News and Events

Festival Season
Over the summer we’ve been busy with Scotland’s many vibrant book festivals and events. Kathleen Jamie started the virtual ‘ScotLitFest’ on 21st July with an event broadcast on YouTube. Then, during August, Kevin MacNeil (below) has been busy at Edinburgh International Book Festival with two events in support of the ‘Outriders’ initiative that saw him travel to Argentina in early 2017.
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Next up is crime writing festival ‘Bloody Scotland’, held in Stirling from 8-10th September 2017. The university will be involved in Masterclasses on the opening day and sponsoring the event with Sophie Hannah and Cath Staincliffe. Info and tickets available here: https://www.bloodyscotland.com/

New Lecturer
We’re delighted to announce that the brilliant Kevin MacNeil has joined our team as Lecturer in Creative Writing. Kevin is a novelist, poet and screenwriter, with his most recent book being The Brilliant & Forever (below) which was shortlisted for the 2016 Saltire Awards. Welcome Kevin!
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Storytelling Sculpture Trail Launch
As part of a collaborative project between MRes Creative Writing student, Janine Mitchell, the School of Education and the University of Stirling Art Collection, a variety of writers, including the current cohort of MLitt Creative Writing Students, were invited to submit creative responses to the sculptures that form part of the University of Stirling’s Art Collection.
The project was launched during the School of Education’s Expressive Arts workshops on Friday 18th November.  These workshops highlighted the importance of active engagement with the arts for learners in the early years and primary stages.
Primary Education student teachers were given a tour of the sculptures by Sarah Bromage, Deputy Art Curator while Janine Mitchell read a selection of pieces from the Storytelling Sculpture Trail project.  The tour was followed by a series of workshops during which Education students were shown how to use the Sculpture Trail Project, Music and Nature as Stimuli for Expressive Arts lessons.
The Storytelling Sculpture Trail is already being used by students of the University of Stirling’s Initial Secondary Teacher Education program to introduce Secondary English learners to the sculptures and to encourage active and creative engagement with these pieces.
The publication has been made available for use by educators, schools, students, families and the wider community.
 

 

Book Week Scotland

Congratulations to both Kirsty and Norma, students in the MLitt Creative Writing course. They each have a story featured in the book ‘Secrets and Confessions’, organized by The Scottish Book Trust! A free book that is distributed all over Scotland for Book Week Scotland. -Sonia

 


Publishing News

Congrats to our very talented Emma Mooney! She just got her second novel published, Wings to Fly. Join her November 22nd at West Calder Library for Q&A and book signings! -Sonia

 


 

Shortlist Announcement

We are very excited to announce that our very own Kathleen Jamie has just been short listed for the 2016 Saltire Literary Awards for her poetry collection The Bonniest Companie. Much luck to her!   -Sonia

 

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Ben Okri Event 2016

On Oct. 11th the University of Stirling hosted Ben Okri as part of the Booker Prize Foundation’s Universities Initiative. Before the literary event he was kind enough to meet with the postgrad students of the Creative Writing program at Stirling. Here are some pictures from the event. It was a pleasure to welcome Ben Okri to our creative writing community here at Stirling! -Sonia

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Update

The Forward Prize for Best First Poetry Collection-the Felix Dennis Prize- has been announced and unfortunately one of our own, Harry Giles, lost out to the excellent Tiphanie Yanique. However, many congratulations to Harry! For making the shortlist with his collection Tonguit. You can find out more about Harry and his poetry here:

http://www.forwardartsfoundation.org/poet/harry-giles/

 

Booker Initiative Event 2016

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We are delighted to announce that our 2016 Booker Initiative Event will feature novelist Ben Okri, who won the prize in 1991 for The Famished Road. Join us on Tuesday 11th October for a reading and Q&A with Ben. Tickets are free but should be reserved through www.stir.ac.uk/events.

 

Bloody Scotland 2016

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Our own Liam Murray Bell led a workshop on ‘Place as Character’ during the Masterclass day of the Bloody Scotland Crime Fiction Festival in Stirling on 9th September. Participants also enjoyed a Masterclass on plotting from Lesley Thomson and a keynote address from the wonderful Louise Welsh.

 

Award for The Gathering Tide

Karen Lloyd, one of our 2013/14 cohort, has been awarded the Striding Edge Prize for The Gathering Tide and was also announced as runner-up in the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards 2016. Many congratulations!

 

Publication News

Delighted to announce that one of our 2015 Alumni, Ross Sayers, has just signed a deal with Cranachan Publishing for his debut novel Mary’s the Name, which he was working on for his dissertation during the MLitt at Stirling. More information on Ross and the book can be found on the Cranachan website here. Many congratulations to Ross and we look forward to the book coming out in early 2017!

 

Bloody Scotland 2016 Programme Launched

The programme for Scotland’s Crime Writing Festival, Bloody Scotland, has now been launched and Creative Writing at Stirling is, as always, right in the thick of the action. On the very first day, there are a series of Masterclasses run by authors Louise Welsh, Lesley Thomson and our very own Liam Murray Bell. The university is also sponsoring the ‘Searching for the Truth’ panel on the Saturday and Neil MacKay and Alexandra Sokoloff on the Sunday.

The festival runs from the 9-11th September at the Golden Lion Hotel in Stirling, information on all the events can be found here: http://www.bloodyscotland.com/events/

 

Schueler Exhibition Update

In what will probably be my final contribution as moderator here, I’d like to make a correction to the dates of the Jon Schueler art exhibition in Crush Hall @ Pathfoot: it’s just in full swing this week, and it’s continuing until the end July.  That means a lot more time to visit!  Jane, Rhona, Sarah, and co. have done an incredible job, so please visit if you can and learn about Jon’s life and accomplishments, view his artwork, and have a look at the MLitt’s creative writing pieces (I’m honored to be included).  There are also some sound pieces from the Uni’s Film students. -Nadia

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All rights go to the Jon Schueler Estate and any other parties which loaned photos or artwork.  The creative writing/soundscape pieces were donated by my colleagues and I, but the bulk of the work was done by (and credit goes to) the University’s wonderful art collection and curation staff.


End of Term Reading

Thank you so much for the awesome show of support and appreciation at our End of Term Reading @ the Curly Coo last Thursday night.  We couldn’t have imagined a better audience, but if you missed it, I took some (low quality — apologies!) photos of the event.  And congratulations to my colleagues in finishing the semester.  You were all fantastic at the reading, even if I am a bit biased.  The feedback has been exemplary. -Nadia

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Alumnus in Northwords Now

So I’ve been told that Laura T. Fyfe, another MLitt grad who I have the pleasure of calling a former classmate, has been published in the current issue of Northwords Now (Issue 31, page 11).  Click here for the link to Laura’s short story “As the River Flows”or browse below.  All rights go to the publication; I own nothing.  Laura is an inspiration, as I recently caught up with her and she finished her degree while having/raising her baby boy!  Congrats to her on this publication. -Nadia

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Schueler Exhibition

Here’s a heads-up as the University’s Jon Schueler art exhibition begins today!  The MLitt’s students have each submitted a piece of writing in response to Jon, his life, and his beautiful work, so please stop by Crush Hall in the Pathfoot Building and have a look-see.  Jon was an amazingly talented artist, writer, and musician, and the exhibition celebrating him will be up all month.  There’s also a swing dance and jazz event happening next month on May 14th.  If you have any questions, please get in touch with Stirling Uni’s wonderful art curator Jane Cameron (jane.cameron@stir.ac.uk) or the art collection email address below. -Nadia

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End of Term Reading

Just a little bit of an update on the upcoming End of Term Reading: we now have an official poster!  Please do join us, if you can.  Should be a lot of fun.  -Nadia

END OF TERM READING 2016


Magi Gibson Poetry Reading

A bit belated perhaps, but recently I was invited an undergrad class wherein the lovely Magi Gibson read some of her work (both new and old) and wanted to mention it in case anyone is interested.  Magi has such a great spirit and her poetry really reflects that.  I’d definitely call her a feminist, but more than that, she doesn’t shy away from difficult topics regardless of gender.  She also writes the lighter, more “fun” poetry, or a mix of the two.  In any case, if you’re looking to read more Scottish poetry, please do look to Magi Simpson.  She was gracious enough to sign one of her books for me so I’ve included a photo.  Here is the link for her official website.  She welcomes emails, and I know at the very least that Wild Women of a Certain Age and Grafitti in Red Lipstick are available.  -Nadia


End of Term Reading April 2016 @ Curly Coo Bar

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We’re pleased to announce that the MLitt’s annual end of term reading will be happening on April 7th for 7pm (set to start around 7:30) @ Stirling’s cozy Curly Coo Bar.  We’re so happy they’re accommodating us in their private room upstairs, so please do mark your calendars and join us!  Our very own Tam Beirne will be emceeing the event.  Check back throughout Winter, as we may have updates.  Either way you can look forward to some lovely readings, ambience, and celebratory drink to mark the end of term (and the beginning of Spring!).  -Nadia


Costa Short Story Award

dThanks to those who have spread the word about congratulations going out to Danny Murphy, another MLitt alumnus (and a first-rate gentleman).  He’s only the fourth person to win the Costa Short Story Award.  We’re very proud.  Please do give his story “Rogey” a read, or if you’re so inclined you can listen to Sam Dale give his interpretation by scrolling down to Danny’s excerpt.  There are links to download the story through either medium or to give the other finalists a go as well.  -Nadia

2015 Costa Book Awards

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JANUARY 26: Author Danny Murphy with The Short Story Award for ‘Rogey’, pictured tonight at the Costa Book Awards, on January 26, 2016, in London, England. The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year, written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. PHOTOGRAPH BY Richard Kendal / Barcroft Media


Spotlight
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Our own MLitt graduate Karen Lloyd’s first published novel The Gathering Tide: A Journey Around the Edgelands of Morecambe Bay was released earlier this month for download on Kindle and for purchase in Paperback.  As someone who was able to listen to excerpts of TGT read aloud by the author herself in workshops two year ago, it’s amazing to see her work come to fruition.  Also worth a mention: The Guardian has published an article spotlighting some of Karen’s writing promoting the novel’s release — it’s a companion piece about the tenuous relationship she had with her mum (and the article has almost 2 thousand shares!).  Great to see.  -Nadia

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November Visiting Author Events

In November we have two prestigious visiting author events here at the University of Stirling. First up is Deborah Levy, discussing her novel Swimming Home, in our annual Booker Prize Initiative Event on Thursday 19th November 2015. It’s a free event, all welcome, but places need to be reserved through the events team here. Then, on the following Tuesday 24th November, we have a Book Week Scotland event with Kathleen Jamie, James Robertson and Chris Powici. Again, a free event and you can just turn up on the evening itself. Details of both events on the posters below: come one, come all!

Levy EventBook Week Scotland Event


Two Upcoming Launches

Our very own Kathleen Jamie and Meaghan Delahunt are both launching new books this month. We will be toasting the arrival of Kathleen’s latest poetry collection, The Bonniest Companie, on the 29th October and Meaghan’s short story collection, Greta Garbo’s Feet and Other Stories, on the 31st October. Both events are being held at Out of the Blue, Drill Hall, Leith, Edinburgh with an 8pm and 8.30pm start respectively.


Forthcoming Publications…

As we start the new semester, we’re delighted to say that three of our teaching staff have books out this Autumn. Kathleen Jamie, our Professor of Poetry, has a new collection The Bonniest Companie coming out in October with Picador. In November, Meaghan Delahunt, Lecturer in Creative Writing, will release a short story collection titled Greta Garbo’s Feet and Other Stories. This Autumn has also seen the publication of The Weight of Light, the debut poetry collection from Chris Powici, who teaches on both our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Congratulations all three and look out for more news on those books as they make their way in the world…


The Wolves of Langabhat

Released on the 2nd August 2015, The Wolves of Langabhat is a novel by DA Watson, one of our 2014/15 cohort of MLitt students in Creative Writing. Described as “the Christopher Brookmyre of Horror” by Louise Welsh, Watson’s second novel is published by Wild Wolf Press. You can buy a copy here.


Publication Success Stories

Delighted to say that we have news of upcoming book publications for three of our previous and current MLitt in Creative Writing students. Helen MacKinven will be publishing her novel Talk of the Toun with Thunderpoint in October 2015 (http://www.thunderpoint.co.uk/authors.html); Karen Lloyd will be publishing her non-fiction title The Gathering Tide: Walking the Edgelands of Morecambe Bay with Saraband in late 2015/early 2016 (http://karenlloyd-writer.co.uk/); and, one of our current cohort, David Watson will be bringing out his horror novel The Wolves of Langabhat with Wild Wolf Press next year. Well done to all three!


MLitt Reading at the Meditteranea, Stirling: 9th April 2015

It was a packed house at the Meditteranea Restaurant in Stirling city centre on Thursday 9th April for our MLitt students end-of-term reading. Our cohort each read for ten minutes, with music at the intermission provided by Stirling-based band The Precious Penny Pluckers. Many congratulations for their superb readings to Carroll Johnstone, Daniel Brown, David Watson, Frances Ainslie, Hanna Maxwell, Laura Fyfe, Ross Sayers and Leonie Charlton (left to right, top to bottom). Watch this space — you’ll be hearing a lot more about our class of 2014/15, no doubt!

Carroll Daniel Dave Frances Hanna Laura Ross Leonie


Billy Letford, Scottish Contemporary Writers Series: 2nd April 2015

On Thursday 2nd April 2015, we welcomed the third writer in our Scottish Contemporary Writers Series, Stirling-born Billy Letford, to the University. Billy read some poems from his acclaimed debut collection Bevel, as well as some new poetry inspired by his travels.

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Kirsty Logan, Scottish Contemporary Writers Series: 26th March 2015

Former Stirling University student Kirsty Logan was the second author in our Scottish Contemporary Writers Series. The writer of The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt) also gave us a sneak preview from her forthcoming novel The Gracekeepers, which is out at the end of April with Harvill Secker. More info on the book can be found here.


Charles Wallace Fellowship at Stirling

We’ve been celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the Charles Wallace Fellowship at Stirling University. Since 1994, the University has hosted an Indian writer in the department every year, to produce new work and to engage with undergraduates, postgraduates and staff. The fellowship is supported by the Charles Wallace Trust and by the British Council India. Our current fellow, the poet Mihir Vatsa, read from his work at an event on the 19th March 2015. You can read more about the fellowship and its recipients through the links below:

http://www.stir.ac.uk/arts-humanities/research/areas/indianwritersatstirling/

http://www.stir.ac.uk/arts-humanities/news-and-events/news-archive/2015/celebrating20yearsofindianwritersatstirling/


Doctoral Student’s Novel Released

Ian Garbutt, currently researching a PhD in Creative Writing, released his debut novel Wasp with Polygon on the 19th March 2015. The novel deals with a ‘House of Masques’ in the 18th Century and you can find out more about it here. Many congratulations to Ian!

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Scottish Contemporary Writers Series: Alan Bissett

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On Thursday 5th March 2015, World Book Day, we had Alan Bissett returning to his old stomping ground to read from his recently released ‘Collected Plays’ and to discuss his work with Dr Liam Bell and an audience of undergraduates, postgraduates, staff, members of the wider public and booksellers. Fantastic event, thanks to all who came and especially to Alan for a fantastic performance!


Two MLitt Students in Issue One of The Quotidian

The first issue of new Glasgow-based literary magazine The Quotidian features work from two of our current MLitt cohort. Ross Sayers’ poem ‘The Bus Driver Has Gotten Out and is Smoking a Cigarette’ and Leonie Charlton’s short fiction piece ‘Bath Fatigue’. You can read online here: http://www.quotidianmag.com/issue-one-1/. Congratulations to both!


Scottish Contemporary Writers Series

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Through March and April 2015, we’re delighted to be hosting a series of visiting speakers events at the University of Stirling — Alan Bissett on the 5th March, Kirsty Logan on the 26th March and William Letford on the 2nd April. All the events are free and held in Room B2 in the Pathfoot Building on the University Campus. We end the term with readings from the MLitt students in the Mediterranea, Stirling, on the 9th April — again, all welcome!


Portobello Book Festival

Meaghan Delahunt will be appearing in a ‘Meet the Author’ event at the Portobello Book Festival on Saturday 4th October 2014 from 3.15-4.15pm. The event takes place at the Old Parish Church Hall, Bellfield Street, EH15 2BP. Tickets are free but need to be reserved by emailing: portobellobookfestival@gmail.com.


University of Stirling Authors at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

If you are in Edinburgh for the Book Festival this August, then look out for Creative Writing Lecturers Meaghan Delahunt and Liam Murray Bell who are appearing at events in the Guardian Spiegeltent. Liam is reading as part of the Jura Unbound series, in an event that mixes prose readings and live music — Wednesday 13th August, from 9-11pm. More details here. Meaghan’s event is on Friday 15th August at 7pm, when she will be discussing National Identity in the Digital Age, along with NZ writer Witi Ihimaera and poet Alan Riach. More details here.


Leverhulme Fellowship for Professor Kathleen Jamie:

We have another very fine success to celebrate! Kathleen Jamie, our Professor of Poetry, has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship which will enable her to carry out research for her next book “The Walrus Ivory Owl”. The project will take her to the North American Arctic and will begin in September 2014.


The Busker launched:

Liam Murray Bell’s second novel, The Busker, was released on 1st May 2014. He has subsequently appeared on BBC Radio Scotland’s Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth and been interviewed for The Herald, which you can read here.


Meaghan Delahunt at Aye Write:

Our very own Meaghan Delahunt will be appearing at Glasgow’s Aye Write festival on Saturday 5th April, 3-4pm. Meaghan will be in conversation with Alan Taylor, Zoe Strachan and Professor Willy Maley to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Muriel Spark’s novel ‘The Finishing School’ and to discuss the place of Creative Writing in the Academy. Event will be in held of the Main Hall of the Mitchell Library. Tickets £8.


Sightlines wins prestigious literary award:

We are delighted to announce that Professor Kathleen Jamie has won the John Burroughs Medal for her book Sightlines, published in 2012. Professor Jamie will receive her award at a lunch at the American Museum of Natural History on Monday 7th April 2014. Full details here.


The Busker launch:

The launch of Dr Liam Murray Bell’s second novel, The Busker, will be held in the Crush Hall, Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling on the 17th April 2014 at 6.30pm. All welcome. Wine and nibbles provided, advance copies available. Full details here.


MLitt Student published in Northwords Now:

Roseanne Watt, one of our current MLitt cohort, has a series of poems in the Autumn issue of literary magazine Northwords Now. You can find the magazine here, with Roseanne’s poems on p.13.

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