Those of our members that have supplied biographical details are listed below. It is entirely optional to be included.
Give Lesley Young your details if you would like to be featured here
Dorinda is our current Chair. She 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 realized 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. As part of an online short story course I have started to regularly submit short stories to women’s magazines. I am in hot pursuit of my first acceptance. 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. I am submitting it to publishers.
Mandy is originally from Langley Park, County Durham. She has a wide range of interests, not only as a writer but also as a performer. Recently Mandy took part in the Queen Street Players’ Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime, and previously she performed in the Durham Literature festival. Writing areas include Crime, Children’s fiction, and poetry. Her current projects are a crime novel called provisionally Badge of Honour, A children’s story Lucinda the Lifeboat, and the Pantomime Ole King Cole. In addition Mandy likes amateur dramatics, family history, quizzes, reading and cross stitch design!
Malcolm received a computer for Christmas in the year 2000, and later passed three courses he had taken to familiarise himself with it. He then became interested in writing and joined the Hull University Creative Writing Course. Now he’s close to finishing a fifth season, and takes the degree next year. During this time Malcolm joined the writers’ circle, and also Bob Jackman’s group, both of which inspire him to keep writing, not to mention the social aspect of it all. One book is already published (Quest for a white Rose) and its sequel is on the way. Another ambition is to write his own life story, something he’s already begun once! Malcolm writes for the pleasure of it, and determination to improve.
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 stageplaysmp.com
Lesley Young joined the Circle in February 2012 after moving North from Warwickshire. Lesley works with senior managers in the NHS to develop management and leadership skills. She is also a practising coach.
She has been interested in writing for around 30 years, and is very familiar with academic writing for journals and conferences, but less confident with writing for different audiences! She is very interested in bibliotherapy and uses writing in her work whenever appropriate. Lesley was involved in various creative writing groups in Warwickshire and gained an Open Studies certificate in Creative Writing from Warwick University.
She leans towards writing poetry and has found that most of her attempts to put pen to paper have resulted in a poem of some description, even when the task was prose! Despite having several of her poems published in anthologies, she is determined to expand her writing repertoire and is sure that being involved in the Circle will give her the impetus she needs. Other interests include theatre, all things Italian and indulging her Whippets Alfie and Lottie’s passion for Scarborough’s beaches and pubs!
He has been Head of English in schools in Coventry, Mansfield, Redcar and Scarborough. Starting off part-time as a freelance journalist, his work was published regularly in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and the Times Educational Supplement. In 2004 he was appointed editor for Meeting Special Needs in the Curriculum, a series published by the prestigious David Fulton Publishers.
Alan has a special interest in readers affected by dyslexia and this has led to his work being published by Barrington Stoke, the U.K’s leading publisher in this field. He has been a football match reporter with the Sunday Times since 1999 and used his experience of writing about the game as the basis of his football books, United Here I Come and City Boy. Another title, Super Sub, is available for downloading. The Night Runner is a ghost story about a boy determined to follow his dream of becoming a winner against all expectations.
However, Alan’s real writing passion was story- telling and working with youngsters who found difficulties accessing language. By getting youngsters to talk about and value their own experiences, he convinced them that they had something worth writing.
Julie Fairweather (Treasurer)
Originally from Rhodes, Middleton in Lancashire, I have lived in Scarborough with my husband since 1997. I have two adult children – my daughter resides in Derbyshire and my 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 current work is based on my own and others’ life experiences and emotions. I read many other writers’ work, too numerous to list, and keep a journal of ideas. The journal encompasses conversations, overheard or otherwise, and thoughts whilst out walking. I read through my journal intermittently because words I wrote in the past often spark a draft for a new piece of prose or poetry (free verse), which I express as 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 it represents the water of life and connects strongly to emotions, which is what I love to write about.
I’d be happy to hear from you if you want to pop a comment in the reply post on this site or visit my website at:
spinning stories from the secret self
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.’
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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: www.billkitson.com
And see his blog: www.billkitsonblog.wordpress.com