One of the first things you should know about the friendly and helpful Scots/English fiction writers group is where to go. The group has relocated to The Glad Café after an odyssey which started at the CCA and included stopovers at Gesso, Babbity Bowster and now the Southside. The atmosphere in the Glad Café – a well-known creative hub – is relaxed, the furniture deliberately mismatched, and there are plenty of cultural events going on. The group have settled in comfortably and have brought along their work-in-progress. They welcome me, and we have a chat about writing, forthcoming publications and the history of the group.
Workshop submissions range from flash fiction and short humour to children’s writing and sci-fi, and include both standalone pieces and ongoing projects. I join in the discussion as they read out and edit short fiction, and an excerpt from a novel that’s best summed up as Pride and Prejudice in space. Needless to say I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Workshop facilitators Paula and Frida tell me that the group are currently editing their forthcoming online anthology Themes, Dreams and Nightmares, featuring contributions from members: roughly fourteen pieces from eight writers. I get a sneak preview of some of the images that might grace the front cover, and it looks like something urban and gritty is on the way. The possibility of landscape photographs is broached, but everyone feels that mountain views just don’t reflect the kind of stories in the anthology. Besides, readers might expect pastoral Burns tributes: they certainly won’t find any. I look forward to reading the finished product and hope to see you all at the next workshop.
The writers’ group meet every second week of the month and pick a theme for the following session. The next workshop, on Monday 21st of November, is themed ‘New Beginnings’, perfect for anyone who wants to join them! Just drop in from 7-9pm with a piece of your fiction that’s between 500 and 2,000 words long. Make sure you ask for Paula or Jim, both long-term members, as there are two writer’s groups at the café and it’s easy to get confused. That said, I expect you’re welcome to try both! If you have any questions you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes writers submit work in advance and if you’d like to do so, ask the SWC to put you through to Jim or Paula. The writers offer constructive criticism and warm encouragement – they definitely made me feel welcome and I’ll be back for the next session. Here’s to new beginnings!
Words by S. McCracken