The 46th Annual Conference is now in the past, but what an excellent Conference it was, the Council described by adjudicator Linda Gillard as 'magnificent' really pulled it out the bag, by producing a slicker, and more inclusive programme, Gala Dinner, AGM, Competition Award Ceremony and Alternative Programme with Workshops etc. Nothing is perfect, but Workshop leader Shirley Blair even mentioned us in her blog on D C Thomson's 'The People's Friend' site at http://www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk/fiction/fiction-editors-blog/2015/march/30/back-from-saw/ The work towards the programme of activities which the SAW now engages, begins again after the Conference, so please join with me in wishing the SAW Council every success in the coming year. Marc R Sherland - President
Mission Statement - The Scottish Association of Writers has been providing excellence in writing since 1969. Our continued Aim, is to develop the range of services to Writing Groups, Members and those currently unaffiliated. This will be achieved through the development of new provision, through better, more integrated and challenging opportunities, online & paper resources and better organised Events and Conferences.
SAW Scholarship Competition Winner - The Winner of the SAW Scholarship Competition this year, is none other than long time supporter of the Association, Ronnie Mail. The piece is called 'The Final Decision' and Ronnie is a member of Eastwood Writers. Congratulations to him and may his ink never run dry.
Club Exhibition Space - A reminder to all Clubs, there will be 2 panels of exhibition space for you to display info about your Club programme, sell anthologies and describe successes. You must let Marc know if you want to have display space by emailing him at
Eulogy for Barbara Hammond
'On Saturday 29th November the SAW Council met for the last time before Christmas. At the meeting we discussed the competitions and Barbara Hammond, our Competition Secretary gave voice to her usual praise and complaints about the first batch of entries, those with or without cover pages, with or without their fees, those with insufficient postage (which she often paid herself) and those with no names or noms de plume.
She was in good form, courteous and jovial with that twinkle in her eye that was always a mark of her persona a galleon sailing among fishing skips. She was looking forward to Christmas and to shopping in Manchester.
One of the first times I ever met Barbara, it was when she drew me aside to quietly advise that I had not completed my cover page properly, and it was as though she had done the wrong and not I. She had of course fixed it herself. I knew, simply from her warmth, I had made a friend, and friendship with Barbara was for life.
When I released the first Federation Newsletter, she was first to commend it and to add information from the Writers’ Umbrella, which on her recommendation I quickly joined.
After I made my first Secretary’s report to the SAW AGM in March 2008, she sent me a card with a note to congratulate me and wish further success.
All of us on the Council are devastated by Barbara’s untimely death, she was a true Lady, passionately fanatical about the SAW and scrupulously fair as Competition Secretary. Indeed she detested pettiness of any sort and always championed the underdog, if they had a sound cause.
In the outpouring of condolences that have been posted on the SAW Facebook page, it has been notable how many people have mentioned her kindness and the respect felt for her.
Many have observed on the little acts of goodness which she showed to people, the quiet congratulations expressed and the willingness to help whenever she could. It is the mark of a very special individual when so many people can relate selfless kindnesses, undertaken for no more reason, than it was a good thing to do, but no-one can remember a bad deed done by them. Barbara was such a person and loved because of it.
We will miss Barbara tremendously, but know that she has laid a sound framework for the continuation of our competitions. She was Competition Secretary from 2004 until this year, ten years of excellent service.
Marc R Sherland - President '
The Work We Do
Conference - Every year, SAW holds an Annual Conference. In 2015 this will be over the weekend of 27th - 29th March in Westerwood Hotel & Conference Centre, Cumbernauld. This is attended by writers who are members of Clubs affiliated to the Association.
Satellite Events- From Autumn 2013, we will mount 2 satellite Writing and Learning events with attendant competitions, Write Down South in June, and Write Up North in October each year, or one per year, determined by funding considerations.
Write Down South - On June 21st 2014 we held a Learning Day event titled 'Write Down South' in the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries, including 3 competitions. The event proved to be popular and we hope to build on the success next year.
Write Up North - On October 25th 2014 we repeated the highly successful 'Write Up North' in the Town House Inverness, including 3 competitions and Workshops. The Key Speaker and Workshop host was Bob Davidson from Sandstone Press, who attendees were pleased to hear. This is an event well worth repeating. Competition winner information can be found on our Competition Page.
Wider Programme - The Association is developing a much wider range of responses, all year round, to support Writing Groups and we hope you will find this website a good starting place to find out more.
Our thanks go to Viking Direct who donated some stationery materials for our use in the Association.
The World of the SAW
A list of Writers Groups currently affiliated can be found on the Clubs page. If your Group would like more information about joining the Association, contact the Affiliation Secretary
At all of our events, where everyone is assured a warm welcome, there are competitions for a wide range of categories, guest speakers, workshops and details of further opportunities to engage with the Association.
The SAW Outreach Team has made inroads, visiting affiliated clubs and clubs considering membership, spreading the word about our programme, through Association affiliation.
The Scottish Association of Writers has a fine tradition, but we want it fit for the 21st Century. We are investing in new vision, which is an ongoing process and we want it to involve you.
The SAW has helped and is supported by writers such as Margaret Thomson Davis, Catherine McPhail, Alex Gray, Gillian Philip and current Honorary President Alanna Knight
In 2013/14 the SAW are introducing several new ideas details of which can be found on the SAW Calendar page and in the SAW Newsletters.
History of the Association - The Association has a proud history and in this You Tube video you will get a real feel of the success of our activities and programme.