Sunday, 11 February 2018


A cold start to the year. We've had more snowy days this year than the last few. But Glasgow's cultural scene is so rich it warms one up. I did manage to go to a couple of the Creative Conversations at Glasgow University. Inspiring to hear  authors like Anne Donovan, Dame Denise Mina and I hope to go to a few more if I can.

I am attending a poetry class this year, 'An Approach to Poetry' at Glasgow University. Excellent way to keep the brain ticking and learn so much more.

As for cultural events there is no dearth of it in Glasgow. From Celtic Connections, to Film Festivals followed hot on its heels by Aye Write in March.

Roll on Spring! 

2017- No entries?

Nothing happened in 2017? I can't believe that! Just completely got out of the rhythm of writing a blog.
Well, 2017 was good. I attended a class at Glasgow University entitled 'Who? How? Why? Fiction, crime and readers.' A great class and we analysed classic crime fiction from Carver, Highsmith to K. Atkinson and Mankell.  I also went to various lit events. My own was at the Milngavie week in June when I chaired a meeting with super authors Magi Gibson, Lesley McDowell, Ann Mc Laren and Finola Scott. Looking forward to the next one this year.

Got some poems published in magazines. So not entirely unproductive. I was again shortlisted for the pitch perfect  tweets organised by XPONORTH and went to Inverness. What a beautiful city! A great experience to meet Jenny Brown,  other agents and  publishers from Scotland. Not surprised to hear how tough the publishing world is. There were some great pitches at the event, but no one got a publishing deal this year as far as I know. The last year winners were for non-fiction books.

In autumn we had a wonderful holiday in DC and later in November- December we were in India.
Unfortunately the year ended rather terribly. House burgled, some health issues in the family and I really did wish the year away.

Keeping the blog brief and interesting would be better in 2018. Can't miss a whole year out again.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Penguin Random House

Write Now Live Initiative by Penguin Random House for BAME, LGBTQ & Disabled writers Oct 1st 2016

I was privileged to be selected for this initiative for a mentorship programme for BAME, LGBTQ and disabled writers by one of the world’s largest publishing house in the world. Fifty people were selected out of a thousand applicants for their London day. They have two more days in Birmingham and Manchester. Ten writers will be selected out of the hundred and fifty to get onto their mentoring programme with a possible publishing contract at the end of this selection procedure in February 2017. I am writing this as I hope  writers will think of applying for the next round when it comes next year. It was a wonderfully inspiring, informative day with plenty of opportunity to network with the Penguin Random House team, published authors and agents. We met in their plush offices at 80, The Strand at 12 pm after a lunch of sandwiches and coffee that gave us time to mingle and introduce ourselves we were given an extremely informative talk from the Penguin team on ‘Publishing Demystified.’ This was followed by a panel of authors that included Kit De Waal, Nikesh Shukla, Abir Mukerjee, Satnam Sangera and Matthew Todd

on how they got published. After a short break we were asked our own views on what steps need to be taken by the industry to encourage BAME and LBQT writers to submit their work.  Ideas flowed on more diverse books representing all sections of society, including class, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, gender or sexual proclivities should be the future aim for the publishing industry at large. It was a thoroughly worthwhile day ending with the all-important one to one session with one of their editors going over 6000 words of the manuscript that we had all submitted. The day ended with a goody bag of exceptionally wonderful books to take home. I would encourage writers in our area to look out for this or similar initiatives as the book publishing industry is getting aware of the need for inclusivity.

Here is the  link:

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