2018 Weekend Conference Scottish Association of Writers

SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION of WRITERS (SAW) is an umbrella organisation for writing groups, clubs, workshops throughout Scotland and has many such affiliated.

Edinburgh Writers’ Club, celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year, is a founding member club. So, I’m a member of both.

SAW has recently published the Schedule for its 2018 conference, again to held in the centrally situated, Westerwood Hotel, and you can view or download it here.

SIMON BRETT is the keynote speaker and the weekend features adjudications by experienced professionals like Shirley Blair, fiction editor of People’s Friend.

Hope to see you there, ANNE


Edinburgh Writers’ Club

Edinburgh Writers’ Club began life in 1947 and still goes strong today. I’ve written about the club elsewhere, Lothian Life. so I won’t recap. Last night was the first night of our new season and we found ourselves in The Wash Bar.

The Wash Bar may be the sixth venue I’ve attended meetings in over my association with the club. It’s wonderfully apposite as it sits at the foot of the steps leading from The Writers’ Museum in Lady Stair’s House.

This season’s syllabus is directed at participation. You’d be surprised how many folk come along to a writers’ club, but never write or, if they do, never send anything out. so encouragement is us this year and we got off to a flying start with a visit by Shirley Blair,  fiction editor of People’s Friend.

Shirley posed a few questions about what we thought the 230,000 readers in their weekly circulation were seeing and surprised us by the changes in acceptable subject matter. People’s Friend remains a feel-good and gentle read, but the boundaries of social acceptance have shifted more than a little.

Then it was time to sharpen our quills and write a scenario based on three people in a given situation. The aim being to show characterisation. Three or four brave souls shared their work and Shirley was able to explain her reaction to it.

As with any magazine read several issues before submitting. People’s Friend Writing Guidelines can be found here.

Top Hint from the Fiction Ed: longer pieces are less submitted and therefore stand a better chance. She’s very interested in young romances at present and the word count that sets her pulse racing is 3,200 or 3,000.

Next meeting is on Monday 6th October. Historical Writing – Authenticity and Accuracy and is a talk by prize winning author Margaret Skea. Margaret’s book, Turn of the Tide is available here.

6th October is also the deadline for our Members’ only poetry competition.



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