Come one, come all! For this episode, we bring another event featuring our anthology partners Red Squirrel Press. It’s a short story extravaganza with new story collections from Stephen Barnaby and Colin Will, plus we get to hear each writer being introduced by podcast favourite Sheila Wakefield!

At this event, Diana Hendry also read from her new collection ‘My Father is an Ant’ and Rachel Walker produced a brilliant piece on this and the event as a whole on the SWC Blog.

Enjoy the show!


For further updates from Red Squirrel Press, their Twitter handle is @RedSquirrelPres, or you can visit their website here.

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.

Welcome to the first in an occasional series of writing tips, advice, and musings from a wonderful bunch of writers! As has been shown by the success in our events and blogs related to the writing process – everything from last year’s event ‘How to Get Published’ in association with Red Squirrel Press to blogs on the writer’s life – it is clear that the members, followers and readers of Scottish Writers’ Centre love reading about the act of putting words down on a page. 

In this first post, Anne M Scriven writes – in beautiful prose – about her own process of life-writing. Back in February, I loved her event on ten women who have inspired and influenced her writing – you can check out the interview and blog post here – and when thinking of writers who could render the complexities and joys of writing, I immediately thought of Anne. I hope you enjoy her insightful and thoroughly enjoyable piece, and all the writing tips and essays we have to come! – Rachel

For the past fifteen minutes I have sat at my desk, fingers poised over keyboard, framing a first sentence. I decided on the one I have just written, and you have just read, because I think I should explain the question in my mind. I’m wondering, you see, if writing can actually be taught — yes, I know it’s a prevalent query and one that surely figures in every creative writing class — but I’ve never written out any of my thoughts on it, so I need to give attention to this question if I am in hope of moving on with this piece. Should we take cognisance, for example, of the wee Kirkcudbright centipede — the brilliant creation of singer-songwriter Matt McGinn — who learned that it was tricky, if not downright dangerous, to attempt an explanation of what she did most naturally? Should we be wary of a pedantic Jenny Longlegs, with pencil and pad, taking careful note of how we dance our best words?

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Posted by: ScottishWriters | 07/06/2018

Red Squirrel Press: New Poetry

Those who attended the SWC event on May 8th were in for a treat, as four vibrant poets read from their new collections all published by Red Squirrel Press. There was an eclectic mix of poetry on offer with something to suit everyone in the enthusiastic and receptive audience.

red squirrel press

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Posted by: ScottishWriters | 04/06/2018

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 | 28/05/2018

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 | 14/05/2018

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 | 08/05/2018

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 | 07/05/2018

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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