Following the excellent webposts by A C Clarke, we welcome our next contributor to Scottish Writers’ Centre Members’ Webposts: Tony Beekman.
Tony hails from Airdrie but, for secondary school, attended a junior seminary in Coatbridge. He meandered off that path later to study sociology and philosophy at the then Paisley College (now UWS), graduating with a BA Honours Degree in Social Science. Tony continued with philosophy at the University of Glasgow, gaining a PhD with a thesis on Human Freedom in the Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre.
After studies, Tony worked in welfare benefits advice, based first in Coatbridge and then in Shettleston, Glasgow. Tony also “moonlighted” as a Workers’ Educational Association tutor. This led him to return to Glasgow University to study in the evening for a post-graduate Diploma in Adult and Continuing Education. Since 2005, Tony has worked as a Community Learning and Development Worker with a Central Scotland local authority.
Writing short stories is therapy for Tony and he has had 15 stories published across four outlets. The latest story, The Curse o the Sparkies, will be out soon in the summer edition of Lallans, the journal of the Scots Language Society.
Tony’s first published short story, A New Job, appeared in Scottish Left Review magazine in 2011. The story describes the aftermath of a second banking crisis. The world adopts collectivism as an emergency solution and people have to adapt to real equality. In 2015, Tony won the adult age group section of a short story contest in The Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser. In February this year, Tony’s story, Library, Library, Quite Contrary, appeared in Eildon Tree magazine. This is a tale of a mobile library threatened by budget cuts. The books come alive on the shelves and squabble about their situation each in the style of one of their prominent characters.
Scenarios painted in Tony’s other stories include: two rival Old Firm fans combining to assist a wee guy who claims to be a stranded alien traveller through space and time; a shocking series of thefts of people’s false teeth through the night in Airdrie; and a transposition of Robert Burns into the future as captain of the Starship Cutty Sark.
Tony is grateful for the occasional chance to “perform” his stories at Scottish Writers’ Centre public reading nights. Some examples can be found in the podcasts on this website.
Watch out for webposts from Tony Beekman over the next couple of weeks.