Monday, 12 March 2012

SAW writers conference

Just back from a wonderful weekend with the Scottish Association of Writers at Erskine. I was the key speaker for the Friday night, and as I stood there in front of all those writers I remembered the first time I came to that conference, sitting out there, listening to the Friday night speaker, wondering who I would meet, what I would learn, and if I would win any prizes. ( There are loads of competitions at this conference) In fact, almost the first time I was at the conference I won the women's short story competition, judged by the wonderful Alanna Knight, a real inspirations to writers still writing her Inspector Faro books. I was so nervouse I couldn't even  read out my story. Alanna had to do it for me. It was titled, This Could Be The Night, and the editor of Women's Weekly was at that conference, and she liked my story and bought it. That led to many more stories in that magazine and others, and also led to me wrting two romantic novels. I also won the Marty Duncan trophy for a humorous article. I was advised to send it to the BBC, who asked me to turn it into a short story which has been broadcast several times, I then wrote it as a half hour comedy play, which became a series on Radio 2. My Mammy and Me. That was even commissioned for television too. Never made it there....yet! From little acorns indeed!  and there I was, on Friday night, the speaker at that same conference. IThe lovely Joyce Holmes was the speake for the Saturday night.
   It was great to meet up with so many old friends and see how well they were doing with their writing. Alex Gray, now one of the most successful of the tartan noir crowd with her grim Scottish crime stories. Chris Longmuir, now an established crime writer who won the Dundee Prize just a few years ago. Joyce Begg, who was one of the adjudicators at the conference, and has won a shelf load of awards herself and is now a stalwart of many magazines writing serials and short stories. Nicola Morgan was there, fresh from her win at the Scottish Book Awards, and Katie Grant and Catherine Czerkawska and so many others.
I always came back from that conference buzzing with ideas, and this was no exception. I also heard two qutotes I must share with you.
If there is a gun on the wall at the beginning of a story, someone should have been shot by the end  of the story.   That was Checkov! Good advice too.
         After three hours of working, the orange is squeezed dry.  ( and that was my beloved Robert Louis Stevenson)
So I am off to do my three hours before my orange dries up!

No comments:

Post a Comment