Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Reading (and writing) Woman

I was given the gorgeous Reading Woman calendar for Christmas and I’m going to use it to mark only writing-related events.

The picture for January is called Portrait of Helen Gow and is by Scottish artist Alexander Mann (1853-1908). Helen Gow is reading what appears to be a pictorial magazine – I wonder what it was? – and she’s wearing a very lovely black lacy dress. You can see it here http://www.mystudios.com/artgallery/A/Alexander-Mann/Portrait-of-Helen-Gow.html

I’ve been filling in events for the first few months and there is much to look forward to.

The first Edinburgh Writers’ Club meeting of 2016 is on 11 January. Rosemary Gemmell will talk about writing relationships and romance, and will later judge the Short Story Competition on those themes. As many folk make New Year resolutions to write can I say, as membership secretary of the Club, that new faces are always welcome.

Also on 11 January I’m going to be interviewed on Jenny Harper’s blog.

The Writers’ Room, the fab creative writing class I’ve been going to for years, begins again on the 15th. Looking forward to finding out what this term’s theme is.

I’m busy reading entries for the Woman’s Short Story competition, organised by the Scottish Association of Writers. The adjudication will be delivered at the SAW weekend conference in March and the winner will have their expenses paid at the conference. So I’m going to make one person very happy …

I asked the organisers if this year entrants could submit their stories with a particular women’s magazine in mind. This was because, although the number of women’s mags and especially those carrying fiction has dwindled almost to nothing since their glory days of around the mid 20th century, the chances of having a ‘womag’ story published are still high compared to a ‘general’ short story – and I assume all writers want to be published.

And on that subject … I am delighted to be involved in The People’s Friend (newly award-winning) workshops and will be in Dundee, Glasgow and York this spring for the next batch:

I’ve just finished writing the seventh instalment (out of eight) of my new People’s Friend serial. I rewrote the final ‘chapter’ (there are five chapters in an instalment) about fourteen times then forced myself to print it all out and put it in an envelope to avoid further tinkering. Now I will embark on tying up the ends in the final instalment.

And I have another project which I shall tell you about in due course.

So, all being well, that’s the first half of the writing year mapped out – and, of course, along with the women on my calendar, I shall be doing lots of reading, although, sadly, not so glamorously attired.


  1. What a beautiful calendar, Kate! Hope it fills up with great writing events and successes - you're certainly going to be busy with the workshops and SAW. Look forward to seeing you next Monday.

  2. Thanks, Rosemary. Hope you make it through the floods!