This impressive collection of trophies has been donated over a long period to the Scottish Association of Writers for the competitions they hold at their annual weekend school.

Although I’ve won in some past years, I don’t have any entries in this year. I’m simply looking forward to the event and the chance to catch up with friends from other groups. The more often you attend a regular event, the more friends and acquaintances you’ll have accumulated.

Preparation changes a bit over time. When my family were small, complicated arrangements were necessary to ensure the wheels stayed on the bus. Now, I just have to buy something for the DH to cook himself some supper.

The very first writing conference I attended was in Pitlochry and organised by the late Jim McIntosh and his wife, Joyce Faulkner. Speakers were essentially found by the late Hugh Rae – mostly at the Swanwick Writers’ School where he persuaded people what they really wanted/needed was a weekend in the Scottish Highlands.

That event was a delight and it was the first place I encountered an up and coming romantic novelist called Katie Fforde! There was also the delight of wandering out into Pitlochry itself – a pastime I still enjoy enormously when at the Festival Theatre there.

The SAW is now based in the Westerwood – Double Tree by Hilton – and the walks are around the golf course. Easier on the wallet!

There will be books for sale – The Bookhouse – a quiz, a Dragon’s Pen and one2ones. What’s not to like?

Possibly the weather. As the title say – it is March.



Diary of a Writer – March Prompt

Taken after the prizegiving at the annual Weekend School of the Scottish Association of Writers, some time ago.

The hairstyle, tha glasses and the frock are all long gone. The trophy, not sure which competition but the person next to me is holding the John Severn Inkwell donated to the SAW by Edinburgh Writers’ Club, was held for a year. The certificate?

Ah well! As most writers, and all of their relatives, know, the certificate will be here or hereabouts still. Paper is never disposed of methodically. That’s why I’m continuing a process begun during Lockdown of sorting and discarding.

I did return three-to-four years of correspondence to my high-school bosom buddy two years ago. I re-read them and what a treasure trove of joy and information they were. Who would have thought that we’d be back to heating the water separately for one bath? We are and the letters showed it wasn’t that long ago when we lived like that all the time.

And the prompt?

I have no entries in any of the upcoming competitions for the SAW weekend, but I am looking forward to the stimulus of being among other writers, of hearing the talks and of picking up one or two new challenges.

In the meantime, the serial progresses, the book group caused me to read the truly wonderful The Master and Margarita and the grandson has given me The Lady Joker. Brain is coping.

How is your own writing going? Will any of you be at the Westerwood SAW?