WOTY 2017 – The Inspiration Behind the Winners

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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