Scarborough Writers’ Circle 14th March 2023

The Arthur Hastings Short Story Competition

The evening was introduced by member Julie Fairweather, last year’s winner, who set and judged the idiomatic-themed competition ‘A Word in Season’. The twelve short story entries were divided into four groups for members to read out within each group and offer author feedback, after which the circle gathered together for general commentary, the results announcement and the reading of the winning stories by the authors.

Result of the Competition with Judge’s Comment

The winner of the Arthur Hastings Trophy was Dorinda Cass for ‘Red Mist’. The provocative language and use of senses to portray emotion were especially beautiful, the gut-punching twist at the end dynamic. This was a good example of how to utilise the required elements that make up the short story form. Perfect.

In second place was Jill Boyes for ‘To Everything, there is a Season’. A dramatic portrayal of a whole life in a short space, which is unusual for a short story. The character evoked such emotion without feeling sorry for himself that listeners couldn’t help but have great empathy for his regretful realization of a wasted life. It was difficult to know whether to laugh or cry at the last line. Wow!

Third place went to Stewart Ashton for his story ‘Cold Reflection’. The many images, words and phrases used added a superb level of suspense to this unnerving atmospheric story with its mysterious happenings. There was full engagement with the character’s emotions, which were enhanced by using a teddy bear as his protector. An unexpected shift at the end knocked us off guard. A creepy story well told.

Stewart Ashton (3rd), Dorinda Cass (1st) and Jill Boyes (2nd)

As is always the case with these in-house competitions, it’s a difficult process sifting through each story’s world to find a winner. All stories submitted were a worthy read and Julie urged those who hadn’t been placed to take note of any worthwhile feedback offered by others and endeavour to find a home for their hard work.

The next meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 11th April at Newby & Scalby Library, 450 Scalby Road, Scarborough, YO12 6EE. Published local author, Kate Evans, will be leading us in a session on writing craft, namely ‘point of view’.

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

Please see our diary page on this website for future sessions.

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

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

Nikki Barker Competition

Nikki Barker Competition
‘All in a good cause’
My intention is to encourage passion for some burning issue out there that really fires up individual members. I would like to see some background knowledge, research and campaigning.
It could take the form of
· a plan of campaign,
· an account of an achievement for the cause
· a story about a campaign, fact or fiction
· an article for the media
· or anything else you want to make of it
Please feel free to add illustrations, no more than three, and any words on these will not be included in the total word count and indicate under ‘market’ where you intend it for.
Go on, move me to tears, to signing up or, even more difficult, to putting my hand in my pocket!

1,000 words; normal competition rules apply (see website)
Entries in: 13 May 2014
Results and reading of entries: 27 May