Kintyre writer wins double national prizes

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A novelist from Kintyre opened a new chapter in her life as a double prize winner at the 50th annual meeting of the Scottish Association of Writers.

Diana Manning, 84, was one of five members of Kintyre Writers’ Circle (KWC) at the recent golden jubilee event in the Doubletree Hotel, Westerwood.

This year the successes for Diana, the founder of KWC, alongside Kay Webb in 2006, were a special reason for celebration by the group.

After a lifetime of writing and publishing in Cornwall, Devon and Kintyre, Diana gained two outstanding successes in novel writing and non-fiction writings.

Diana, a mum of three, with grandchildren and great-grandchildren in New Zealand, said: ‘At secondary school the English teacher, Mr Richards, always asked me to read my essays to the class.’

One of Diana’s first jobs was at the WHSmith library in Barnstaple, North Devon.

After taking shorthand and typing at evening school, Diana worked in a number of offices and regularly contributed as a freelance to two newspapers, The Western Morning News and The Packet.

Her romantic manuscript, Moon Magic, gained second place overall in the Scottish Association of Writers conference, and her non- fiction work, Hyperion, was commended by the adjudicators.

The latter piece relates to her experiences of coping with her husband’s love affair with a Second World War, high-speed Derby class launch named Hyperion, which he was determined, with her help, to restore to full glory.

Diana said: ‘I feel I should give credit to my daughter Rose who spent many hours editing Hyperion for me. It was originally written in more-or-less diary form as events occurred and the manuscript had to be completely rewritten. Without Rose’s input, I am sure I wouldn’t have gained a commended at the conference.’

A KWC spokesperson said: ‘Diana is a regular contributor to Argyll FM – to Iain Henderson’s magazine programme at 1pm on Wednesdays, and to KWC’S annual anthology.

‘At KWC we look forward to the publication of these two pieces of work and wish Diana more ‘power to her pen’.