Minutes of the Annual General Meeting for the year April 2017 – March 2018, held in the Dalkeith Arts Centre, 2 White Hart Street, Dalkeith EH22 1AE on Monday 1st October 2018.

Welcome:  Twenty-two members were present and welcomed by the Convener Jock Stein.

Apologies:  Rod Kelly, Graham Leake, Roy Moller, Eric Platten, Diana Steven, Sheila Thatcher.

Convener’s Report:  Thanks to funding by the Seedbed Trust, Tyne and Esk has been able to keep the services of a Creative Writing Fellow. Russell Jones will take up this post on 18 October.  The dynamic of Tyne and Esk Writers lies in the groups and it remains essential that they recruit more members with personal contacts remaining a very good method.  Two Winter Writers’ Workshops were held during the year with financial assistance from the Scottish Book Trust and it is hoped that this funding may also be available next year (2019). Rod Kelly, our new treasurer prepared the accounts which had now been approved by the Management Committee, acting as Tyne and Esk Trustees for the year to April 2018. Copies were tabled for members’ perusal.  In conclusion the Convener noted the retirement from the Management Committee of former Convener Brenda Thomson and Eric Platten, the representative from Penicuik, who were thanked for their contribution over the years, along with former Webmaster Tim Mackenzie. Mr Platten will be succeeded by Hannah Faoilean as the representative for Penicuik.

Vice Convener’s Report:  The need for constant fundraising was emphasised as there was a need to raise money for usual expenses such as insurance as well as funding the Creative Writing Fellow and WOTY.  The use of Amazon Smile when purchasing personal goods, ensures a small percent is paid to Tyne and Esk as a registered charity.  Similar benefits from other stores such as Tesco and M&S are being examined.  The need for new members was highlighted as this too increased the income for Tyne and Esk. A revised members’ survey seeking information and some personal and demographic details is underway and this information enables an accurate profile can be used to support applications for grants.  The Vice Convener emphasised that it would be extremely helpful if members could also add a short note on what they personally get from Tyne and Esk membership.

Appointment of office bearers:  Jock Stein was appointed unopposed as Convener for the coming year and likewise Jane Patmore was elected Vice Convener. In absentia Dr Rod Kelly was returned as Treasurer and Roy Moller as the Membership Secretary.

Appointment of Creative Writing Fellow:  Russell Jones, who had undertaken one of the two Writers’ Winter Workshops has been appointed Creative Writing Fellow. He will take up post on 12 October 2018. Catherine Simpson, who has retired as the CWF was thanked for her generous contribution of time to the groups and to individual members.

Scrivens:  George Cunningham remains as the current Editor.  The aim is to produce another issue at the end of October.  To this end members should send him contributions by mid-October george.c.cunningham@btinternet.com.  Prose should be limited to 750 words and poetry to a maximum of 36 lines.  Please type contributions in 12-point Times New Roman and double space.

Website:  We welcome Emma Patmore as the new Webmaster, and any group representatives who want to update information should do this now.  emma.patmore@me.com

Growing the Business – new ideas:  Members present acknowledge the need to increase Tyne and Esk membership.  Ideas floated included a new publicity leaflet and the need for media expose in the local press.  However, it was acknowledged that word of mouth is still the best recruitment method.

Close:  There being no other competent business, the meeting closed at 7.30 pm followed by the Writer of the Year Awards, 2018.