The Postcard Challenge – Final Presentation

Well folks… here at last is the link to the video regarding The Postcard Challenge held at Vernon Road Library, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The event ran from April 24-27 2014 as part of the Scarborough Flare Festival.
Before viewing the presentation on UTube, if you would like more information about the event please visit all or either of the following:
My last post’s report
For now, let’s enjoy the breath-taking moments from Scarborough Flare’s Postcard Challenge whilst relaxing to the beautiful background music. (Surely you can spare 20 minutes to simply relax?)
Hope to see you all again soon…


The Postcard Challenge (post Festival)

It was like whizzing through a whirlwind in a hurricane for me… spinning from event to event… being grounded again when I was placed firmly back in my place at The Postcard Challenge. There I met a novel of people… characters of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, displaying a vivid variety of personalities. I invited and encouraged each one to create a postcard of a moment that had taken their breath away during the festival period.

Attached is my interim report until I present my slide show for you to view… and relive those breathtaking moments…  or for those who were not there, to experience the breathtaking moments for the first time.

with love, Julie

Scarborough Flare Thoughts


The Postcard Challenge Update

At the recent first ever Scarborough Flare Festival, where local artistes (artists/musicians/actors/poets/authors) wowed audiences with their amazing talents, I ran an event called The Postcard Challenge, advertised via my social networks and flyer handouts.   This was an invitation to all passersby – whether they were going to an event at the Festival or not – to be encouraged to write on a postcard about a moment that had taken their breath away.

As most of you who live in Scarborough will know, this was a great success and the display was chockablock with breathtaking moments by the end of the 4-day Scarborough Flare Festival (the heart of The Scarborough Book Festival 2014).

I am currently working on the preparation of a slide show of the postcards… to share with all who were involved in any way with the Festival. This will be free for anyone who wants to see it on the condition that copyright must be adhered to… i.e. no money must exchange hands in the sharing/showing of the presentation and the copyright of all submissions and photos will remain with the individual contributors.

Hindsight is always a wonderful thing and if I had inserted a slot on the back of the postcards for a day and time to be recorded of when the postcard was created, I would not now be having to sift, sift and sift again through the many postcards – in an attempt to put into chronological order the chaotic creativity of the Festival period. Don’t tell anyone I said this but it’s like trying to make creative writing an academic subject – of course it is possible but it’s also restrictive to those free flowing subconscious thoughts that I feel are necessary for writers to express as a starting point – this writer, anyway.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of The Postcard Challenge.

Back soon…  SF logo


A recent choice…

I find it difficult to let my characters go once they are in print and chose to revisit one of them on 24th April 2014 during the Writers on the Loose performance at the Scarborough Flare Festival. 

This adapted extract, chosen from the title story of my collection, Picking at the Bones, portrays the narrator’s observations about silence following the death of her neighbour Bella.

I was pleasantly surprised that my choice to read this extract generated a sale of several copies – post performance – via my social networking sites.



 I’d known Bella’s time was nearing its end because about a week before she died, she told me she’d started to hear the silence whisper her name… like it was calling her home. That’s what happens at the end sometimes… death can creep up on you.

I’m looking at Bella’s window now… at the place where she kept fresh tulips in a vase. I can’t seem to focus my thoughts with the empty space waiting there.

It makes you a bit jittery when someone you’ve seen every day for two years is suddenly not there. You expect the dust from their bodies to be drifting around the places where they lived.

When Sheila (my friend from the flat below) told me about her neighbour’s passing last spring, she said she hadn’t even realised she’d died until her husband had rattled on her letterbox to invite her to the funeral. She’d only seen her neighbour feeding the birds in the garden a week before so she could hardly believe it.  After she’d died, the birds would sit chirruping on the fence, waiting for her to appear with crumbs. Sheila said the strangest thing had been how, one by one, the birds had stopped turning up for their breakfast. Sheila had kept seeing the ghost of her neighbour for weeks… every time she traipsed down the garden to look for the birds. It was like she was still lingering there.

There’s a quiet gap in the mornings even now without those birds. I think that’s why I remembered about Sheila because looking out of my window at the day, storing up my thoughts, I noticed the lack of sound. The leaves are stiff and still and the clouds suspended in mid-air. It’s as if time has stopped and someone has forgotten to wind it up again so the world can move on. It’s like a missed heartbeat in honour of Bella from the tulip flat. I think Bella would appreciate that. If there’s one thing she’ll know about now… it’s the silence.  


See Writing CV page on this website for more details

The First Ever Scarborough Flare

I would appreciate it if you could help with our publicity for the first ever Scarborough Flare Festival – 24th – 27th April 2014 (the local talent at the heart of the Scarborough Book Festival) by sharing this program with your contacts if you are able to. Thanks, Julie

More detailed info available at

For ticket information please scroll to end of page




First x 3 events are continuous from Thursday 10.00 a.m. through to Sunday

Tony Howson/Shush Exhibition + displays from S6F

The Studio Gallery

Continuous (start Thursday. 10.00 a.m.)

Marion Atkinson/of what one shouldn’t speak Exhibition

The Studio Gallery

Continuous (start Thursday. 10.00 a.m.)

Julie Fairweather/ The Postcard Challenge

Vernon Road Library

Continuous (start Thursday. 10.00 a.m.)




Bridget Cousins/The Mermaids Tale/workshop

Sitwell Library

10.30 – 13.00

John, Julie and Shirley

Writers on the Loose Again

Sitwell Library

 13.30 – 14.30

Gingernut and Tripod/Move the Earth performance

Sitwell Library

 15.00 – 16.00

Hull to Scarborough Line/ ‘The Remarkable Mr Rutherford’

Sitwell Library

18.00 – 19.00

George Cromack/Folk Horror creative writing workshop

Sitwell Library

19.30 – 21.30




Jo Reed/Women’s Works Workshop

The Studio  Gallery

10.00 – 12.30

Bridget Cousins and Co/ Heart and Harp

Lupin Cafe

13.00 – 14.00

Official Story Chair Launch

Vernon Road Library

15.00 – 16.00

Linda Randall/ “A Victorian Scandal: Ruskin, Millais and Effie Gray”/ performance and talk

Sitwell Library

18.00 – 19.00

Bill Hammond and the Scarborough Poetry Workshop/Poetry Slam

The Old Vic

Doors open: 19.00 for 19.30 start. Ends 23.00




Ross Wilson/Pleasure Domes public readings

The Brunswick Centre

10.30 – 12.00

David Lewis and others / One Day in December / rehearsal workshop

Westborough Methodist Church

10.00 – 12.00

Scarborough Poetry Workshop/100 years of British Poetry/ Readings

Crescent Art Gallery

14.00 – 15.00

Tales from the Story Chair/guest readers

Vernon Street Library

13.30 – 15.00

Kate Evans/ Taking Tea with Edith Sitwell

The Mezzanine, Woodend

15.30 – 16.45

Wanda Maciuszko and Alexandra Bradley / from Strangers to Friends

The Studio Gallery

18.00 – 19.00

Gingernut and Tripod/Move the Earth performance

Nomad Cafe

19.00 – 21.00

Jo Reed/ Beloved performance

The Studio Gallery

20.00 – 21.00

David Lewis and others/ One Day in December / performance

Westborough Methodist Church

19.30 – 21.00

Steven Ayckbourn / and Gillian Martin performance:  A man carrying a trunk”

Sitwell Library

20.30 – 21.30




Scarborough Amnesty International / See no Evil, Speak no Evil / Roger Osborne and Jay Prosser

Vernon Street Library

10.30 – 12.30

Adrienne Silcock/ Waves and Wishes/workshop

The Studio Gallery

14.00 – 17.30

Marion Atkinson and Tony Howson/ Secrets /night performance

The Studio Gallery

20.00 – 22.00

All tickets cost just £3.00. Some events are free.  Telephone (01723 384523) or visit the Scarborough Flare box office, Woodend, Tuesday to Friday between 10.00am and 4.00pm. You can also contact us through the website, which gives dates, times and details of each performance, on



Scarborough Flare

I’ve created a FB page to invite you to take time out to be inspired to use your senses and discover morsels of joy where you didn’t expect to by simply being in the moment… and writing about it at

This is in the run up to the Scarborough Flare Literature Festival’s

Postcard Challenge

on Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th April 2014

in the foyer at Vernon Road Library, Scarborough

see FB page as above / EVENTS on this website

Scarborough Flare is on its way…

The 2014 Scarborough Literature Festival preparations are hovering in the background as Coastival gathers speed. Full program and tickets for Literature Festival will be available from the Information Desk at the Brunswick Centre (Scarborough) from March. Meanwhile see my events page for details of two of the projects I’m involved in… Writers on the Loose (Again) and The Postcard Challenge.


Grace Bingham Trophy

The title and theme for the annual Grace Bingham Trophy competition at the Scarborough Writers’ Circle was ‘In Your Dreams’, and part of the criteria set was to include the use of creative language. 

How could I resist a chance to indulge in one of my favourite forms of writing? Poetics.

Here is the link (see note below added 8.2.14) to my submitted story… The Six-Sided Box by A Poetic Dreamer (aka Julie Fairweather) … the poetics of which are best read in a breathless manner so you need to invent your own pauses during the reading of these. 

Oh, did I mention that this was the winning story?

 Judge’s comments: ‘Superb! A real attempt to use language creatively, within dreamlike descriptions that take the reader through to the end where the true setting and meaning are revealed in what I found to be a very touching finish. Wonderful work!’

 There is a metaphoric layer to this story that I hope potential readers from the targeted group will appreciate, and respond to in their own individual way.

My Current Status: floating on a cloud enjoying the euphoria whilst clutching the Grace Bingham Trophy.

Sorry folks… the story is currently unavailable to read on here as it is undergoing an edit for submission elsewhere.