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Summer Read-around 19th July 2023.

Sunshine, Stilettos and Stanzas.

On a sunny Wednesday evening, members of Ayr Writers’ Club, many with polished work in progress, fired up their computers and zoomed in to meet an eclectic and enthusiastic group of other talented writers, on-line.

Joining the screen amongst all the smiling faces, we were greeted and warmly welcomed by our host, and asked if we had work to share.

Starting from the left across the screen, the 9 members with works prepared covered a variety of genres:

An extract from a fantasy for children aged 9-11 years about a girl, on a quest in an enchanted world; the first chapter of book 2 of a trilogy set in a dystopian setting, down a mine; a quirky flash fiction piece about a pair of black stiletto shoes with an unexpected twist; an evocative poem about an airport  arrivals lounge; the 1st chapter of a spellbinding novel for children aged 8-10 which drew us in to strange goings on; the 3rd chapter of a young adult science fantasy /murder mystery novel set in space which left us questioning, on a cliff-hanger; a beautiful, revised memoir about nature, wildflowers, insects and mammals, set in Italy; a short story, true to life including gambling and homelessness but with a rounded and positive ending; a short poem and clever personification of St. Paul’s, as seen from a modern office block through floor-to-ceiling windows and looking out across The Thames.

The inspiring and thought provoking evening, which included a 10 minute tea break, was filled with imaginative words, descriptions, characters and plots, plus positive and constructive feedback.

Praise included; ‘good descriptions and pace’, ‘gripping’ and ‘engaging’, ‘quirky’, ‘good rhythm’ and ‘well thought out stanzas’.

Discussions revolved around self-publishing vs traditional; simplifying a story by starting in the present and then going back in time; whether story events should be chronological or thematic; advice on padding out a story i.e. by including dialogue and making the relationship more meaty.

We concluded the evening more sure-footed, on a high, having gained from all the feedback and looking forward to the next Read-around on Wednesday 2nd August 2023.


Carrie Watts

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