Society of Medical Writers

Patron – Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE                              President Prof Brian W McGuinness

Newsletter20  / May 2013


Dr Dorothy Crowther

Corner Croft Lonsties KESWICK Cumbria CA12 4TD

Finance Officer:

Dr Richard Cutler   

30 Dollis Hill Lane LONDON NW2 6JE


Mrs Irene Ranner

8 All Saints Way Beachamwell SWAFFHAM Nfk PE37 8BT


Dr Julian Randall   


Competition Secretary

Dr Moira Brimacombe   

10, Broad Elms Lane, Sheffield S11 9RQ


Newsletter May 2013


Dear Fellow Writers

Many members attended the Spring Conference at the Art Workers Guild. We had an excellent day and I came away brimming with ideas. I found the afternoon session especially enjoyable. Geraldine Green is an excellent tutor.

I am looking forward to the Autumn Conference, the stimulation of the conference and exploring the Ironbridge area again. I hope as many people as possible will manage to attend the AGM as we have an important matter to consider. Even if you are not coming please do study your agenda, (both sides!) and send your comments either to the listserver or to me.

Best wishes for the success of your writing.                                                                                       Dorothy Crowther (Chairman)




Spring  Conference 2013

This was held on 17th April 2013 at the Art Workers Guild, London. Once again it was a very well supported and excellently organised event — thank you, Mary and Richard.    

Firstly Peyton Skipwith (what a great name!), as erudite as ever for this, his fourth talk to us, spoke about John Piper, the talented twentieth century artist renowned for his stained glass window designs but also famed for his paintings, book illustrations, and textile and theatre set designs.

We were also entertained by story teller Martin Riley’s lively performance of one of Chaucer’s Tales, aided by various props pulled out of a battered trunk  and the assistance of some audience participation (Oh yes we did!).

Calm was then restored by Rebecca Stephens, in her own words a “recovering academic”, although she confessed to still getting “happily lost in research”. She guided us through her world of fascination with Sherlock Holmes, analysing his character and his apparently perpetual appeal.

After an excellent lunch, poet and creative writer Geraldine Green expertly engaged us in three writing exercises, gently stretching our imaginations further with each one, as the time allotted to these tasks progressively increased from five to ten, then fifteen minutes.

Finally, the winners of the recent writing competitions were announced and certificates awarded.

There will be a full report in next copy of The Writer.


Spring 2013 Writing Competition

Congratulations to all the winners, as listed below. Winning entries will be published in the next journal.

Category A –

Short Story:

1st  ‘Whispers in the Wind’ by Oliver Eade

2nd ‘An Eye on the owls’ by Richard Westcott


‘The Battle of Aughrim’ by Tim O’Brien

‘Duck Business’ by Oliver Eade

‘Still Waters run Deep by Neil Wilson.


1st ‘A Road More Travelled’ by Karen O’Reilly

2nd ‘Retirement Home’ by Alan Davis


‘Tree Creeper’ by Teresa Black.


Category B – Non Fiction:

1st ‘From Fear to Fiction’ by Teresa Black; ‘A Short History of Dentistry’ by Harold Selcon; ‘Hiccup Man’ by Karen O’Reilly.  



Competitions and prizes

The Autumn 2013 Writing Competition

Please send entries to the Competition Secretary, Moira Brimacombe, as soon as is practicable, but by 30th July 2013 at the latest. Click here for the entry form.


The Richard Asher Prize for Medical Writing. 

Once again you are invited to nominate or self-nominate, paper(s) which you feel should be considered for this award. Only the name of the paper, by whom it was written, and in which publication it appeared is required. Please email our secretary, who will then pass on the details for consideration.


Poems on Prescription

Copies of this anthology of verse from SOMW members, launched 5th October 2012. Selling well but some still available. Paperback, 104 pages — £10.00 ISBN 9780957357501. To ensure your copy contact - Mary Anderson, 1 Ballbrook Avenue, Manchester M20 6AB Tel: 07887 984 266   


Future Conference plans:

·         Autumn Conference and AGM 2013 11th- 13th October, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire. Click here for programme and a booking form, together with the AGM 2013 agenda, and a nomination form for Committee members and officers.


·         Spring Conference Wednesday 2nd April 2014 at the Art Workers Guild, London. Theme: History, Prose and Poetry.  Further details available soon.



Irish Medical Writers

Their website has been revamped and can now be located at  

A recent event was the Annual Spring Meeting in Dublin with guest speaker Brian Keenan. Over thirty delegates attended the meeting, followed by dinner. The meeting was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

The society now has fifteen paid-up members and a membership drive is underway.

The Society's next activity is the 2013 Aindreas McEntee Prize, which will be launched in the next few weeks. Entry is free to members with a charge of €30 to non-members.

This group continues under the leadership of Colin Kerr. Contact him directly at or see their website.



·         Address / email changes. Please continue to ensure that your personal details are correct, especially your email address. If this is incorrect, emails get ‘bounced’ and there is no way of finding out your new contact details.


·         The Writer – the next edition is now in preparation. Please send submissions for publication to the editor, Julian Randall as soon as possible. Please send text in Word (*.doc or *.docx) format, single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with any pictures in JPEG (*jpg) format.


  • SOMW Listserver To become a member of this, email Membership is entirely at your own discretion. Once you are a member, any postings are immediately sent to your email inbox. If you join and find you don’t like the experience you can leave at any time.


And finally… (but certainly not least!)

Please see the proposal, to be voted on at the AGM, in respect of a possible merger with the Society of Apothecaries, thus becoming part of their Faculty of History and Philosophy of Medicine and Medical Ethics. The Society of Apothecaries is a Livery Company and as such has a Royal Charter. Your comments & views are invited. For more information follow this link.