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Ayrshire Drabble Scribble Competition Evening – Wednesday 17th April 2024

The Beauty of Brevity

An expectant hush fell over the room as the first entrant, our Competitions Secretary, Maggie, stood up to read out her Drabble to the room. Our adjudicators, 2022 & 23 Drabble winner, Matt Richardson, and Waterstone’s bookseller, Eszter Kenez, focused on the reader, their pens poised over their pads to scribble notes.

This was our fourth Drabble evening, the competition being introduced into AWC’s programme in 2021, when, due to the pandemic lockdown, it was held online via Zoom. It remained on Zoom for the following two years– but this year Carrie and I decided to ramp up drama and atmosphere and hold the event ‘live in person’ at the Mercure.

A squad of eleven Drabblers had turned up to wow us with their ‘Beauty’ themed ultra flash fiction (a Drabble is a story of exactly one hundred words).

Once again, Carrie and I were bowled over by the creativity and talent of our members. We listened intently to each Drabble twice and heard stories based on the beauty of love, nature, and precious family moments. One Drabble took the form of a recipe. Another, a suicide note.

The stories sparked our imaginations and we asked ourselves important questions like: Did Kurt fancy the Belle of the piste? and What would happen if God sneezed?

Choosing winners was an unenviable task, but Matt and Eszter put their heads together while the rest of us enjoyed a restorative cup of coffee, biscuits, and delicious chocolates.

After the tea-break, Eszter announced the winners. New member Dawn took third place with Whisper of the Baobhan Sith. Based on Highland legends, it is the story of a beautiful but deadly fairy dancing amongst the heather. Greta’s entry The Eye of the Beholder took second place, a touching tale of a granny yearning for the beauty of smudgy little fingerprints on her furniture. And to no-one’s surprise the worthy winner was Damaris with Umbrian Summers. Her enchanting story transported us all to the beauty and summer splendour of rural Umbria– we could almost feel the hot Italian sunshine on our faces.

Huge congratulations to them and all who took up the Drabble challenge.

After all that excitement we still had three-quarters of an hour left to fill before home time!

A quick Google search produced a writing prompt – a quote from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 – ‘It was a pleasure to burn’.

We decided on ten minutes writing time. Heads were scratched. Eyes rolled. There was a stifled groan (maybe that was just me… and I had chosen the blasted quote). But eventually, pens flew across paper. The results as always were astounding. It never ceases to amaze me how members can produce excellent, well-written pieces under such pressure in a short space of time: ‘It was a pleasure to burn’…an old armchair, old love letters and a trio of witches.

We finished the evening with a vote of thanks from Carrie to our adjudicators, entrants, and supporters.

It was a pleasure to listen to the beauty of brevity – roll on the Drabble 2025!

Linda Brown

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