Archive for the ‘WOTY’ Category

Writer of the Year 2021

2nd January 2022

Writer of the Year Competition: WOTY 2021 Winners

After another great field of entries we are delighted to announce the winners of WOTY 2021. Many thanks to our judge Russell Jones who has provided brief notes on each winning entry.
You can see the list of winners on the Writer of the Year Page.


1st: (And overall winner): The Maiden and the Hare, Margaret Evans
This was a compact, visceral story full of evocative details which felt real whilst also captivating with dark fairytale-like elements. The story gripped me from start to finish, combining the sensual with the sinister, the extraordinary with the everyday, hope with darkness. It does so much in a small space.

2nd: A Dream About a Snake, Yvonne Dalziel
This story was a masterclass in how to utilize evocative turns of phrase, consistently surprising the reader with remarkable details and characters, and a great sense of humour.

3rd: A Holiday Dip, Graham Leake
A structurally experimental story which forces the reader to consider their own bias, and the bias of perspective in storytelling, making it unique and memorable.


1st: Mind Maps, Jock Stein 
A poem with an abundance of evocative language and imagery, this piece built to a meditation on the values of learning and nescience which invites the reader to reread and re-explore.

2nd Recognition, Mike Davenport 
This emotional piece surprised with its ability to maintain intensity and control, deftly combining personal experience with a philosophic tilt (on the nature of chaos and control) in the face of adversity.


Writer of the Year 2020

16th November 2020

We had another great response to our annual Writer of the Year Competition. 53 pieces were entered this year: 29 of fiction, and 24 of poetry. The competition was judged by Claire Askew and we thank her for all her hard work in this task. Calre said: “Judging the contest was a difficult – though deeply enjoyable – task. The overall standard of entries was very high, and I was reminded of the wealth of talent that Tyne & Esk Writers has always fostered.”

You can see the list of winners on the Writer of the Year Page.


Writer of the Year Competition: WOTY 2020 Winners…


Read all the winning entries in our special edition of Scrivens.



1st – Lorna Dixon “On the Beach”

2nd – George Cunningham “The Battle O’ the Bunnet”

3rd – Billy Graham “Grains of Truth”

Highly Commended – Julia Graves “A Difficult Daughter”

Highly Commended – Moira Cormack “Leaving”



1st – Stella Hervey Birrell “I am Radical Self Care”

2nd – Mary Johnston “Tulip”

3rd – MIke Davenport “Japanese Garden”

Highly Commended – Jock Stein “Listen to the Wind”

Highly Commended – Jeff Kemp “Time-Space Continuum”

Writer of the Year 2019

17th November 2019

The winners of our 2019  WOTY were as follows:


Prose 1st place (and overall Writer of the Year) – The Function Room by Julia Carmen
Prose 2nd place – Lest We Forget by Billy Graham
Prose 3rd place – Spring Fantasy by Isla Aitken
Prose commended – Joanne by Brenda Thomson


Poetry – 1st place – Werds for Month0Mye by Mary Johnstone
Poetry – 2nd place – The Pencaitland Hoopoe by Stella Hervey Birrell
Poetry – 3rd place – A Postponement by Mike Davenport
Poetry – commended – Bird Room, Floors Castle by Mike Davenport

Writer of the Year 2019

17th November 2019

Writer of the Year 2019

We had an amazing response to our annual Writer of the Year Competition with 43 entries – 22 for poetry and 21 for prose. The submissions were judged by Tom Murray and we thank him for all his hard work in this task. You can see the list of winners and read their writing on the Writer of the Year Page.

WOTY 2018 – We have winners!

6th December 2018

Congratulations to Mike Davenport with his winning poetry entry of “Ravens on Cul Mor, Assynt“, and to Yvonne Dalziel for her winning prose entry, “Three Added Months“. Thanks to Brian Whittingham for judging all the entries.

WOTY 2018 – A Thank You

19th May 2018

Thank you!


Thank you to every writer who entered the competition, thank you to everyone who thought about it but might wait till next year (go on – just try it!), thank you to the co-ordinators of each group who have encouraged members to submit an entry, and thank you to our judge…..


There were 39 entries for the competition, 17 prose and 22 poetry. What an amazing testament to the talent and willingness of Tyne and Esk Writers!


Good Luck to all who entered.



WOTY 2018 – Last Chance!

28th April 2018

It’s still possible to submit your poem or 2000-word short story for the Tyne and Esk Writers’ Writer of the year competition. But hurry, the submission deadline is Tuesday the 1st May!

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WOTY (Writer of the Year) 2018

3rd April 2018

Submissions are now open for the Tyne and Esk Writer of the Year 2018 Competition. Please see WOTY Poster 2018 for more information.

The winners ceremony will be held on the 1st October at 7pm in St. John’s Church, Whitecraig.

WOTY 2017 – The Inspiration Behind the Winners

5th January 2018

When Saffire Joriades-Israel had to give up working as a chiropodist to become a full-time carer for her adult son, she began to write. Now she has been voted Tyne and Esk Writer of the Year 2017 in the prose category.
‘I always felt I had a book in me but had never known what to write about. My son suggested I start by writing about my own life. I decided to interweave elements of my story with supernatural and spiritual themes,’ said Saffire who is a member of the North Berwick writing group.
However, the final work was too long for a single first book so Saffire split it in two. The story which has won her the prestigious title, “Broken Wings of Love” came from “The Darkening of Days – Misconceptions” which has now been published on Amazon under the pseudonym of Aelia McKrae.
Saffire paid tribute to her local writing group members for their encouragement and constructive feedback. She added, ‘I’d advise any aspiring writer to join such a group.’
Writer of the Year 2017 in the poetry section is Mike Davenport, a member of the Tyne and Esk poetry group, with “Dottir.” When he retired from teaching in 2001 Mike took up writing poetry and had already won a Writer of the Year award in 2006.
His winning poem was inspired by a visit to North Iceland to study geology. ‘I was inspired by seeing the volcanic landscape where the lava flow had stopped just short of a church,’ said Mike. ‘In the churchyard was the grave of a girl who had died in 1912 having lived or just one day – but someone put fresh flowers on the grave.’
Second in the prose section was Annemarie Allan, (North Berwick group) with “Sweet Dreams” and Andy Strachan (Haddington group) came third with “The Goat Herder.”
Commended in this section were Lorna Dixon (North Berwick) and George Cunningham (Musselburgh).
In the poetry section Diana Stevens, from Dunbar, secured second place with “If You Close Your Eyes” and Arthur Greenan from Haddington took third place. Commended was Kathryn Thomson (Penicuik group) and Roy Moller (Dunbar).
Said Tyne and Esk Convenor Jock Stein, ‘Tyne and Esk’s nine groups across two counties is a hot bed of creativity, Our members come from absolute beginners to published writers and we welcome anyone over 16 who has a love of working with words.’

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2017 Winning Entries

15th September 2017


1st Saffire Joriades-Israel for ‘Broken Wings of Love’ and ‘Writer of the Year’ (Prose Section)

2nd Annemarie Allan for ‘Sweet Dreams

3rd Andy Strachan for ‘The Goat Herder


Lorna Dickson for ‘Kaleidoscope
George Cunningham for ‘Ash to Ashes


1st Mike Davenport for ‘Dottir’ and ‘Writer of the Year (Poetry Section)

2nd Diana Stevens for ‘If You Close Your Eyes

3rd Arthur Greenan for ‘One, Two, Three


Kathryn Thomson for ‘Bridge of Speech
Roy Moller for ‘Embarkation


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