Posted by: scottishwriters | August 10, 2017

The Natural World of Stories, Legends and Songs with Grace Banks

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Grace Banks’ interactive workshop centres itself around the art of storytelling and how each individual has a unique story to tell.

At the beginning of the workshop, Banks asks each participant to visualise a tree and then describe it to her. The responses are deeply descriptive, conjuring up everything from images of majestic willow trees brimming with gold leaves to bare and barren ones. Curiously, a couple of participants struggle to visualise one at all which enables Banks to make a very important point about how each individual has a different way of imagining and perceiving the world. Some think visually, and to some words are more pivotal.

No matter which category you fall under however, the significance which Banks places on the sheer power of the imagination is clear. As she clearly demonstrates over the night, ‘stories can take you anywhere’.

After reading out four short phrases to the participants – who each use one as a piece of stimulus for a short story – the results only serve to prove Banks’ point more. Each story, even those which start from the same idea, takes a completely different direction and is infused with each person’s own character and personal experience.

Banks’ workshop reveals that within each of us we have an ability to conjure up unique and powerful stories, all of which are infused with traces of our own selves.

Words by Rebecca Gaff

Posted by: scottishwriters | August 3, 2017

Ten Writers Telling Lies

On Tuesday 9th May 2017, the SWC were joined by ten extraordinary writers who came together to produce their eponymous book Ten Writers Telling Lies. Stephen Watt started the night off by explaining the project to the audience, stating that the group is a collective of ten writers who have written either short stories or pieces of poetry to correlate to the songs produced by musician Jim Byrne and friends. In other words, their aim for the project was to interweave music and literature in a single text.

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Posted by: scottishwriters | July 31, 2017

‘The Burrell Story’: Interview with Poet Sally Evans

Historical fiction is something that we’re all familiar with; historical poetry maybe somewhat less. On 1st August the SWC are delighted to be welcoming poet Sally Evans to the CCA for ‘The Burrell Story: History as Poetry with Sally Evans’, a fascinating insight into Sally’s own poetry collection, which draws upon the lives of William Burrell (the namesake of Glasgow institution the Burrell Collection), and the idea of using real stories to inform the complexity of poetry. Ahead of tomorrow’s event, SWC’s Literary Editor Rachel Walker talked to Sally about her poetry, and how research can help enhance the poetic imagination.

What prompted your interest in the Burrell family?

I first became interested in the Burrell family through visiting the Burrell Collection and reading about William Burrell – I wondered how an industrialist with little education and presumably fairly narrow views managed to become a world-class art collector. I also read about industrial Glasgow and the various industries for which shipping was a vital service, and the way of life and aspirations of the well-off industrialists. For example, William Burrell wanted his daughter Marion to marry into the aristocracy – although initially there was little information to be had on Marion. The important information about her life surfaced later. Read More…

Nairn Morelle and george

For many of us, the idea of summer is synonymous with water: refreshing swims in the sea, poolside lounging, exploring Scotland’s many beautiful lochs and rivers. So what better time to revisit water as a source of poetic inspiration? Tonight’s event looks set to be a riveting exploration of the creative link between water and poetry, and we’d love to see as many of you there as possible! Wondering what it’s all about? SWC’s Literary Editor Rachel Walker talked to fantastic featured poets Morelle Smith and George Colkitto about the lure of the natural world.

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Posted by: scottishwriters | June 6, 2017

Bookmarked: Interview with Grace Banks

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Ahead of tonight’s event with storyteller and author Grace Banks, SWC’s Literary Editor Rachel Walker chatted with her about her love of nature, the spellbinding world of the story and the importance of narratives in today’s modern world.

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Posted by: scottishwriters | May 25, 2017

Fierce Poetry in Motion

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‘The heart that beats within me is not the one I was born with’ is the poignant opening line to Angela Hughes’ poetry film ‘The Heart That Beats (is Not Mine)’. Hughes’ poem about receiving a heart that is not your own is a perfect elucidation of the nature of poetry film as a medium, a genre which investigates the problems of a split self. What happens when we split the voice from the body? The writers featured in the Scottish Writers’ Centre’s most recent event, ‘Fierce Poetry in Motion’ see this challenge as an ideal chance for writers to explore new creative possibilities.

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Posted by: scottishwriters | April 27, 2017

Red Squirrel Press: What Do Short Stories Look Like?

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The independent Northumbrian publisher Red Squirrel Press is, according to one of SWC’s Directors Derek Parkes, ‘one of the finest publishers going’. Founded in 2006 by Sheila Wakefield and having published over 130 titles to date, Red Squirrel Press is a firm favourite at the Scottish Writers’ Centre, and have showcased many a talented writer at the SWC over the years. Their latest offering, ‘What Do Short Stories Look Like?’ proves to be another treat from one of our favourite independent publishers in Britain.

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Posted by: scottishwriters | April 13, 2017

Plain Speaking: Real People and Realistic Dialogue with Andi Denny

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Following on from last week’s event with theatre-maker Andi Denny, SWC’s Literary Content Officer Saskia McCracken discusses Denny’s new theatre company The Other Guys. Read on for a taste of what’s new on the Glasgow theatre scene.

Scottish Writers’ Centre recently welcomed Andi Denny, founder and creative director of The Other Guys Theatre Scotland. During the course of the evening, Andi treats us to insights into the current ‘amateur dramatics’ scene in Scotland, and the importance of realistic dialogue in contemporary scriptwriting. But first, that dirty word ‘amateur’.

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Posted by: scottishwriters | April 6, 2017

New Voices in Literature

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A shot of our fantastic crowd!

With a fresh spring breeze in the air, on the 14th March we gathered for another fabulous writers’ showcase! Our ‘New Voices in Literaure’ event was a chance for new writers to read out their work, and with it brought a wealth of talent from a diverse range of people. At the Scottish Writers’ Centre, our mission statement has always been to ‘promote Scotland’s vibrant literary culture’, and this event brought much in the way of vibrancy. From a dark trio of sonnets to a dryly comedic short story; from questions on the significance of fate and destiny to a humorous ballad on winter festivities, the night offered something for everyone.

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Posted by: scottishwriters | March 28, 2017

Bookmarked: Andi Denny’s Take on Scottish Theatre

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Ahead of today’s event with theatre-maker Andi Denny, SWC’s Literary Editor Rachel Walker spoke to him about his theatre company The Other Guys, his advice for budding professionals, and the importance of realism in contemporary theatre. 

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