Thursday 16 May 2024

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Erskine Writers Meeting 14th May 2024

Sixteen members of Erskine Writers attended today's meeting. The manuscripts on  “An award winning speech” of approximately 500 words were read out by the group members.

There was an impressive variety of topics from serious to humorous, and as always , each person took a different aspect of why the award was being presented .The readings were enjoyed by all.

Jeannie informed us that Renfrew council had not ‘adopted’ the car park with subsequently more pot holes developing which, when filled with water from an underlying fractured drain, were causing a hazard (and possible claims to the council re damaged tyres etc.)

The manuscripts sent to Greenock Writers have not yet been received and it was decided that these m/s would be held over to a later date.

We had a brief discussion about the Garden Party to be held at 12.30 at Sandra and Donnie’s next Tuesday, our final day of the year. We know that will be a great event.

Monday 13 May 2024

Erskine Writers Meeting 7th May 2024

 Jeannie has had a poem accepted by 'Unbridled', a publication for women only, run by Maggie Gibson & Jenny Lindsay who encourage & train new writers of poetry to stand up & read their poetry out loud. 

OMs: Open Manuscripts. members were asked for any manuscripts & there were one or two submissions. 

John S gave us another chapter in his novel - the episode where Graham experiences Woodstock & where the author mixes fact & fiction. For example, Graham taking a massive acid tab the night before & describing the whole experience as 'paradise' & the first publicity for Granola as a breakfast, which was given to the audience of 4 hundred thousand, the morning after the night before! The backdrop of the Vietnam War & all the young men who were escaping it by going over the border to Canada. The Peace Rally which was really much more of a riot - & Graham's American girlfriend Candy, who is a Soul Freak, while he is into the Grateful Dead, who were apparently 'crap' at Woodstock!

Rob took the homework: 'Hope is a Never-Ending Virtue.' to write about his beloved daughter who died of cancer. He admitted that his feelings were still raw about this, but described how strong & matter of fact she was, establishing a hockey charity called, 'Stick it to Cancer!' & her nature as a hoaxer, which could keep people puzzled for ages & continued to the end.

Jeannie McKenzie wrote what she termed as a starter paragraph for the last chapter of a Historical Novel she is writing. It was about a wonderful walk up by the River Esk, with floods of plants & flowers around a gorge where she & her husband discovered a Fisheries Officer checking the water. They learned quite a lot about salmon & what made them stronger & in particular, how they always aim to go back to the pool then came from. 

John H described how he used the Wordle Game, with the words kept in the order given, to write a fairly substantial piece which is an extra challenge for him every Monday. It sounded quite tricky & how he managed it was amazing! One was called 'Judgement Day'. 

Joan read out a short memoir that took her back to when she was a small child & featured her little brother having to be taken out of the film Bambi because he was crying so much!

READING
There was still quite a lot of time left, so we went round the room asking what each one of us was reading. It was extremely varied: 
'Love untold' by the female writer of Gavin & Stacy.
'Dumbarton Stories' by Bill Heaney,
'Silent Tears' by Paul Henke.
'Noise' by Paterson.
'The Three Graces' by Amanda Craig
'Music in the Dark' by Sally Magnusson
'The Thin White Duke' by 2 Kriss Needs, history about David Bowie and Friars Aylesbury
'The Reluctant Servant' about Crawfie, the Queen's Nanny
A Trilogy by Pat Barker
'Death of a Salesman' by Arthur Miller
The Life Story of Shirley Ballas


Thursday 2 May 2024

Erskine Writers Meeting 30th April 2024

 Today’s meeting opened with a success story when Jeannie revealed to the group that her novel ‘Adults and How to Survive them’ has now been published. Many congratulations to her and we wish her every success with her book.

We also enjoyed readings from those who had submitted entries to our Young Adult Fiction competition which was adjudicated by Suzy Aldous. Suzy awarded 1st Place to Hilary for her story ‘The Little Rowan Tree’. 2nd Place was awarded to Rob for ‘Welcome the Greek Bearing a Gift’ and 3rd Place was awarded to John Hughes for his story, ’Retribution’. Well done to the worthy winners and many thanks to Suzy for her time and for her welcome comments on each submission.

John MacDonald closed the meeting by reading an excerpt from a crime novel he has written which is set in Tuscany. We look forward to hearing more!

Thursday 25 April 2024

Erskine Writers Meeting 23rd April 2024

 There were 12 members attending today's meeting. Jeannie began the session reading her article 'A Sense of Belonging' which won first prize at SAW conference in March and published in I SCOT.

 Today's theme was our book reviews;

Sandra's choice 'The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane' by Lisa See

Hilary chose 'The Liar's Bones' by Morag Pringle

Rob chose 'Endurance' by Alfred Lansing

Lorna chose 'Becoming' by Michelle Obama 

Irene chose 'Etta and Otto and Russell and James' by Emma Hooper

John M chose 'Death in La Fenice' by Donna Leon

Joan chose 'Norse Mythology' by Neil Gaiman

John H chose 'Out of Darkness' by Alex Gray

Joyce chose 'The Reluctant Beatle' by Phillip Norman

Jeannie chose 'Caledonian Road' by Andrew O'Hagen

Donnie finished the reviews with 'Smiley's People' by John Le Carre

Sandra M will be The Ginger Cat in Bridge of Weir on Friday to do her book talk and Jeannie will be there the following week to do her book talk.

The syllabus meeting for next year's session will take place on the 9th of July.

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Erskine Writers meeting 16th April 2024

This week the group drew out one line sentence from the hat. They were give 20 minutes to complete a flash fiction story. We were then going to pair up with a colleague who drew the same one liner and then work together merging their stories into one piece. We took the collective decision that this was going to be very challenging so we were happy to omit this task. The one liners were;

A bolt out of the blue

One minute she was there the next she was gone

Such a gawky little specimen

Walking on eggshells

You have a one new voicemail

You haven’t changed a bit

Michael sat down in the middle of the road and began to cry

Your mother lied to you, that’s the truth

I was dressed in an inappropriate shade of pink

After only two months, Helen decided to become an exotic dancer

“I like hats” that’s what Derek said the day he killed Sally

On the following Friday we packed our bags and planned our escape

There were seventeen cats living in Harry’s basement

Out of sight out of mind


A very interesting exercise which produced great submissions from the group. Morag confirmed that we will be submitting 11 entries for Greenock Writers to adjudicate. Jeannie looking for volunteers for this years syllabus meeting which will meet in July. Mandy had good news that Wee Stoorie Press will be delivering 'The Aligrog' on 10th of May 2024. Sandra attending book event at The Ginger Cat Book Store, Bridge of Weir on 26th April 2024. Jeannie will also be giving a talk at the same venue the following week. 

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Erskine Writers Meeting 26th March 2024

 Today's meeting was attended by eight members of the group. John reminded the members that the closing date for the Young Adult Short Story was midnight tonight. Lorna then provided feedback from the SAW Conference which was held at the weekend. She was delighted to announce that our president Jeannie received three awards in the competitions she entered. Highly Commended for historical novel. Second place for The Memoire, and first place for General Article. Fantastic achievement.

We then heard readings from Lorna, Donnie, Rob and John. The meeting concluded with a short exercise on 9 words from daily Quordle made into a short flash fiction of no more than 100 words. Great attempts from all the group.

The group returns on the 16th of April following on from the Easter break.