A talk by Trevor Vaughan

Trevor Vaughan

We were highly entertained by a talk from ‘retired’ man of the cloth Trevor Vaughan – are they ever really allowed to retire? – who spoke about his self-published book ‘Parson’s Pie’. Trevor began by explaining how the book’s title related to his family’s bakery business and went on to explain the importance of writing in the work of an Anglican priest. This was followed by anecdotes from his school days in Skipton and his life as an army chaplain.

A brief discussion about self-publication, ever more popular these days, followed.

A first novel and an invitation

Shadows cover full size

Everyone is invited to an afternoon/evening of celebration at Maggie’s house on Saturday, 22nd August. From five o’clock onwards, there will be food, drink, music and – inevitably – the odd reading from Shadows of the Past. Based partly on the bizarre events of a summer in France during Maggie’s teens, this novel has had a long gestation period but is (Maggie hopes) all the better for that.

Please go along if you can, even if only for half an hour or so. If you really can’t, there will be a repeat (but smaller) event in York on Saturday, 29th August, so please ask Maggie for details.

The novel is available both as a paperback and as a download and Maggie is proud to announce that The Little Ripon Bookshop has copies.

Swanwick 2015

Only Cathy and Maggie attended the Writers’ Summer School for the whole week this year, although they were delighted to see Lindsay for the final full day.


Both were kept very busy. As well her committee duties and rehearsing the new play she’d written for ‘Swanwick Page to Stage’, Cathy starred in a very different version of Romeo and Juliet on the last night.


Maggie ran a course on ‘filler’ writing and agreed to be an ‘ambassador’. This involved wearing a pink badge, helping to host a table for new Swanwickers (‘white badgers’) on the first evening and being a ‘go to’ person for them during the week.

Back to reality now, they’re already counting the days to Swanwick 2016 and hope that some more members of RWG will be joining them!

Summer outing to Richmond

Susan organised a very successful outing for us on Friday, 31st July and we even stayed dry this year!

The main focus of the afternoon and evening was Richmond’s Georgian Theatre, where we enjoyed a fascinating guided tour of the entire building and then an evening performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor, performed by members of Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society. Comfortable seats in the boxes added to our enjoyment of this adaptation of the play, set in the 1920s.

Susan had also arranged for us to have a meal at the nearby Cross View Cafe & Restaurant. As we’d made our menu choices in advance, the service was swift and efficient. The fact that the management had arranged one huge table for us was a bonus, with everyone able to join in the conversation. WELL DONE, SUSAN!

For information about the Georgian Theatre and upcoming events, go to http://www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk/

Literary Allsorts 2015

Golden Lion

This year’s event was held once again courtesy of the Golden Lion in Allhallowgate and attracted around 20 writers, including a contingent from Harrogate Writers’ Circle.

There was a fine variety of poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. At the end of the evening, RWG President Joe Peters thanked everyone who had taken part and the Committee for organising the evening.

Adjudication of the Short Story Competition

Steve Toase adjudication

Our adjudicator was local author Steve Toase, a well known figure at open mic nights and literature festivals. With over 50 published stories to his name, Steve was well qualified to judge ours.

After giving us some useful information about finding markets, Steve explained his criteria for a great story and then commented on each entry in turn. In third place, he put Lindsay Trenholme’s Lisette, a story set over two time periods about a pair of paintings and the sinister connection between them. Peter Page came second with Frost on Oak, a story of a marriage influenced by a painting of an oak leaf, and Susan Perkins took the trophy with A Memory: Last, Least, Lost, a story about an 80 year old woman dealing with memory loss.

Jan Maltby thanked Steve for all his hard work on our behalf and invited him to join us at next week’s Literary Allsorts evening at the Golden Lion.

David McAndrew’s book launch

David McAndrew

The ballroom of Ripon Spa Hotel was packed for the launch of long term RWG member David’s newly published book of poems, Gestures from Fragments. Introduced by Ken Ridley, who adjudicated our Hint of History competition a few years ago, David gave thanks for all the help and support that he’d received along the way, especially from the ‘eagle eyes’ of RWG’s very own Elizabeth.

David McAndrew book

Supported by fellow poet and former colleague Paul Mills, who read some of his own poems, and a couple of highly talented guitarists, David gave everyone an evening to remember. It was particularly moving that his sons also read from the new book, which contained a moving tribute to their late mother.

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Our friendly group meets once a fortnight in the Old Deanery on Minstergate, opposite Ripon Cathedral and is always open to new members from the Ripon area and beyond. Whether your interest is in poetry or prose, novels, short stories, plays, wacky humour, a more analytical style of writing, or just listening for the time being, you're very welcome.

Contact us: riponwritersgroup@gmail.com

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