Last year Jamie and Mark, our excellent podcasters from Wheezy Whispers, made a podcast series with the Transatlantic Literary Women featuring recordings from their symposium at the Glasgow Women’s library. The TLW Series explores the lives and works of transatlantic women writers from the early nineteenth century to the present.

They also have an upcoming ‘”Suffrage Centenary Celebration” event from Saturday 26th – Sun 27th May at the People’s Palace Museum, and you are invited!

In recognition of this upcoming event, we’ve decided to bring you a recording of last year’s Transatlantic Creative Writing Showcase in partnership with the SWC. A fantastic selection of writers from both sides of the Atlantic joined together for an evening of poetry and prose with a transatlantic theme. The host for the evening was Carolyn Jess-Cooke, who teaches creative writing at the University of Glasgow and is a multiple award-winning author and poet in her own right. Enjoy!

Readers:
Carolyn Jess-Cooke
Maria Sledmere
Carly Brown
Angie Spoto
Alex Hacket
Sandra Whitnell (Read by Carolyn Jess-Cooke)
Louise Turner
Mairi Murphy
Kathryn Metcalfe

 

You can find the write up of the event, written by former SWC intern and TLW committee member Saskia McCracken, on the blog.

You can also find more information on the Transatlantic Literary Women series on their website.

Thank you to the team at the SWC for their contribution and help with coordinating this podcast series.

This podcast was recorded and produced by Wheezy Whispers.

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Posted by: scottishwriters | May 14, 2018

SWC Recommends: Scottish Literary Day Trips

We’re in the middle of May, which means that the days are longer, the temperature is higher, and the weather is (hopefully) sunnier. Summer is the perfect time of year to go on trips nearby and further afield, and we have compiled a list that is perfect for all you bookworms: Scottish literary day trips! Combining literature and the fun of a day away – what could be a better mix?

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Posted by: scottishwriters | May 8, 2018

Writers’ Reel Series Finale- Lesley Traynor

Today brings you the 9th installment and the series finale of Writers’ Reel! This week’s episode features writer, artist and film maker extraordinaire Lesley Traynor. Lesley came to the Scottish Writers’ Centre in April to deliver her event ‘Short films for Creatives’, giving advice on how to make a short video to represent a piece of writing. She kindly agreed to chat with me about making poetry films, including how she began representing poems in visual formats, and the role music can play in our understanding of a poem. If you are interested in using visual art to represent literary work, this one’s for you!  

With the end of this series comes the end of my time at the Scottish Writers’ Centre. I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed tapping into the minds of writers through my videos. I’ve certainly enjoyed making them. Keep your eyes peeled for the next series!  

Jess Docherty, Digital media officer  

Posted by: scottishwriters | May 7, 2018

SWC Recommends: Five Independent Publishers

In November 2017, an article in The Guardian stated that, amidst a publishing industry that has been reportedly struggled, independent publishers were doing better than ever. We wrote about some of our favourite independent publishers last year – including the wonderful Red Squirrel Press, who are showcasing some of their recent poetry publications at the CCA with us tomorrow at 7pm – but we decided that it was time to revisit the topic and talk more about some of our favourite independent publishers operating in Britain today.

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‘If your house is not filled with rejection letters, you’re not trying.
Always keep rejection and the self separate.
Rejection is just another opportunity to revise your work’.

In this episode, we turn to an excellent panel event from last year, featuring representatives from Red Squirrel Press. Over the course of the discussion, we try to answer that pressing question, ‘How do I get published?’

Hosted by SWC Director, Andrew Smith, our panel included Sheila Wakefield (poet, editor, and publisher), Colin Will (poet and publisher), Gerry Cambridge (poet, essayist, typesetter and editor), Sheila Templeton, (poet). Thank you to Andrew for hosting and our panel members for providing some great advice. Just click the player below and listen on. Remember to take notes!

Speakers: Sheila Wakefield, Colin Will, Gerry Cambridge, Sheila Templeton

 

For more on this event, Episode 3 of Writers’ Reel has a video interview with the panel.

In connection to this event, the SWC and Red Squirrel Press ran a competition for writers to tweet their pitches using the hashtag #SWCRED, with the hope of getting their work published.

The winning pitch was “A collection of crime poetry. The underbelly of Glasgow brought to life in poems for the first ever time.” and the successful twitter pitcher was Stephen Watt! We asked Stephen a few questions so we could learn more about his upcoming collection, which you can read here on the SWC Blog.

For more information, you can find Red Squirrel Press on Twitter, on their website, or come along to our next event: Red Squirrel Press: Poets Read from their Recent Publications, on Tuesday 8th May 2018!

Thank you to the team at the SWC for their contribution and help with coordinating this podcast series.

This podcast was recorded and produced by Wheezy Whispers.

Posted by: scottishwriters | April 24, 2018

Writers’ Reel Episode 8 – Anne Scriven

This week’s episode of Writers’ Reel features Anne Scriven. Anne is a writer, scholar and expert in the art of narrative non-fiction. Anne came to the Scottish Writers’ Centre in February to deliver her event “Ten Sybils”, discussing inspirational female writers who have informed her own writing process over the years. We discussed her favorite writers and genres, writing as contemplation and focusing on the small things in life. If you go looking for the epic in the everyday, this one will be of interest to you! 

 As Anne so helpfully mentioned, we are still open to submissions for our anthology until midnight on the 30th of April. We will be launching our anthology in 2018 to celebrate ten years of the Scottish Writers’ Centre and would love it if you got involved. Guidelines and details of how to submit are up on our website, so don’t miss your chance!  

 

As always I would love to read your comments below! 

 

Jess, Digital Media Officer 

Our new episode of the Scottish Writers’ Centre Podcast is a soul-soothing adventure from one of the SWC’s most enchanting workshops. Grace Banks, talented storyteller, singer, author, and embodiment of gentleness, looked at what can inspire and influence creativity, the art of storytelling, and how each individual has a unique tale to tell.

Those who attended the workshop got to explore different approaches to their own writing, the results of which you’ll hear near the end. There are even some beautifully sung ballads in there too!

Grace works as a storyteller, singer and outdoor-discovery facilitator mainly in and around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. She runs workshops and sessions for adults and/or children. You can reach her on her website at https://silverhaar.com/.

 

If you want to read our interview with Grace, you can find it here, along with our blog post about the event by Rebecca Gaff.

Time is running out for you to be part of our special anthology celebrating ten years of the Scottish Writers’ Centre: midnight on 30th April is the deadline for submissions. We want to use this to help showcase the best contemporary writers in Scotland, so show us what you’ve got and submit your writing here!

This podcast was recorded and produced by Wheezy Whispers.

If you have any questions about future episodes or want to provide some feedback please email info@wheezywhispers.co.uk

The views expressed in this episode do not necessarily represent those of the Scottish Writers’ Centre.

Words by Mark Cunningham and Alastair Millar

Posted by: scottishwriters | April 16, 2018

SWC Recommends… Spoken Word Nights in Glasgow

As you’ll probably know if you attend our events on a regular basis, the Scottish Writers’ Centre loves a good poetry and spoken word night. Obviously, we’re of the opinion that our own Speakeasies – which feature a wealth of brilliant writing from both our lovely members and the general Glaswegian writing community – are some of the best around, but for those of you who just can’t wait until our next Speakeasy or are looking to explore more of Glasgow’s wonderful literature scene, here are some of the SWC’s recommendations for some of the best spoken word nights in Glasgow!

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Posted by: scottishwriters | April 10, 2018

Writers’ Reel Episode 7 – Tom Hubbard

For this week’s Writers’ Reel, our 7th episode, I had the pleasure of talking to Tom Hubbard. Tom is an author, poet and literary scholar, who came to the Scottish Writers’ Centre back in January to discuss his latest book “Slavonic Dances”. Tom explores how the clash and blend of cultures can feed creativity and imagination in writing, as in his own work Scottish characters encounter Eastern European ones with varying results, both comic and tragic. We discussed translation, or as he prefers to call it “Trans-creation”, as well as his working methods and how he developed a love of Scottish Literature. Happy viewing!

My apologies for the slightly distorted sound at the beginning of this video, we experienced some problems with the microphone.

As always, your comments and feedback are welcomed below.

Jess, Digital Media Officer

Posted by: scottishwriters | April 9, 2018

SWC Recommends… Three Essential Scots Novels

For me, novels which use Scots language are some of the most authentic, engaging novels around. The following three texts hail from Ayrshire, Lothian and Glasgow respectively, and showcase the variations in our Scottish tongue.

The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas Brown

The only novel ever published by George Douglas Brown, this 1901 classic is an essential read which, in my opinion, has not received the recognition it deserves.  Angry with what he referred to as the ‘sentimental slop’ which was being written about Scotland at the time, Brown resolved to write a response. The result was this bleak and bloody working class tragedy, which recounts the devastating downfall of the Gourlay family and their house with the green shutters. Set in the fictional village of Barbie in Ayrshire, the Scots dialogue is riveting and Brown’s keen understanding of the complexities of the human condition is second to none. This is one of my favourite novels and I would recommend picking up the 2005 Polygon edition, which has insightful notes, a glossary, and an interesting introduction about Brown written by Dorothy McMillan.

The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

In this 2012 debut novel by Jenni Fagan, fifteen year old Anais finds herself covered in blood and accused of a crime she cannot remember committing.  She is sent to the Panopticon – an ex-prison turned care home for challenging teenagers. There she meets other troubled young people who have been disregarded and forgotten by society. This is a brave, uncompromising novel which truly immerses the reader in the life of Anais and her friends.  I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it. Anais is a witty, memorable, and likeable narrator and, despite the difficult themes (Fagan tackles child abuse in a way which is both uncompromising and harrowing), I found myself unable to put the book down, so eager was I to follow Anais’ journey to the end. The novel uses Lothian dialect, intermittently – one criticism I have of Fagan is that that I feel she should have committed to the tongue wholeheartedly. My other concern is that all her characters speak the same regardless of social standing or background. Otherwise, however, this is a fantastic thought-provoking read, which will leave you thinking about its content long after closing the last page.

 

Buddha Da by Anne Donovan

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and Whitbread First Novel Award, Anne Donovan’s ‘Buddha Da’ is reasonably well-known, however, it’s an essential read, for Donovan’s brilliant and entertaining use of Glasweigan dialect. What is particularly impressive about this novel is how its three narrators – husband and wife, Jimmy and Liz, and their daughter Anne Marie – all have distinct, well-established voices. Otherwise a stereotypical Glasgow dad, Jimmy decides one day to visit the Buddhist Centre. Shortly afterwards, to the derision and annoyance of Liz, he becomes vegetarian and celibate. This light-hearted story is a joy to read, and essential for anyone who enjoys reading stories which fully commit to Glasgweigan dialect.

Words by Claire Kennedy

 

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