Lockdown Diary – 2020 – 121 – Editing end in sight

This may not be how the DH approached his first outing with his cycling group for some time, but it represents the end of editing as I see it – usually. There’s always, always a glaring typo, grammatical error or whatever that gets you by the throat seconds after you click send.

Can’t be helped.

As you read above, good progress with the editing and it went off this morning. One waits to hear. DH set off early for Kinross where he, too, had a good day and came home with snippets of gossip about other lives out there.

Neighbours had some trees removed which has altered the flight path to our bird feeders. There are birds feeding, but they need to go further away with their spoils. Friend returned from France. DH’s white peaches are enormous and delicious this year – wonder if the warm spring helped?

Writing hiatus (It’s been an hour! Ed). Can I write a short story for the SAW summer comp in four days?

How are your horizons?



Lockdown – 2020 -22 – Bitesize does it

Margaret McConnell Trophy

Despite the cancellation of their 2020 conference, Scottish Association of Writers made up and circulated excellent adjudications of the associated competitions. Winner of the Margaret McConnell trophy for a woman’s magazine short story was EWC member Kate Blackadder.

Kate has now produced an anthology of her previously published stories called

Still Rocking and it’s available here

Good to know some people are getting on with things in lockdown. I do wonder if I’m suffering from brain freeze. However, while waiting online to interact with a person who was working for his firm, I worked out a glitch in the WIP. Might get that sorted this afternoon.

Loads of folk have taken to their bikes. Great chat with the youngest family member yesterday. A live phone call is such a warm and wonderful thing these days. I hope you’re making and receiving them, too.


Lockdown – 2020 – 2 – shopping local

The shopping expedition also involved depositing a bag of empty jam jars on a neighbour’s front step. Appealed for through our local What’s App group, I was glad to oblige. Glass collection being suspended meantime, it helps reduce the pile.

Butcher’s shop minus the two elder statesmen who’ve worked on into retirement, but now asked to stay home. Or decided to stay home. Lines are painted on the floor to indicate social distancing. Apochryphal tales of excess abound, but there’s enough trouble in the world as it is.

Met neighbour who didn’t get off on holiday either and had a chat from the recommended distance.

DH is involved in an online meeting. As the voices of strangers are resonating around the house, this must be working.

To the newsagent where I paid our bill (small businesses are struggling) and skimmed round his shelves. Emerged with fresh carton of pink grapefruit juice (I’m not allowed, but DH prefers), two onions and two tins of tomatoes. Oh, and an anti-bacterial handwash.

And maybe a packet of teacakes…

Made soup for lunch.

Yesterday’s writing was poor – only 500 words. tut!

Really enjoyed the online adjudications posted by the council of the Scottish Association of Writers. they can be found here

Edinburgh Writers’ Club have several mentions.

Volunteers are wonderfu!

Scottish Association of Writers Conference and Competitions

The Scottish Association of Writers is an umbrella organisation and you might be a member of it. If you’re a member of an affiliated writing club or workshop such as Edinburgh Writers’ Club or Umbrella, then you’re good to go.


SAW runs several events and chief among these at present are an October day, 25th, called Write Up North; an annual conference, 2015 27th – 29th March, and in June 2014 the Write Down South day in Dumfries.

Write Up North has three associated competitions, but as the closing date is now past, I won’t list them here. The event’s key speaker is Bob Davidson of Sandstone Press and it’s held in Inverness Town House from 9.30 – 4pm. Contact Jen at jen.butler@blueyonder.co.uk £30 fee includes lunch.

Annual Conference is an altogether bigger event. Booking opens Wednesday 1st October 2014 for March 2015 and everything you need to know is on the SAW website where you may download a pdf giving all the speakers and all the competitions. That’s Here.

Keynote Speaker is ALEXANDRA SOKOLOFF 

Competitions are for members of SAW only (including for this event the Open categories. Please check the pdf for full rules and terms)

There are Open competitions and competitions you may only enter if going to the conference and ONE hybrid.

Hybrid? The annual conference has a Scholarship competition which is open to enter, but if you win, then you are expected to attend the conference as the prize is Free Accommodation for the weekend.

Scholarship for 2015 is a 45 minute Drama for the stage. Judge is Danny McCahon. Closes 28th November 2014

The several novel competitions close on 28th November ’14.

Also Open is Castles in the Air Story, fable or mystery 2,000 – 2,500 words. Prose fiction. Judge Russel McLean. Closes 16th January ’15

There are entry fees for all the competitions and they vary. Again, please consult the pdf for full details.

The long list of shorter competitions includes short stories, articles, writing for children, poetry, flash fiction…and more. Looks to me like something for everyone.

So, get going on the early deadline competitions and have your entries ready in good time.

No details for Write Down south 2015 are currently available.


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