by Stewart McConnell

A TEAM of Troon book buffs are celebrating becoming Paperback Writers for the first time.

Troon Writers' Group recently published Short Stories and Poems, with the new work now available at Troon Library.

Member Betty Hannah said: "This is the first time we have had anything published. The group started three-and-a-half years ago. We meet every fortnight and normally do a story of about 500-600 words. For instance it could be a children's story or science fiction at our last meeting." Some of the entries are about life events."

Fellow recruit Gwen Boyd said: "The idea of the book was to advertise the fact we are here and we would welcome new members. All entries for the book had to be in by January 18, we had started on it the previous October. The girls in the library vetted it and it then fell to three other members to edit and then Maura O'Hagan and I collated it in the format required to go to the printer for August.

"Most libraries will have a copy but if people want to buy one they can for £4. Most of the contents have been stories which have been produced for our evening meetings. It's not just stories but also poems. It is an achievement to have it published."

Member Bob Johnston said: "It's the opportunity to be creative which appeals to me. For most of my working life I wasn't involved in any creative arts."

The club said in their intro to Short Stories and Poems: "Technology has moulded our lives into a series of soundbites, tweets and text messages where brevity is king. We are short storytellers in our daily lives and most stories among friends are less than 500 words. A poem or story makes it possible to write about everyday things in a way that strikes a chord and endows them with a power that resonates within us."

Among the highlights of an excellent book are Custard Cream Crisis, the entertaining Oor Mags by Alistair Milton The Waiting Room by Betty Hannah, In the Mood for Weather by Carol Armour, the very topical Winter Blues by Linda Godfrey and The Coach Trip by Andrew Dalby. Gwen Boyd's Early Morning poem is inspiring and will make you ready to face the new day.