Glittering prizes – and more

Stuart Williams receives the Marjorie Green Trophy from Margaret Wood

The past twelve months have been exciting in many ways.  Two highlights for me have been awards made to me by Walsall Writers’ Circle, a group which has been around since the early 1960s but of which I have only been a member for a few short years.

The first was back in October, when out of the blue they awarded their prestigious Norrey Ford Cup to me for my writing over the previous year.  The cup is given annually.  Norrey Ford was a well-known Walsall writer of novels, short stories and articles and one time chairman of The Romantic Novelists Association.  She started the Walsall Circle in order to encourage local would-be writers.  Norrey gave the cup to be awarded to the member who achieved the most success during a twelve month period with the accent on new writers.

And last Thursday I was presented with my second award by the Circle in twelve months – the Marjorie Green Fiction Trophy for my winning entry in the Circle’s competition themed this year as “Where there’s a Will…”  My winning entry was a story of suspense, criminality and spooky goings-on at the Bard’s grave in Stratford Upon Avon. Barbara Carr, judge, had said when announcing the result last month that it was very difficult to decide on a winner as there were so many excellent entries, but she felt that my entry had the winning edge, which was very kind of her.

The Marjorie Green Trophy, a small silver tankard, will now sit proudly on a shelf in my study for a year, until the next lucky recipient takes charge of it.

There was some sad news for the Circle as a whole, however.  Thursday was also the AGM and members were sorry to hear that Margaret Wood, Chair, who had just presented me with my latest award, was standing down after more than 12 years at the helm. She was presented with an engraved trinket box and thanked by the Treasurer, Carol Atton, for all her hard work over the years. John Lester, another long serving member of the Committee standing down was also thanked for his help and presented with an engraved key ring.


Happier news was that the Circle’s first ever book of members’ work had been entered into the bestselling national Writing Magazine’s Writers’ Circle Anthology Award (self-publishing) where it received an honourable mention in the July issue. 

‘Satchels, Inkwells and Milk Monitors’ was deemed by Writing Magazine to be a ‘simple idea, well produced’. It is a compilation of the latest non-fiction competition entries on the theme ‘My early school days’. This competition attracted a record number of entries and the judges (John Lester and myself) said that they found it far from easy to make a decision due to the generally high standard that was reached. New member Ronnie Carleton had been chosen as the winner with his entry ‘Red Bricks and Candlewax’. 

To buy a copy of the book ‘Satchels, Inkwells and Milk Monitors’ price £3 + £1p&p, please email

The Circle’s new programme will begin on Thursday 12th September (7.30 pm) at the Broadway North Centre, Broadway North, Walsall WS1 2QA. Further details can be found on the website or by ringing the secretary on 01922 458595.