Programme for 2016-17. Meetings take place at the Wash Bar, on the Mound. Meetings are open to non-members - £5 charge.

19 September 2016 Opening speaker: Margaret Elphinstone

We are delighted to welcome Margaret Elphinstone as our opening speaker. Margaret Elphinstone has recently retired from being Professor of Writing in the Department of English Studies at the University of Strathclyde. Her academic research areas are Scottish writers and the literature of Scotland’s offshore islands. Before joining the University of Strathclyde she worked at a variety of jobs in different locations. Some of her experiences have been used in her books eg Islanders is based on her participation in archaeological excavations on Papa Stour, Shetland and Voyageurs came out of canoeing adventures on the Ottowa River. She has also written short stories, non-fiction and essays. Find out more:

3 October 2016 Club social

Speed-chat event! Get to know fellow Club members and find out what they’re writing.

17 October 2016 Poetry workshop with Valerie Gillies
  Poetry workshop with Valerie Gillies who will later judge our Poetry Competition. Valerie Gillies is an internationally known poet and was Edinburgh Makar, poet laureate to the city, 2005-08. Her award-winning volumes of poetry include Each Bright Eye (1977), The Ringing Rock (1995) and The Lightning Tree (2002), and she is a regular contributor to major anthologies. In 2005 she received a Creative Scotland Award to write The Spring Teller, a book of landmark poems inspired by Scotland’s wells and springs. She edited the Scottish Poetry Library’s first Poetry Map of Scotland which maps locations and living poets on their interactive website.
31 October 2016
Flash fiction

In-house Flash Fiction Competition. Bring one piece of Flash Fiction, up to 150 words, on the theme of Hallowe’en, interpreted in any way you like. These will be read out and members will vote anonymously for their first, second and third favourites.

14 November 2016 Writing Short Stories - Zoe Strachan

Zoe Strachan will talk about writing short stories and will later judge our Short Story Competition. Zoe Strachan grew up in Kilmarnock where, she says, she attended school ‘sporadically’. In 1996 she graduated in Archaeology and Philosophy from the University of Glasgow. She returned to university to do an MLitt in Creative Writing. She has written three novels; the most recent, Ever Fallen in Love, was published by Sandstone Press in 2011. She also writes short stories, libretti, plays, essays and journalism.

Poetry competition deadline

28 November 2016
Work in progress night

Work-in-progress – Club workshop. A chance to discuss your work with other members and get feedback. Bring four or five copies of a poem – no more than 40 lines, or prose (short story / novel extract / non-fiction) – no more than 2000 words.

General article competition deadline

12 December 2016 Club social and Christmas Party

Details to follow

9 January 2017 Writing in Scots - Hamish MacDonald

Hamish MacDonald is the Scots Scriever. He has published poetry and fiction, and plays which have toured Scotland and elsewhere, two of which he has adapted for radio. He has led workshops in poetry, fiction, drama and song writing worldwide, and spent three years as director of Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s creative writing centre. He is a contributor to Scots language imprint Itchy Coo’s children’s poetry books, King o the Midden and Blethertoun Braes.

Deadline for Short Story Competition

23 January 2017 Competition results and feedback
  Adjudication of Poetry and General Article Competitions. Reading of winning entries.

6 February 2017 Writing for Young Adults - Claire McFall

Claire McFall is a writer and English teacher who lives and works in the Scottish Borders. Her first novel, Ferryman, was shortlisted for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards and the Grampian Children’s Book Awards, long-listed for the Branford Boase Award and the UK Literary Association Book Awards, as well as being nominated for the Carnegie Medal. She has since written Bombmaker and Black Cairn Point.

20 February 2017 Dramatic monologues - Liz Hare

Liz Hare is the co-founder of Citadel Arts Group. She works with older people to foster and express their creativity and also delivers living memory projects, chiefly in Leith where Citadel Arts Group now has a permanent base in Leith Dockers Club. She will judge our Dramatic Monologue Competition.

6 March 2017 Competition results and feedback

Adjudication of short story competition, reading of winning entries.

20 March 2017 Two crime writers

Unfortunately the speaker who was to talk on self-editing on 20 March has had to cancel.

We are pleased to say that two very successful Scottish crime/thriller writers have stepped in and will talk about their work.

Mark Leggatt is the author of Names Of The Dead, The London Cage, and The Silk Road, a series of international thrillers which weave fact and fiction across the globe – Neil Broadfoot’s breakneck debut, Falling Fast, was shortlisted for both the Dundee International Prize and the prestigious Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award, immediately establishing him as a fixture on the Tartan Noir scene.

Deadline for Young Adult competition

3 April 2017
Open mic session

Bring no more than 500 words of poetry or prose for instant feedback.

Deadline for Dramatic Monologue competition

  NB No meeting on Easter Monday 17 April
24 April 2017 Competition results and feedback

Adjudication of Young Adult Fiction Competition, reading of winning entries. Writing activity.

8 May 2017
Song writing / lyrics - Kirsty Law

Borders-born Kirsty Law has grown up learning traditional songs, mainly in the Scots dialect. She now combines this with her strong interests in songwriting and poetry which has lead to exciting collaboration and her own self penned work, inspired by the ideas and forms she finds within the tradition. She has now launched into a career of performing and writing, fast becoming noticed as a talent to watch.

22 May 2017 Competition results and feedback
  Adjudication of Dramatic Monologue Competition, reading of winning entries. Writing activity.
5 June 2017 AGM and Prize-giving