Posted by: scottishwriters | June 4, 2018

Interview with Hugh McMillan: Poetry, Galloway and Loss

Ahead of tomorrow’s event with Galloway-based poet Hugh McMillan, SWC’s Literary Editor Rachel Walker chatted to Hugh about his favourite poets, and the influence of Galloway upon his writing. Come along to the CCA Club Room tomorrow at 7pm to find out more about the poetry of Hugh and his fellow Galloway writers!

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On Thursday 7th June 2018 the SWC will host a special event at Waterstones Sauchiehall Street for the publication of a new collection, “Growing and Dying”, edited by Linda Jaxson, who has brought together poems, essays and biographical writing to celebrate the work of Janet Paisley. The evening will include readings from Tom Leonard, Anne Donovan, the students from the Creative Writing Course at the University of Strathclyde, and more! Plus there will be music by Linda Jaxson and Ronnie Garrity too!

So, for this episode, we’re bringing to you Janet’s ‘In Process Masterclass’ from December 2016! Janet is a multi-award-winning poet, playwright, fiction, non-fiction, radio, television and screenwriter who also writes for children, earning herself a well-deserved place as one of Scotland’s most popular writers. She provided valuable tips and inspiring stories for all in attendance.

Crank up the volume and bring Janet’s wisdom directly to your ears!


For more information on Janet Paisley and her work, including this new collection, why not visit her website?

If you’d like to read Katherine Warren’s blog post for this event, you can find it here.

And don’t forget to join Linda Jackson and the Scottish Writers’ Centre at Waterstones Sauchiehall Street to celebrate Janet Paisley, and the new anthology “Janet Paisley: Growing and Dying” on 7th June! The event is free, but you must book a seat! To book, call: 0141 332 9105.

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.

If you have any questions about future episodes or want to provide some feedback please email

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

Posted by: scottishwriters | May 28, 2018

Ten Key Moments in the Life of Margery Kempe, with A C Clarke

If you missed last week’s wonderful event with A C Clarke, then don’t worry – today on the blog we have an interview with the writer herself! SWC’s Literary Editor Rachel Walker talked to A C Clarke about her influences, interests and how she came to be fascinated with Margery Kempe.


Margery Kempe is an unusual figure to have prompted a poetry collection. Can you tell us a bit about Margery Kempe, and your fascination with her?

Margery was a woman living in fifteenth century King’s Lynn (at that time simply called Lynn) who, after the birth of her first child, started to have visions. At first these were terrifying visions of devils, but then they became visions of Christ and the Virgin, with whom she had many inner conversations, described by her as ‘feelings’.

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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!

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.

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


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

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

Words by Mark Cunningham and Alastair Millar

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