In Pursuit of the Strange and Curious…

Our next retreat focuses on settings and characters, drawing inspiration from some gothic writing of the past. Here’s a little teaser from Sandra to whet your appetites…

Source: In Pursuit of the Strange and Curious…

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Chasing Time Writing Retreats

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As per Sandra’s post on her own website, which I shared here earlier this month, I have more exciting news about the launch of our tutored residential writing retreats.  Two writing friends and I have set up Chasing Time Writing Retreats in a beautiful and quirky Scottish country house, and are excited to share our passion for writing with others. The programme is now up and running and we have taken our first bookings.

Having been lucky enough to go on various writing retreats myself, I know how valuable it can be to escape the everyday routines and commitments you may have at home, and be able to concentrate solely on developing your writing. In Rosely Country House Hotel, Arbroath, we have found the perfect place to host our retreats, with its uniquely atmospheric setting sure to provide writing motivation around every corner.

If this is the sort of thing that appeals, why not click on the link below and check out the rest of our website? We’d love to see you there. 🙂

Source: Retreats

Scottish Association of Writers Annual Conference 2017

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I’m just back from this year’s Scottish Association of Writers Conference at The Westerwood Hotel (@TheWesterwoodQ) in Cumbernauld. And what another fantastic weekend it has been! The SAW Council work hard to put on such a great event and this year we had the biggest turn out from our writing group, @AWCAngus since I started attending a few years ago. It’s so good to be able to spend more time with friends and get to know each other better, as well as just generally soak up the buzz of being in the company of like-minded people. The icing on the cake is that we again came away with some prizes and placings in the various competitions that are adjudicated over the weekend, including top prizes of The Dorothy Dunbar Rose Bowl for poetry for our Club Secretary, Sandra Ireland (author of ‘Beneath The Skin’), and The Constable Silver Stag for a General Novel to Pam Turner.

Last year I was lucky enough to win the beautiful T.C. Farries trophy for a Children’s Novel, and it was with a certain reluctance that I found myself packing it up in order to pass the baton. However the consolation was that this year it was awarded to fellow Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCWBI) member, Sheila Adamson, so it was a bit like keeping it in the family.

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Apart from the competitions and the social side, there are a number of fantastic SAW workshops to attend, and my favourite two of the weekend were run by YA authors Keith Gray and Victoria Gemmell (another fellow SCBWI). Thank you both for being so lovely and helping to turn it into such a special weekend once again. I was also able to attend an outside workshop run by editor and literary consultant, Claire Wingfield (www.clairewingfield.co.uk) and between the three of them, have left feeling inspired and keen to get back to my own work in progress.

Our keynote speaker was the very funny Helen Lederer who rounded off a brilliant conference.

If you would like to know more about Angus Writers’ Circle you can follow us on Twitter @AWCAngus, and I hope your own writing is going well.

 

 

 

 

‘Hasten Spring’

Here’s my own cheeky little entry, which I thought I would squeeze in before tomorrow evening’s deadline.  Keats it certainly isn’t! 🙂   Still, it’s just a bit of fun, so hope it at least provides a temporary distraction from all the bad weather… (and I love the picture!)

spring bud

HASTEN SPRING

Halloween is in October,
Thanksgiving’s the next month,
then it’s Christmas in December,
families and turkey lunch.

But January has nothing
bar cold wind, ice and snow.
Amid bleak winter, hasten Spring,
help us and nature grow.

‘Home’ & Book Week Scotland

I thought I would make the effort and sneak in a last minute entry for this month’s theme of ‘memories’.  It’s a bit simplistic, granted, but I wanted to have a play with shapes and structure, and it hopefully still manages to get the (again simple) message across…..

By the way, happy Book Week Scotland 2014, which starts today.  Lots of exciting things happening, not least a trip through to Edinburgh with some writing group friends to pitch to an agent and publisher.  What a fantastic opportunity (if a slightly scary one!)  Pitch is prepared, so fingers crossed!

home

HOME

Home

A house

A dwelling place

Filled with children’s laughter

Warmth and safety

With love

Home

Home

Quieter now

Family all grown

With their own lives

But memories linger

And love

Home

 

(c) elizfrat

‘In the blink of an eye’ by Jan Strickland

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I am happy to share another entry for this month’s mini writing competition on the theme of ‘Memories’ from regular contributor, Jan Strickland, with a nostalgic trip down memory lane.  Thanks Jan and don’t forget that if you would like to join in, there are still 6 days left to contribute an entry for November.

MEMORIES

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

I sit, saddened by the passing of time

but strangely not alone, not lonely

My life’s been a wonderful kaleidoscope of rhyme –

a positive life, not a question of ‘if only’

 

School days

Nativity plays

Pet hates

First dates

Holidays, jolly days of fun and laughter by the sea

Intimate meals with special people

All these are happy memories for me

 

I sit content in my special chair

and count my blessings, for I see

a lot of people within whose care

I am so very lucky to be

 

My family all grown up now

with lives and loves of their own to see

My clock ticks on, the grandchildren gather

“Tell us a story Nana”, they jump on my knee

 

So forget rheumatics, the odd aches and pains

The brain shutter clicks open to shower the wains

with memories of long ago, the funnier the better

Of their Mum or Dad, they want to know

Of the naughty deeds so long ago

 

And so I remember every small detail

to pass on to the children for this is their history

Part of their being is wrapped in my memory

Its life I am telling and not just a fairy tale.

 

(c) Jan Strickland

 

 

 

‘In the fields of the flat lands’ by Jane Dougherty

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On this special day I am very pleased to be able to share with you Jane’s beautiful and very poignant poem.  Such a tragic waste of human life – we will never forget and thank you for making the biggest sacrifice of all.

New Writing Prompt For July – Word Inclusion

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Kate Loveton, the winner of last month’s mini writing competition, has now set the writing prompt for this month’s competition.  As such she has set the challenge of writing either a piece of flash fiction (up to 500 words) or poetry utilising either all, or at least three, of the words/phrases below:

photograph; special summer; heart; dachshund; pearl necklace

I would therefore invite you to post any entries in the usual way, i.e. directly in to the comments boxes on the designated July Monthly Mini Competition page.

The last entry date for this month is the 24th as usual, albeit I realise that this will be a bit tighter than previous months given the extended voting for last month – there’s a challenge for you! 🙂 People will subsequently have between then and the end of the month to vote for their favourite.  The next competition will start at the beginning of August, with the winner setting the writing prompt for next month.

Good luck to everyone who would like to take part (and I hope you can write quickly!)  😉

New Writing Prompt For June – 50 Word Micro Fiction

lightening bolt

Apologies for the slight delay in  posting this month’s writing prompt, but I think it may well be worth the wait.  I have now spoken to Emma who, as winner of last month’s mini writing competition, has suggested a bit of a challenging writing prompt for June. This is to write a story in 50 words (or less).  The subject matter of your story is open so the word limit is the only restriction.

As such I would invite you to post any entries in the usual way, i.e. in the comments boxes on the designated competition page.

The last entry date for this month is the 24th of June, and then people have between then and the end of the month to vote for their favourite.  The next competition will start at the beginning of July, with the winner setting the writing prompt for next month.

Good luck to everyone who would like to take part 🙂

Voting for May is now open!

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It’s good to be back! 🙂

Thank you to all those who took part and I think there was something in there for everyone.  The voting poll is now attached for you to vote for your favourite entry, whether you entered something yourself or not.  Voting will remain open until the end of the month and the winner will then get to set the next writing prompt.  As always, good luck to all who entered.

Who will you vote for?  Remember, voting is open to all whether you have contributed an entry or not, so make sure that your vote counts.