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Virtual short story writing course with Birnam Book Festival..
22 May 2020

Like many other book festivals, my local one at Birnam has had to put plans on hold. However as their Writer in Residence I will be running a virtual short story writing course over four weeks from Wednesday 10th June. You'll find all the details here. Sign up quick!

Lockdown poem for a strange Easter..
15 April 2020


So you're wondering exactly
where it went. Whipped
from a pocket by the western wind
on your weekly trip to town?
Or tangling in a cupboard corner
with the Christmas lights,
the jigsaw that’s lost two pieces, the mice?
Or has all your knowing fled where slaters scuttle,
to the garden shed?
So now you've ditched the dates:
The trip to Oban, holidays,
a visit from your sister. Still,
there’s other trusted things you miss:
The boy who comes to mow your lawn;
chums chit-chatting in the fish-van line;
tinned tomatoes always in the shops;
Doig’s, for your new Spring socks.
And Easter Sunday should always spill
families onto Kenmore Beach
with sandwiches, beer, no fear
amidst the hooting geese.
So where now will you find your certainties?
Listen! The blackbird still stands
on the roof at dusk, trilling notes
that drift towards your door.
Primroses spring up; Peewits
soar and tumble on the moor;
bluebells will soon spread
sky-carpets between trees.
Open the window. Isn't that the scent
of ramsons rising in the wood again?
Fiction workshop Garsdale Retreat July 2020..
23 March 2020

We'll have to see how Covid-19 develops, but all being well by July, I will be teaching a fiction writing course from 27th July at the stunning Garsdale Retreat. More here.

The Rainbow by DH Lawrence..
07 March 2020

Sixteen years  ago I did my frist abridgement for BBC Radio 4 of 'The Rainbow', a text I'd loved when I took A-level English. Lovely to hear it again currently in ten epiodes on Radio 4 Extra (listen at the link below).

Take a listen to Radio 4's Book of the Week next week..
30 January 2020

I abridged Kathleen Jamie's 'Surfacing' for next week's 'Book of the Week' on BBC Radio 4. More.

Autumn 2019 news of writing, workshops and more literary escapades..
06 November 2019

Please read on here.

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