Writers take a bow at festival

Amongst the celebrities of Ed Balls, Julian Clary, Joanna Lumley and journalists Andrew Marr and Clive Myrie, members of Borders Writer’s Forum (BWF) entertained at the Borders Book Festival on Thursday, June 16.

The local writers impressed at the recent festival.
The local writers impressed at the recent festival.

Nine members of the BWF participated in the special event, reading their written work in the Davidson Chalmers Stewart-sponsored story-telling tent.

The very successful four-day festival, now in its 11th year, brings thousands of visitors to Melrose.

Sponsored this year again by Baillie Gifford, the event offers a number of readings and signed book sales from famous authors.

Edinburgh author Anne Hamilton.

Hayley Emberey, chair of Borders Writers Forum, complemented the organisation of the festival, saying: “Once again, our members are privileged to be able to support this amazing event and admire the professional organisation and publicity that makes it one of Scotland’s biggest literary occasions.”

The inspiration for the BWF’s participation this year came following a workshop held in February 2022 by Edinburgh-based author Anne Hamilton, who reminded the group in a session about writing memoirs that “everyone has a story to tell”.

Taking her at her word, these nine members of the BWF stood up and read out a bit-sized (500 words) from their own memoir or the memoir of someone else.

The members taking part were: Susan L. Allen, who read ‘From a Hospital Bed in 1958’; Roslyn M. Anderson, ‘Answered with Care’; Peter Zentler-Munro, ‘The Rose Garden’; Carol Byers, reading Prose and Poetry with ‘Born Lucky’ and ‘Missing Scotland’; Andrew Paterson, ‘Thoughts from the Bath No.27’; Hayley Emberey, ‘Bullseye’; Jessie Growdon, ‘Compost’; John McCann, ‘The Bike’; and Barbara Usher, ‘Budding Ideas on Freedom’.

Each of the readings were received well by the delighted audience, each of whom had purchased tickets to hear the home-grown writing talent of the Borders region.

The Borders Writer’s Forum meets monthly at Smith Memorial Hall, Abbotsford Road, Darnick, and offers support and learning opportunities throughout the year, including key speaker literary sessions, open mic opportunities, as well as opportunities for members to participate in blind critiques, giving and receiving anonymous feedback on each other’s prose and poetry.

Participants learn new techniques, have opportunities to build on their experience in creative writing and editing, and to take part in various events as desired.

The Borders is well known for being a breeding ground for new writers and new members are always welcome.

Anyone interested in joining the BWF can find information on Facebook or on the website www.borderswritersforumork.uk.wordpress.com or, alternatively, send an inquiry to [email protected]