Due to the weather we sadly had to postpone our Christmas Cheese & Wine, Quiz and Open Mic Party until the New Year. Likely to be happening on February 16th 2022, so please watch this space for more details.

All at BWF would like to wish all our members and supporters and guests a very Happy Christmas and exciting writing ventures in 2023. With thanks and best wishes. Hayley (Chair) and the Committee.

Carly Brown – Performance Poetry at Darnick Village Hall on 17th November 2022

Performance Poetry Evening with Carly Brown – individual successes all round those who braved the storm outside…

Performance Poetry with Carly Brown – 17th November 2022 was a great success with excellent guidance and instruction and teaching plus some novel pieces of work performed in the second half after only 20 minutes of writing time. Carly subtly informed the group that she was the Poetry Slam Winner for Scotland in 2013 and came fourth in the world poetry slam competition the same year! After such an announcement, our eyes and ears became far more attentive. Carly opened with a piece of poetry from her newly published collection of poems called ‘Anastasia, Look in the Mirror’ and this certainly opened new doors about the range of possibilities when performing poetry. Carly took us through the various aspects of elements to consider when performing poetry, ranging from various pace, volume and roles to eye contact for emotions, gestures, dramatic pauses and repetition. It became clear performance poetry can be theatrical, comedic and dialogue amongst characters is very impactful. There is even the possibility of making the audience into the characters to whom are performing to. After some social chat and delicious refreshments, the audience was given 20 minutes to write their own piece of poetry based on the theme of ‘write about something you feel passionate about’. This led to some of the audience then being given the opportunity to perform their piece of writing which ranged from current political and topical subject matter through to passions about the sea or ending war and the passionate love for another human being. Those who were unable to perform or did not feel ready to, will be given the opportunity to do so at the upcoming Open Mic session at the Christmas event in December. BWF would like to thank Carly Brown and all those whom attended on such a dark, blustery night for creating such an enjoyable and fun and inspirational evening, with so many new dynamics being introduced to us about poetry and performing poetry, away from the traditional four lines of rhyming verses.

Carly’s website:

Carly offers 1:1 individual mentorship sessions for fiction and poetry, more information here:

Order Carly’s poetry book, ‘Anastasia, Look in the Mirror’:

Pre-order Carly’s forthcoming sci-fi novella, ‘All the Orphans in the Galaxy’:

Testimonial re Carly Brown’s Spoken Word Poetry Workshop, 17 th November 2022
Carly is a great motivator and enthusiast of Spoken Word Poetry. She inspired us to perform the
words we wrote in just 20 minutes whilst enjoying coffee, cake, and strawberries ��
It was amazing to watch each other blossom and become engrossed in producing words
designed to be spoken and performed. And they worked! Thanks to Carly’s encouragement we
were keen to test our virgin poetry and skills in front of the microphone. Everyone was different
and everyone was great to hear and watch.
Many thanks to Carly for opening our eyes and ears and for sharing her knowledge and
experiences with us. She has sown a magical seed.
Susan L. Allen
The Borders Writers’ Forum
Check out A Mosaic in Time and The Mosaic Morphs​.​
​Available on Amazon in paperback and e-formats. 
Feedback is always welcome.

Anne Hamilton wrote her Bangladesh memoir after her first visit there. She has now been going for 21 years!!! Is just back from a visit and so many people have asked about it, Anne has told them about the book…and it’s shot back up into the top 40. What’s great about that is all proceeds go to the charity, Bhola’s Children. So, here’s the eBook link, if anyone could spare £2.99, they’d be doing a very good deed. 

***Great News – Announcing Oliver Eade’s latest book “Eyes of Fire”

Check out the link to the web page is:

Basically, features Oliver Eade’s latest book, ‘Eyes of Fire’, plus his five recommended ‘best books’ in the category of fantasy fiction that makes the reader think more deeply about real-life issues.

Al Guthrie’s Talk on Crime – A synopsis taken from 15th Sept 2022

Al Guthrie, author of five novels, literary agent, co-founder of his own agency, The North Literary Agency, editor, and most recently Executive Editor for the German publisher Bastei’s English language imprint, and now Editorial Director of NeoText, an offshoot of a US Film Production company, which primarily publishes genre novellas with cinematic potential, graced us at the Borders Writers’ Forum on September 17th, 2022, in Darnick, for an interesting, cohesive, and informative discussion about his career in crime writing. 

Having been rejected 400 times, Al stated stamina is key to success for any writer and although who you know might be important, who knows you often leads to more publishing opportunities. For Al, publishing is a lot about random luck and each writer usually has a unique path and way of getting out there. Al suggested that most books start too early, and that the story often begins at what the writer thinks is the middle, and he recommends studying the traditional 3-Act story structure, which is much more than just beginning, middle and end, defining an entire transformative character arc in specific plot beats (he cites “Save the Cat Writes a Novel” By Jessica Brody as a useful text on the Subject). ‘Platform’ for a writer is of huge value. By that he means your background, what else you might be known for, having a network, a reputation; however local or small are all key platforms to one’s success and achievement. Al also touched upon the intricacies of getting published and pitching one’s work for films. The interval needed 

to be kept to time to accommodate the abundance of questions flying around the room, which Al answered with a humble ease and clearly a lot of expertise. It’s definitely worth reading the notes he’s provided.

Good News – Due to the success of our first Blind Critique Opportunity at the beginning of the year, we are providing another opportunity for BWF Members only, so join the Forum if you want to join in. It’s a lot of fun and a very useful exercise to read and provide anonymous feedback. Plus, there is the opportunity for the final piece of work to be included in a BWF booklet in 2023, plus the opportunity to submit for a reading at this year’s Borders Book Festival in June 2022. The subject is ‘Memoir’.
See below for the information…have fun going down memory lane.

BWF Friendly guide to Open Mic readings

Peer Critique Opportunity in January 2022, from the comfort of your own home, via email



In one of their post-lockdown live events featuring local artists, the Heart of Hawick, presented a Poetry Slam on Sunday 9th October. Five local poets read their work to the audience, who judged each one subjectively.

The audience had the opportunity to hear some strong poetry from writers living in the Borders. They revealed the creative power of words, written and performed, about as diverse topics as the power of red lipstick to the effects on friends of suicide.

There were three rounds of poetry with contributors reading one of their own poems each time. The marking was carried out by volunteers in the  audience and the outcome was a very close call with only 2 points in it.  The overall winner was Rhys Pearce. Rhys hails from Hassendean and is in his final year at Loretto Senior School, Musselburgh. His poetry is inspiring and very moving.

Jason Moyes, Senior Creative Programming Manger, representing the sponsors, Live Borders, presented his cash prize and spoke of the exceptional writing talent we are lucky to have in The Borders, saying “It has been a privilege to host and sponsor this event at the Heart of Hawick, an open venue which prides itself in offering different events that showcase the many talents in art, theatre and writing that we have in The Borders Region. Further events are planned and all are welcome to attend and or participate.”

Rhys Pearce to the fore, presenters Sara and Thomas left and right. BWF contributors, Carol Myers, Susan Allen and Andrew Paterson behind Rhys.

The Borders Writers Forum has over twenty members and provides a platform for aspiring writers to share knowledge and experiences online and in person. Susan Allen, membership secretary, was one of the competitors as were members,  Carol Byers, and Andrew Paterson.

Prepared by  Carol Byers. For further information about The Borders Writers’ Forum please check out their website or: send an email to the membership secretary:

***Great News***

Please kindly leave a comment good or bad through the link if have read the book. See link below:

All book purchases, the proceeds will go to the Friends of The BGH where Oliver worked for many years as a Doctor. Thanks for the support.

BWF Anthology 2021/22

All entries are now in for this year’s Anthology. Thank you for the high number of contributions. Mike Hutchinson will be in contact shortly to discuss the next stage

Need help with your writing? Then ask a fellow member for assistance.

It’s so easy. Just email your request to the BWF secretary at and we’ll ask our forum members.

Whether you’re searching for an illustrator, an editor, a writing buddy or a manuscript critical reader, hopefully a member will have the experience themselves or contact details offering an alternative solution.

Get connected!

Borders Writers Coast to Countryside Cover


Border Voices: Coast & Countryside was launched in June 2019 at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose.

The anthology is on sale, priced £4.99, at Abbey View Cafe & Bookshop in Jedburgh; The Forest Bookstore in Selkirk; and Guess What? in Galashiels. More retail outlets will be added in due course.

The book will also be available at monthly meetings during the new programme, which begins in September 2019.


Two members tasted success leading into the 2018/19 programme.

Oliver Eade won the Georgina Hawtrey-Woore Award for Independent Authors: Fiction for Young Adults for The Kelpie’s Eyes, a fantasy novel involving two sisters standing against dark forces.

Details at:

Oliver also won the Segora International Writing Competition for his one-act play, The Other Cat.

Details at:

Margaret Skea, the BWF chair, was runner-up in the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award for Katharina: Deliverance, an historical novel about the wife of religious reformer Martin Luther.

Details at:

Well done, Oliver and Margaret.