The Seven Wonders of Scotland launch and Illicit Ink

The Seven Wonders of Scotland
The Seven Wonders of Scotland, an anthology from Birlinn examining Scotland today through tales of fictional wonders, is out early November. The book was launched at Changin Scotland last weekend, and has a second launch at Blackwells Bookshop on November 27th, 2012, 18:30 (not 18:00 as first advertised). Gerry Hassan will introduce the book and there will be readings, from me, Kirsti Wishart and other of the writers.

I’ll also be reading at the next Illicit Ink event, 20,000 Words Under the Sea, at The Bongo Club, on December 2nd, 2012, 20:00. The inspiration for my piece, The Corals Wave Back, comes from my natural history hero, David Attenborough, and The Living Ocean. I don’t think I’ll be alone in taking inspiration from that quarter. You’ll also hear Helen Jackson read Ms Chalmers and the Silent Service, Lynsey May and other local writers.

Come hear me read at Midlothian’s Love Your Library Day

Midlothian are celebrating their libraries with a number of events on their Love Your Library Day, February 4th. As part of the festivities, me and other writers will read stories at Penicuik Library in the afternoon. The event is free and the stories will be fab, naturally. Penicuik Library has quite a busy schedule that day:

10:30 – Family Bookbug session. (Bookbug encourages parents to enjoy and share songs, rhymes and books with their children from birth.)

12:30 – Tea and cake with best selling crime writer Aline Templeton.

14:00 – Music from Matt Norris and the Moon and The Last Battle.

16:00 – A selection of short fiction by Catherine Grosvenor, Helen Jackson, Lynsey May and Caroline von Schmalensee.

Read all about these and the many other activities going on at libraries all over Midlothian that day.

This seems like a good opportunity to mention that I list upcoming (and past) performances on the Events and Performances page.

Story Shop: a challenge issued and accepted

My friend Helen Jackson was one of the Story Shop performers this year. Story Shop is a free Book Festival event run by UNESCO City of Literature. It gives local talent an opportunity to read their story to an audience. They also get a day pass to the writer’s retreat, the tent where all the authors hang out. (How cool is that?)

Helen had a great day and a good turn out for the reading of her two-part story Drawing the Line. When I quizzed her about it over coffee she issued me with a challenge:

Next year, you do it.

How could I say no? I needed a definate and ambitious goal.

All you have to do to be eligible to submit a story to Story Shop is get something published. Then you need to write a story that the Story Shop editors want to feature. That’s all. Yeah.

Getting started

Step the first is to get published. You don’t have to have a book published (phew) but need to have something in a publication where they have selection criteria. An anthology works, as does printed magazines or other sources where they pay for your work. So, over the next few months I’ll be tidying up and submitting short stories. If I don’t get published by the end of May next year, I won’t be eligible to apply for Story Shop. Must meet that goal.

Wish me luck.