Faced with fourteen entries for the competition, Dr Roger Kendall certainly earned his adjudicator’s fee. Themes varied from the arrival of spring to the first solo flight of a baby dragon and styles included rhyming couplets, blank verse, free verse and even a prose poem.
Roger requested that each poem be read out in turn by its author or, in the case of an absent member, a proxy, and then gave individual critiques. The standard, he remarked, was very high overall.
First place went to Lindsay Trenholme for Sorry we can’t be with you, inspired by finding a discarded 50th birthday card in the tissue bin of a ladies’ lavatory.
In second place was The Maiden’s Blush by Phil Cook, the maiden in question being Switzerland’s famous Jungfrau.
In third place was Dawn Flight, Elizabeth Spearman’s closely observed description of a skein of wild geese.
Roger was thanked for his hard work and asked to read some of his own recent work. We look forward to hearing more of it at our next ‘Literary Allsorts’ evening on 9th July.
Building on the success of the last two years’ events, we hope to welcome writers from far and wide to The Golden Lion in Allhallowgate on Tuesday, 9th July.
There will be no admission charge for this event, which will begin at 7pm with the first reading at 7.30pm. Refreshments from the bar will be available throughout the evening.
Everyone is welcome, whether to read a piece of their own work or just to enjoy listening over a drink, so please spread the word.
Several of us attended Barbara’s funeral at Holy Trinity Church today to pay our respects and to support Ken at this sad time for him and his family.
Although too ill to attend meetings for the last few years, Barbara, generally self deprecating about her own writing but always eager to listen to and comment on the contributions of others, will be remembered with affection.
Ripon Gazette reporter Laura Connor interviewed Maggie and another local writer, Paul Richardson,for the first of her articles on Ripon’s ‘Crafty Folk’.
That is, Maggie is keen to point out, ‘crafty’ as in pursuing a craft – in this case that of a wordsmith – rather than devious, although readers of some of her short stories might wonder about that!
Eric’s cheerful presence is still missed at our meetings and we’re all delighted to hear of his recent success.
The competition, formerly known as Theatre in the Round was won by Andrew Burns, seen here exchanging a warm handshake with screenwriter Ann Gallivan. Wearing her adjudicator’s hat, Ann gave us her carefully considered thoughts on each of the fourteen entries. As a bonus, she shared with us some of the highlights of her long career in television, including her current work on BBC Scotland’s River City.
Andrew’s winning entry was a humorous story about an eccentric man whose life was completely taken over by the piece of modern sculpture he created for an art exhibition. Maggie Cobbett came second with a look back at the career of fan dancer Phyllis Dixey and Caroline Slator took third place. In Against the Odds, an autistic young man’s obsession with numbers and his job in the theatre come together with disastrous consequences.
We are looking forward to hearing the remaining entries with their very varied selection of subject matter, at our next Open MSS session.
We welcomed local author Gary Dolman to this week’s meeting. Gary’s first novel, The Eighth Circle of Hell, deals with issues surrounding ‘defloration mania’ (child sexual abuse in the 19th century), mental illness and self harm. Some aspects of the book were inspired by the author’s own experiences and those of his family and what started out as a manuscript written to help him through a difficult time developed into a full length novel.
Gary talked about the plot and characters and read some extracts to illustrate the points he wanted to highlight. One of the key questions asked throughout the book is when (if ever) is murder justified? He also explained key aspects of the writing process, the way in which he came to find a publisher and the hurdles that a writer has to overcome finally to get into print.
After a break for refreshments, Gary answered many questions from members and outlined his publishing plans for a series based on his first book.
A round of applause from a very appreciative audience concluded the session.
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