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 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 (

(submitted by – Lel Meleyal – Chair SWC)

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