The Bristol Short Story Prize is now open.  Stories can be on any theme or subject and entry can be made online via the website or by post.

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Angus Writers Circle announced the winners of its flash fiction competition on Wednesday night in the Cliffburn hotel in Arbroath. Members had been set the challenge of writing a story in under 250 words. Betty Doe who adjudicated the competition said that the challenge had been met, to produce some thoroughly entertaining pieces.   


Submissions were read out at our meeting and ranged from the very poignant to the humorous. There were some really clever twists in the tail.  Members were surprised with what you can achieve in so few words. Eleanor Forsyth was awarded fist place for her moving story, A Day Out. Second place went to Eric Yeaman and third to Joan Christie.  Grace Murray and Eleanor Forytsyth were commended for their entries.

authonomy is a unique online community that connects readers, writers and publishing professionals. It was conceived and built by editors at HarperCollins Publishers.

authonomy invites unpublished and self published authors to post their manuscripts for visitors to read online.  Visitors to authonomy can comment on these submissions – and can personally recommend their favourites to the community.

HarperCollins hopes to find new, talented writers we can sign up for our traditional book publishing programmes – we’ll be reading the most popular manuscripts each month as part of this search.

So,  get spotted: www.authonomy.com

Angus Writers Circle enjoyed a fascinating visit to Astute Printing and Publishing in Forfar on Tuesday afternoon. They were invited by MD Alistair Donald to learn more about the process of self publishing and be shown around the publishing house.

Circle members were made to feel very welcome and got to meet some of the graphic designers at work. They were then taken on to the factory floor where some of our members who used to work in the publishing industry were amazed by the advances in technology.  John Smith said “the process was definitely more time consuming in my day.”

Alastair then gave members a detailed presentation on the process of self publishing, sharing tips on how to avoid any additional costs as well as guidance on how to understand publishing jargon, an essential skill for budding writers. Graphic designer Pamela then showcased a local Authors children’s book describing how the designers work with authors to create the finished product which our members were impressed with.

Circle members at Astute

Circle members at Astute

Vice president Pamela Ruddy said that “Everyone really enjoyed the visit; it is definitely the type of outing we will do again.”

Local crime writer and member of Angus Writers Circle, Chris Longmuir has won the Dundee International Book Prize for her gritty crime novel Dead Wood.  Chris who has known since last November that she had won the prestigious award has found it very difficult  to contain her excitement and keep it a secret  from circle members, who are now absolutely thrilled at her achievement. President of the Circle Jules May said: “This is fantastic news and we are delighted with Chris’s success. ”

 Chris’s novel Dead Wood was selected from over a hundred entries to be the winner of Dundee International Book Prize. She will receive a 10,000 cash prize and a publishing contract. It has been Chris’s lifetime ambition to become a published crime author and she a numerous books already written and waiting. Chris said that she is: “ Over the moon. It really has been a long haul and it feels so fantastic to see my book on the shelves of local bookstores.” Chris thoroughly enjoyed the awards ceremony held in the Apex hotel in Dundee on Friday the 26th of June where she was presented her award by journalist and writer Magnus Linklater in front of an audience of industry experts, shortlisted writers and sponsors of the prize.    

 The winning novel Dead Wood, set in the industrial city of Dundee, begs the question; what happens when the cold, calculating world of gangland retribution collides with the psychosis of a serial killer? Chris’s first novel promises to be a thrilling read and members are eagerly awaiting hearing her read excerpts of the book at our next club night.

Chris Longmuir with her trophy for winning the Dundee International Book Prize

Chris Longmuir with her trophy for winning the Dundee International Book Prize

Margaret Gillies-Brown awards the Fireball to Grace Murray

Margaret Gillies-Brown awards the Fireball to Grace Murray

Published Scottish poet and author Margaret Gillies Brown surprised Angus Writers Circle members with an inspiring talk on “How to become a successful poet.” before announcing the winners of their poetry competition.

At the Cliffburn Hotel in Arbroath on the 17th June, Margaret shared the secrets of her success including, how to get known in the poetry world. Describing poetry as “a way of life”, she recounted amusing stories of her eventful journeys to poetry events all over the country.

Finally, she gave our members excellent feedback on their entries and revealed the winners: First place went to member Grace Murray for her moving poem “The Fiery Cross”. Grace explained how “it was written after a visit to the tragic and Eerie Culloden battlefield” where the Jacobite clans were slaughtered.

Second and third place went to Eleanor Fordyce and several of our members were also commended for their entries; Grace Murray and Anna Stewart were highly commended. Eric Yeamen and John Ruddy were commended. Margaret said that she had “enjoyed reading all the entries.”

Angus Writers Circle played host to Gary Robertson, local performance poet and author of ‘Gangs of Dundee’.

At the Cliffburn Hotel in Arbroath on Wednesday the 15th of May Gary shared tips on everything from self publishing, to how to juggle interviewing ex-gang members with working full time on the factory floor. He concluded with a tongue-twisting performance of his poetry in full Dundonian Oary.

Angus Writers Circle President Jules May said “Gary’s story was an

Gary Robertson

Gary Robertson

inspiration to our members. From his childhood in the housing schemes of Dundee, to his winning the BBC reality television series ‘SAS: Are You Tough Enough?’” our members were impressed by his determination. It was a privilege to have him at our meeting.”

Angus Writers Circle will be organizing a trip to see Gary’s latest play ‘The Berries’ in the Bonar Hall, Dundee from 23rd to 25th September.

There’s a new website started.  It is a FREE community website dedicated to revitalising the short story. For authors, it provides a showcase for their work, giving worldwide exposure, and for readers, it offers free access to short stories which can be read as a text document or if selected by our members listened to as an audio file.

It’s called Shortbread, and though they’ve just started, it looks like a very professional outfit.

Yet another New Venue!

After complaints that Hospitalfield house was too cold, and the driveway too dark, we’ve relocated (again) to the Cliffburn Hotel.

We’re moving on 3rd November – that’s the first club night after Raymond Vitese’s adjudication.

Just as at the Viewfield, tea and coffee are again being provided.  So there’s no need to bring your own!

You can get a map of the location here, and you can find out all about the hotel here.

Brechin Drama: Wonderful!

Hi Folks
For those of you who did not venture to the grand city of Brechin for the festival drama – 11th to 13th Sept- you missed a wonderful event. Mary Rae and Jules May produced a cracking piece of work depicting three hundred years of events important to the history and development
of the community. It was some challenge and they ” did us proud “. Thank you both for an interesting and memorable time. Never to be forgotten.

Barbara Timmons.