Circle News

December 2017


December 13

There were sixteen strong entries to this year's Arthur Redway Memorial Competition. Members voted as follows: 

1. Avalanche by Barbara

2. Let's Talk by Walter

3. Some Problem by Les W.

See Competitions


For those with strong enough constitutions after the coming festivities Christmas homework has been set:  

Either short stories or poems are welcome, with a word limit of 1000.

The theme is "what I found in my Christmas stocking".

See Homework

November 2017


November 29

Next week's meeting - Presentation by Dr Geoff Harvey

Geoff was Head of English at Reading University until he retired.

He has previously talked to us about beginnings & ends, plots and characters in stories. 

This time he will speak about poetry, the construction of verse and how it can be used in story-telling.

November 17

The Arthur Redway competition 2017 is now open!

See Competitions

November 8

There were 17 entries but unfortunately only time to read 14 on the night. To keep up the momentum of the evening and complete the competition with the readings and judging all on the same evening the 14 were judged. Results were as follows:

1st    Les W.      Fields of Wheat

2nd   Joyce        A Burning Question

3rd    Nick          Life and Death

See Homework page...

September 2017


September 6

The result of the secret ballot for the winners of the Summer homework competition were announced last night

Winners :      Helen Collett with The Frying Pan and David Baldock with Forgive Me Father,

Runner-up :  Sally Johnson with Agony Aunt.

See Homework page for details.

June 2017


June 7

The Chris Mundy Poetry Competition readings were held last night. There were thirteen very good entries.

Louise Ordish, well known local poet and judge of the competition provided a written critique of each poem which she outlined after each reading.

1st. Sailor Boy.  Barbara

2nd. Swan.  Neil

3rd. Becalmed.  Les W.

See Competitions

May 2017


25 May

The (long awaited) Anthology is NOW ON SALE for only £4.99!

90 pages of your Short Stories, Poems and Puzzles...

...order from Sally at a Circle meeting - or e-mail Stuart.

April 2017


5 April

Arthur Burke of the Progress Theatre received and judged the eight entries in our One Act Play competition. Last night he came along to hear the plays being read and announce his results - see Competitions.

The evening went well and members may wish to edit their plays in the light of Arthur's comments and enter them into other competitions. In the past this has proved a winning formula.

January 2017


12 February

Congratulations to Elizabeth - her second Montailhac brothers story has been released by Endeavour Press.

9 February

The One Act Play competition 2017 is now open!

Entries must be emailed to Arthur by 14th March.

See Competitions

11 January

The winner of Marta's Christmas Homework was David Baldock with A Dickens of a Dream,

second was Les Williams with Glad Tidings We Bring

and third was Neil Sommerville with A Shrewsbury Tale

December 2016

12 December

Congratulations to Elizabeth - her latest Regency Tale has just been published by Endeavour Press.

7 December

The result of the Arthur Redway Memorial competition was announced last night - and prizes were presented to the three winners.

The result was as follows:

In first place: Taken to Extremes by Barbara O. Smith

second: The Erase Button by Les Williams

and third: The Telegram by Joyce Robinson

All the entries (each with their Author's name) are now available via the Competitions page.

November 2016


10 November

The Arthur Redway competition 2016 is now open!

See Competitions

3 November

There were 16 entries this year's Hallowe'en competition...

Winner:  Rockets in the Med. by Les W

Second:  The Costume Murder by Brian

Third:  Of Grave Concern by Barbara

See Competitions

October 2016


6 October


We will again be taking part in National Short Story Week: 14 - 20 November.

Our contribution will be to provide short stories to be read and recorded by the Progress Theatre which will then be broadcast by Hospital Radio Reading as a bedtime story to patients in the RBH during the week.

Your story can be on any subject and should be between 1500 and 2000 words.

Send your story ASAP to Dick     Listen to previous year's stories.


5 October

The Halloween/Bonfire Night short story competition is now open.

Ghouls to damp squibs all welcome but the word limit is 1000.

It is limited to this to enable all the readings to take place on one evening.

Readings, judging and results on 1st November.

There will be prizes. 

Good luck,


August 2016


15 August

The minutes of the AGM are available here.

July 2016


30 July

Hello from Moscow - some holiday photos from Richard.

13 July

The Iain Pattison judged short story competition result was announced last night:

The winner was Nick with 'The Goddess Juliet',

second was David Burnell, with 'Agent of the Crown',

and third was Les W with 'O. Disser-Pointment'.

Sally's story, 'Cast Aside' received an honorary mention.

see Competitions and see some of the entries here

11 July

Congratulations to Richard Candy who has had some of his puzzles accepted for a new book called 'PUZZLE BOX volume one.'  It is published by Dover books, and will be released on November 16 this year.

It's already on sale at Amazon, - see: www.amazon.co.uk/Puzzle-Box-1.... .

Richard already has 12 puzzles on the web see : www.puzzles.com/...  On the Authors page Richard is interposed between Archimedes, Girolamo Cardano, and Lewis Carroll!  He says, "Maybe like me, Archimedes couldn't boil an egg very well either."

11 July

Congratulations to Elizabeth - she has signed three contracts in one week with Endeavour Press.

The first is for a reissue of APRIL AND MAY, which is about the eccentric aunt, hooked on deciphering hieroglyphics and her niece, who tries to look after her.

The two new stories are linked by the fact that the main characters are brothers.  The first, SCANDALOUS LADY is set in Constantinople, where the ice cool diplomat meets the tempestuous rebel artist and thereafter nothing goes to plan.  In the second, A RAKE AND HIS HONOUR, his brother is pursued across England and France by Napoleon's most sinister agents, and joins forces with a resourceful yet enigmatic young lady.

June 2016


8 June

There were 14 entries for this year's Iain Pattison judged short story competition.

Is this a record?

May 2016


27 May

Our Turkish member, Seyda was a judge on the jury of a Short story competition, in Mersin, Turkey.

Elizabeth has sent a photo of Seyda presenting the prize.

4 May

Chris Mundy Memorial Poetry competition result!

Susan Utting announced the result and Doug presented the trophy to...

Joint winners:              Neil Somerville and Les Williams

Highly Commended:   Jan Rogers and Dick Sawdon Smith

see Competitions for details.

April 2016


6 April

One Act Play competition - results announced!

Winner:     Alanna with Hide and Seek

2nd.           Barbara with The Diagnosis

3rd.            Colin with 10:20 to Chelmsford

...see Competitions

March 2016


27 March

Congratulations to Barbara - her new novel has been published:

Listen to the Drums: An African Odyssey

Read the rave reviews on Amazon
(and, of course, buy a copy while you're there)!

Barbara also has a new (very professional) website: www.barbaraolivesmith.com/

10 March

The Chris Mundy Memorial Poetry competition is now open!

See Competitions

February 2016


16 February

This year's One Act Play competition is now underway!  See Competitions.

10 February

The result of the Christmas homework competitions were announced last night:

(a)  A story or poem on anything to do with fairies (no more than 1200 words)

                 Winner:       The Death of Night by Nick Telepneff

                     2nd.:       The Grave Beyond by David Burnell

                      3rd.:       The Bitter Tale of an Elf by Joe Dulston

                      4th.:       Merry Christmas Rupert by Walter Jardine

(b)  Dress or decorate your fairy mannequin

                 Winner:       Sally Johnson

                     2nd.:       Chloé Stoakes

                      3rd.:       Eunice Cooper (for Les?)

January 2016



14 January

Richard Holdsworth has sent some photos of Circle members - see them here.

December 2015



9 December

The Arthur Redway competition results were announced last night.

The winner was Ian with Animal Behaviour

Second was Barbara with Paddington

and third was David Burnell with Surprise.

3 December

Homework for the Christmas Break is announced!

See Homework.

November 2015



17 November

This week (National Short Story Week) the Progress Theatre are reading stories submitted by our members and being broadcast by Hospital Radio Reading.

You can listen to them live on http://www.hrreading.org.uk/live.htm every evening this week after the news at 10:00pm.

Recordings will be made available here! soon after each broadcast.

13 November

Arthur Redway competition announced - see Competitions

October 2015



28 October

Hallowe'en competition: There were 12 entries - and the winners were... see Competitions

15 October

Richard Holdsworth has recently completed an epic train journey from Adelaide to Darwin.

He has sent part 1 of his 3 part story based on the journey.

There wasn't time to read it on Tuesday but he has agreed for it to be posted on the website.

14 October

Hallowe'en competition announced!

See Competitions.

13 October

Neil won the BUGS competition with "Top Secret" and the creepers-up were Les W. with"2017X", Nick with "Housekeeping" and Dick with "Memories are Made of This".

See Homework.

5 October

Listen to Colin being interviewed by Ann Diamond on BBC Radio Berkshire this morning!

3 October

Congratulations to Colin - his play "Interview with a Dead Man" has won this year’s one act play competition, organised by NAWG - the Sir Alan Aykbourn Award.

See Successes

September 2015


28 September

Barbara is organising a competition to find the winner of the Bugs story summer homework.

If you wrote a "Bugs" story for the summer holiday homework competition, please send me a copy for the website.

Details of the voting procedure will be announced soon...

27 September

Last night, many members enjoyed a Murder mystery evening presented by the Tilehurst Amateur Dramatic Society, in the Tilehurst Village Hall

We were the audience of a radio play set in 1954 in which a murder takes place. Then, during our dinner of fish and chips, the actors circulated among us answering questions to help us guess the murderer and motive. Only when everyone had finished eating, were the murderer and his motive duly revealed.

We were all surprised to see that one of the characters (a rather dubious doctor) was played by our very own Ian!

July 2015


29 July

The AGM was held on Tuesday 28 July.

Read the Convenor's report for last year and the calendar for next year.

27 July

The optional homework for the summer break "Bugs" has been set by Barbara - see the Homework

8 July

Click here to read some of this year's entries for the Iain Pattison judged short story competition.

May 2015



13 May

Iain Pattison judged short story competition is announced!

See Competitions

March 2015



18 March

One-Act Play competition results...

See Dick's write-up and photo

January 2015



15 January

Click here for the Flash Fiction competition results.

December 2014



10 December

Flash Fiction competition announced!Set by Marta - our member in Budapest

9 December

Arthur Redway Memorial Competition for 2014 (2) results announced!

See the result - and all the entries

November 2014



25 November

Fictional Endings

by Dr.Geoff Harvey

Dick has written a short report on Geoff's talk last Tuesday.

19 November

This week members of the Progress Theatre are reading stories submitted by members for National Short Story Week..

These are being broadcast by Hospital Radio Reading to patients in the Royal Berkshire Hospital.You can listen to them live on http://www.hrreading.org.uk/live.htm every evening this week.

Recordings will be made available here! soon after each broadcast.

October 2014



29 October

Any visitor to the Circle on Tuesday could have been forgiven for thinking they were entering a witch’s coven. Seventeen members stood at the rostrum and read their horrific or spooky stories and poems...

See Competitions for the results!

August 2014



14 August

Congratulations to Colin (F) - his new novel 'Inheritance of Secrets'  is now available in paperback via Amazon, soon to be on Kindle as well.

You can buy it here!

July 2014



18 July

On the Map - has been short-listed for the NAWG annual Anthology competition.

The winners will be announced at the NAWG Gala Dinner on Saturday 30th August, 2014 during the Warwick Festival of Writing.

June 2014



27 June

Congratulations again to Jan (aka Rosie Dean) - she is one of ten authors selected by a new media outlet, Hit Lit Pro.

They will be promoting her work over the coming year, via blog tours, tweets and competitions.

May 2014


31 May

Click here to see Joyce receiving the Arthur Redway trophy - picture by Dick.

22 May

This year's Iain Pattison judged short story competition is now underway!

See Competitions

21 May

STOP PRESS - Arthur Redway Memorial Competition results announced!

See the results and read the entries!

16 May

David Burnell has published his second Cornish Conundrum - Slate Expectations

It's available on Amazon (Kindle edition) see: Slate-Expectations

14 May

There are 18 entries for the Arthur Redway Memorial Competition - each one a masterpiece! 

They're all available for you to read on the website see: 2014 entries

April 2014



30 April

Last night's guest speaker, Dr. Geoff Harvey provided us with a very enjoyable and stimulating talk entitled ‘Writing for Readers - using language creatively’.

Click here to read Dick's review.

19 April

Congratulations to Jan - her second romantic comedy, Vicki's Work of Heart by Rosie Dean, is now out on Amazon for Kindle, with the paperback due out in a couple of weeks.

[My in-house Lit. Crit. reviews the book as "Brilliant!"]

9 April

This year's Arthur Redway Memorial competition is now underway!

Any subject, max. 2000 words, must contain the words: captain, brick, web, stitch, exhausted, silt.

See Competitions

February 2014



11 February

One Act Play Competition 2014 - Results announced!

See: Dick's report.

January 2014



22 January

In Barbara's words: Lady Carnarvon's visit last night was an outstanding success. She held everyone's attention throughout, and brought to life the running and upkeep of Highclere Castle, and indeed the history of some of its occupants.

We hope she enjoyed her visit as much as we members and guests enjoyed her talk.

Many thanks to Chris for organising the event and to everyone who made it such an enjoyable evening.

See: photo by Dick