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Club Night – Wednesday 17th January 2024

I wouldn’t call it a co-incidence having a chance meeting a while ago, with a lovely woman named Carolyn O’Hara. She happened to pop down once to have a wee look at our kids’ fashion store in Prestwick. It was a light meet and greet at first, which quickly concluded. However, the next time she came, it was revealed she is a Writer and is even a member of Ayr Writers’ Club. Coming from a journalistic background myself, this added information incited me to look up the Ayr Writers’ Club.

Being new to Prestwick I had been searching for such a platform where I could connect to other writers nearby. The success stories of other published authors at Ayr Writer’s Club, had me convinced that I had found the right place to be. So, I joined.

The night of January 17 was the first club gathering which I attended.

It was an interesting evening. The hosts and the management were all pleasant and very welcoming. We were asked to fill a form at the reception and were then prompted to our seats. The session begun with Linda Brown, a senior writer giving a brief concept of the short story writing.

She emphasized that any given short story needs the following elements to be complete:

– Point of view

– Character

– Era setting

– Conflict

– Plot

– Appeal to the five senses

– Beginning

– Middle

– End

The end should be such that it is a manifestation of a satisfying conclusion. Linda added that short stories can be as small as 1000 words which can reach up to 10000-15000 words, though it isn’t a hard and fast rule. But most publishing agencies will accept a count of 3000 and a 20-minute read. While these were some of the dos, a few elements must be considered for the story to shape up properly.

They are:

– Only suggest a back story but do not elaborate.

– The number of characters in a short story are small.

– Short story isn’t the same as the novel.

Last but not the least and a very important note:

– One should keep editing until it hurts but it should be done in the end.

As this summary concluded we were asked to either write or elaborate our ideas on different 5 liner prompts in each time of 5-10 minutes. Some prompts were very similar in nature, yet it was amazing how people came up with completely different ideas on the similar concepts. After the first session ended there was a small tea break of 15 minutes and refreshments were served. After which another prompt was given which too lasted for about 15 to 20 minutes. The gathering finally came to its conclusion at around 9:40.

It was a great exercise for sharpening the creative muscles. Specially for the ones currently out of form in terms of writing. All in all, it was a worthwhile experience and a much needed one for all those who wish to have success in the publishing world with the right people to guide! Hats off!

 Javeria Atif






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