here’s a sample of Judy’s writing . . .

The Sea Minx

The sky darkened as she stood waiting on the rough stone surface of the ancient jetty, looking out to sea. The wind strengthened and worried at her long silver hair, whipping loose strands of it across her face. She closed her eyes and lifted her chin, smiling as she felt the icy kiss of rain drops on her face and arms.

She could hear the hiss and draw of waves to her left and to her right the shouts of the fishermen as their cold and calloused hands struggled with rough hemp rope and flapping canvas sails. They were turning, riding with the waves, hoping to reach the calm safety inside the harbour walls before the storm struck.

She turned her head and watched impassively as the boat was swamped by wave after heavy wave.

She listened as the wind snatched away their cries and she smiled again as the sea washed over their heads.

Time passed, and when nothing could be heard but the sea and the shrieking of the gulls, she stepped off the jetty and sank through the turbid water to search for their souls in the world beneath the waves…


Val Kitson


Former assistant secretary and then for several years Circle treasurer before retiring, Val originally wrote verse but was encouraged to write short stories through the Circle in-house competitions. Having got ‘the bug’ she then began her first, and only, novel which lays in the depths of her computer unfinished. She now works for her husband Bill as editor and agent. Her reasoning, ‘I no longer have the time to write, and besides, Bill keeps me busy and is a far better writer than I.’

Bill Kitson

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Crime Writer Bill has served as Chairman and later President of the Circle until 2011. He has a successful series featuring DI Mike Nash and also The Eden House Mysteries with Accent Press. Independently, he publishes his Greek Island Romances under the pseudonym William Gordon.

Always an avid reader, Bill came to writing later in life when he had exhausted every book in the house when laid-up following a knee operation and decided he could do better. The first draft hit the shredder but he was hooked and eventually succeeded in getting publisher, Robert Hale Ltd. interested and has gone from strength to strength.

Always on the look out for character names, Bill has helped several charities both at home and abroad allowing auction lots for the chance to be named in his next book and is currently working with a Greek charity ELEPAP where all royalties from The Fountain of Daphne will be paid directly to them.

Read more about Bill and his work at:

And see his blog:

Mike Park

Mike has been a member of the Circle since 1975, and helped run the popular Scarborough Writers’ Weekends. At one, the guest speaker was Alan Ayckbourn, who took time out to give him advice on writing for the stage. This resulted in his very first play being performed by Phoenix Drama at Westwood in 1984 to critical and financial success.

He has been writing since schooldays, and has had poems, articles and short stories published in a variety of magazines. He also wrote and broadcast a weekly comic dialect story on BBC Radio York from 1988 to 2005, and was theatre reviewer for Top Trader and later the Scarborough Evening News from 1987 until retiring in 2008. The knowledge gained from seeing hundreds of amateur and professional shows has been put to good use in four more full length and five award-winning 1-Act plays, all of them premiered in Scarborough, and all since published. Despite being mostly Yorkshire comedies, they have found favour with amateur drama groups as far afield as Tasmania and Maine, and most recently in Spain.

He and his wife Anita are still regular theatre-goers, because he believes that writers never stop learning and considers himself lucky to have a first-class theatre on his doorstep. Here he can continue to study the work of the master of the craft who generously gave him such good advice all those years ago. Mike has a web site under construction at