Writers' Groups

  Soutar House

Council Website


October 23-28

Patricia Ace

Patricia has had many poems and stories published in magazines all over the UK and has won prizes in several poetry competitions. She was co-editor of The Lie of the Land (2004), an anthology of writing from Perth and Kinross. In 2003, she published Intensive Care, a short collection of poems in pamphlet form. A second collection will be published by Happenstance Press in 2006. Patricia is a member of Lippy Bissoms, a group of women writers who met at the Soutar House Writers' Group, and who are performing their cabaret-style poetry show at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

Lin Anderson

Lin (Linda) Anderson was born in Greenock of Scottish and Irish parents. A graduate of both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, she has lived in many parts of Scotland, and spent five years working in the African bush. A teacher of computing, she began her writing career six years ago. The script of her first film, Small Love (broadcast on STV in 2001 and 2002, earned her a TAPS Writer of the Year Award 2001 nomination. Some of her African short stories have been published in the 10th Anniversary Macallan collection and broadcast on BBC and European radio stations. Driftnet, introducing forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod, was Lin's first novel, and was a summer 2003 best seller. The Rhona MacLeod series now includes Torch, Deadly Code and Blood Red Roses. She has also written Braveheart, dealing with the life and legacy of William Wallace.

Mary Blance

Mary was born in North Roe, Shetland attended school in Lerwick, then studied at Aberdeen University. She joined as secretary/receptionist at BBC Radio Shetland in November 1978, eighteen months after the station was launched. She was the first member of staff to broadcast in "da Midder Tongue", and became committed to ensuring that Shetland dialect was an integral part of speech programmes on the local station. Mary took early retirement from BBC in 2000, having been station assistant, producer, senior producer and senior presenter over the years. She has been active in various cultural initiatives, and currently chairs Shetland ForWirds, a group dedicated to the continuing use and promotion of the dialect.

Ajay Close

Author of two novels: Official and Doubtful and Forspoken. Before becoming the William Soutar fellow in Perth, she was a writer-in-residence in Renfrewshire. An award-winning journalist, she has written for Scotland on Sunday, the Scotsman, the Herald, and various English newspapers. She currently reviews books for the Sunday Herald and is working on a new novel set in Perthshire.

Linda Cracknell

Award-winning fiction and drama writer. Her first short story, Life Drawing won the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday competition in 1998. A collection under the same title was published in 2000 and shortlisted for the Saltire First Book award. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines and radio broadcasts. Two afternoon radio plays, Face Value (2003) and The Best Snow for Skiing (2005) have been broadcast on Radio 4. Linda has been writer in residence at Brownsbank Cottage 2002-05, and has run many creative writing classes, residencies and workshops in Scotland and overseas.

Christine De Luca

Award-winning poet in Shetlandic, Scots and English. Collections include Voes & Sounds (1996) and Wast wi da Valkyries (1999) - both winners of the Shetland Literary Prize - Plain Song (2002) and Parallel Worlds (2005). Pamphlets include Earth, Air, Water, Fire (2003), Drops in Time's Ocean (2004) and Walking Through Thyme (2004). She has also been published in numerous anthologies, and has undertaken a number of commissioned and childrens' projects. Christine's work has been translated into over 12 languages, and she is a regular reader at Scottish festival venues.

Jane Harris

Author of The Observations (2006), set in Scotland in 1863, and which began life as a short story in 1992. She was born in Belfast, and brought up in Glasgow. Jane has been awarded both an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing from the UEA. She has also written short films, 2 of which were nominated for BAFTAs (Going Down (2001) and Bait (1999), the earliest being Bubbles in 1987. From 1992 to 1994, she was writer-in-residence in HMP Durham. In 2000, Jane was given a Writer’s Award from the Arts Council of England. She lives in East London. The Observations was chosen as Waterstone’s Book of the Month for April.

Billy Kay

Writer and broadcaster whose work includes radio and stage plays, poetry and short stories. His plays include Jute (1983), They Fairly Mak Ye Work (1986) and Lucky's Strike (1992). He is the author of Knee Deep in Claret: a Celebration of Wine and Scotland (1983) and edited The Dundee Book: an Anthology of Living in the City (1990). He created the acclaimed BBC radio series Odyssey, an oral history project, publishing two books Odyssey: Voices from Scotland's Recent Past (1980) and Odyssey: Voices from Scotland's Recent Past - the Second Collection (1982). His television documentaries include The Mither Tongue, a survey of the history and current state of the Scots language.

Ewan MacFarlane

Musician, and front man for The Grim Northern Social band. Ewan is currently doing a series of solo acoustic gigs to promote the band while they work on their new album. Previous discs included the singles Honey and Urban Pressure, plus the CD album The Grim Northern Social.

Angela McSeveney

Poet, whose collections include Coming Out With It and Imprint. She appeared in the anthology Other Tongues (1990) edited by Robert Crawford. She has a capacity for humour and ingenious description. Angela was a Society of Authors Award winner in 1993.

Richard Medrington

Winner of the Edinburgh Poetry Slam 2003 and a regular on the performance poetry circuit. Secretary of the School of Poets at the Scottish Poetry Library. Three times shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Award for poetry pamphlets. A puppeteer since 1984, he has performed at venues all over Britain including the National Theatre and 12 Edinburgh Fringes. Shortlisted for the Creative Scotland Awards 2004. Married to the Edinburgh poet Elspeth Murray. Publications include Wild Star Flight, What it's About, Bumping into God and An Absird Book of Burds.

Tessa Ransford

Founder and organiser of the Scottish Poetry Library 1984-99. Founder and organiser of the School for Poets 1981-99. Editor of Lines Review magazine 1988-99. Winner of numerous awards including the OBE, Royal Literary Fund, Scottish Arts Council, Howard Sergeant, Heritage Society of Scotland, Saltire Society, and the Society of Authors. Publications include Fools and Angels, A Dancing Innocence, Shadows from the Greater Hill, Medusa Dozen, Scottish Selection, Natural Selection, Noteworthy Selection, Indian Selection, Shades of Green and The Nightingale Question.

Alan Taylor

Journalist and currently writer-at-large for the Sunday Herald, previously having worked for Scotland on Sunday and the Scotsman where he was managing editor. He is one half of the Scottish team on Radio 4's Round Britain Quiz. He has edited Long Overdue: A Library Reader, What a State! Is Devolution for Scotland the End of Britain, and The Secret Annexe, an anthology of war diarists.