There were 35 entries for the competition. Those who entered chose a wide variety of memories to write about: childhood and school-days, events in adult life, memories of parents, aunts and uncles, holidays taken or places visited. Some were light-hearted or humorous , others related traumatic experiences. Big thanks to all those who entered the competition and for giving me the pleasure encountering so many interesting slices of other people’s lives. I particularly enjoyed the ones which demonstrated a keen eye for detail and character and complete honesty about feelings.

In adjudicating these entries I applied what I call my ‘Dentist’s Waiting-Room Test’. That is to say, if I read this memoir in a magazine in a dentist’s waiting- room, would it take my mind off the root-canal work I was about to endure? If I didn’t manage to finish it before going to the chair for treatment, would I return to the waiting-room to finish it? And for how long would I remember it after reading it? Would it stay with me and reverberate in my mind? For this to happen the memoir would have to be written in a way that made the scenes vividly come to life, so that I felt I was there in person (the art of showing rather than telling). I’m glad to be able to say that quite a high proportion of the entries met my criteria.

Although this was a short memoir competition, entrants did have 2000 words at their disposal. I felt that some entries would have benefited from expanding a bit. Some were rather like tightly packed suitcases. They needed to be unpacked, the clothes unfolded and held up to the light. In some cases (in my opinion) too big a time span was attempted to allow this to happen; in other cases they were simply too brief.

Overall, however, the standard was high. Many congratulations to all those listed below. Competition for the Commended category was fierce and a number of entries came very close to being listed.

Robin Lloyd-Jones



1st Place: For Aw That – Irene Cunningham
2nd Place : Craigendoran Pier – Jan Pester
3rd Place: The Fog – Lynn Henderson

Highly Commended *

Contagion – Flora Fleming
My Little Life (also winner of the over 80 prize) – John Enos
Single Track – Brian Johnstone
Something to Declare – Pat Sutherland


Do You Promise Not To Tell – Helen Cormack
Not the Pony Express (runner-up in the over 80 category) – Sullatober Dalton
Shall We Go Back to Fontenay? – Janine Enos
The Bogie – Catriona Malan
The Shop on Stilts – Angelena Boden
The Small Stuff – Ann Seed

The winning entry and the Over 80 winning entry are posted with the June 2019 blogs. The Second and Third placed entries will be posted in July.

*Highly Commended and Commended are in alphabetical order of title