Last night saw guest speaker Mary Edward musing on the nature of memoirs, prior to the upcoming competition on that genre. A history graduate, English teacher, published author and past president of SAW meant Mary had a great deal of knowledge to share not to mention a few secrets! Arruff! She defined a memoir as a first hand account of yourself, events, places or even other people but all crucially seen through your own eyes.

Mary, to give us all a flavour of what she was talking about, read a memoir (about her Aunt Alice ) she had published in ‘Scottish Memories’. This illustrated that a mémoire can often involve source material that was told to the author by another person and so the author can incorporate not only things that they did not directly experience but things that may have happened long ago in the past.

Memoirs, Mary also explained, are also a way of recording history about people, places and customs for future generations. She then produced a bunch of books (listed below) showing the extraordinary range that can be found within the genre of the memoir. From cathartic tales of abused childhood to political revelations that put the ‘boot in’. From humorous celebrity musings to literary and intellectual insights into the human condition.

Certainly a lot of food for thought. We all have stories to tell and though we might think they are dull of no possible interest to anyone there is so much that connects us, common experiences we share, that you might be surprised by just how well your memoir will be received.

Ahhh the stories I could tell you about when I was a pup…. Oh well, onwards and upwards.

Finlay J MacDonaldCrowdie and Cream: Memoirs of a Hebridean Childhood

Richard Holloway – Leaving Alexandria

Winnie Ewing – Stop the World

Alan Bennett – A Life like other People’s

Michael McIntyre – Life and Laughing

Robert Douglas – Night Song of the Last Tram

Flora Maxwell Stewart – A Gift of Time



Below the poetry competition winners being presented with their certificates/prizes by Mary