Glasgow Reading Party A Success

On 12 October, Shetland Create hosted a reading party at the University of Glasgow’s Gilchrist Postgraduate Cafe. Alumni, current creative writing students, and contributors to the Shetland Create magazine read their poems and stories before an audience of nearly 40 people. The readings didn’t disappoint, and the attendees hung around hours afterwards, chatting and finishing off the free wine and snacks.

I couldn’t be more proud of Issue #1 and of the people who read at our Glasgow event! We still have a small stockpile of the books left, so please don’t hesitate to order a copy online.

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Issue #1 Launch Party a Success!

On 9 July, in the lovely Peerie Shop Cafe — a cosy coffeeshop a stone’s throw from the Lerwick Harbour — we celebrated the print run of our literary magazine, Shetland Create.

issue one with succulant

As the staff of the Peerie Shop set out delicious trays of cakes and scones (not to mention a few bottles of wine!), I waited for the guests to arrive and reflected on our journey here. Shetland Create has come a long way from where it started. It began with a quick meeting between me and Kirsten in our uni’s postgraduate café and an exciting realisation that we both wanted to pursue a project in Shetland.

Shetland Create was originally published online only, but due to the great success of our CrowdFunder campaign, we raised enough funds to produce a print version. Kirsten and I were inspired by Shetland’s natural beauty and sense of home (Shetland is one of the many places Kirsten calls home), and we used this inspiration to frame our editorial choices for our first issue. The result is a collection of stories, poems, and essays that explore the meaning of home and that channel the beauty of the islands.

We’re proud of the quality of writing in our first issue, which includes the voices of new and established writers, as well as the design of the printed magazine. But while our editorial vision and inspiration for the project were influenced by Shetland, only several of our contributors have Shetland connections. In response, we made new connections and invited a wonderful mix of Shetland writers to read at the launch party.

I’m so glad that we did – what a night! Here’s a small taste of what each writer brought to the event.

Anne-Trine Benjaminsen is a new writer from Norway. She kicked us off with a heartfelt short story of a woman watching her elderly parents grow older.

Anne-Trine

Debra Nicolson took the tone in a more light-hearted direction with her short children’s story about a wayward cat.

Debra

Sally Huband, a local Shetland essayist, read from her essay where she recalls the beauty and wildlife of Shetland on a trip away from the islands. Aptly, gulls were crying overhead as they flew above the nearby harbour, adding the perfect ambiance to Sally’s reading. Check out Sally’s blog here.

Sally

James Sinclair continued the Shetland theme by reading poems in the Shetland dialect. I may not have understood all he said, but the rhythm and tone of his poetry was lively and inspirational!

James

After a wee break, poet Nat Hall took us on a vibrant journey through her Shetland home with a reading from her collection of poems, Compass HeadCompass Head is available on Amazon worldwide, and you can visit Nat’s blog here.

Nat

Kevin Briggs shook things up with his dynamic monologue about an enthusiastic homeowner.

Kevin

Crime novelist Marsali Taylor read an excerpt from the forth novel in her Cass Lynch crime series. I was on the edge of my seat! Marsali’s novels are available on Amazon.

Marsali

Doug Forrest shared a story from his family history as he read from his nonfiction book Jimmy Wilds: The Solider Who Elected a Government, which is available on Kindle.

Doug

We ended the night with a reading by the Out of Bounds traveling poet, Kayo Chingonyi. Out of Bounds has been touring the UK, talking to poets from around the country about poetry and place. Kayo and Dave, the filmmaker taking photos and videos of the event all night, met with several of the writers from the launch to learn more about how their writing is influenced by home and place. Visit their digital poetry anthology here.

Kayo

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a lovely evening!

 

 

We’re in Shetland!

The moment has finally arrived! I’m here in Shetland, the beautiful islands that inspired Kirsten and me to create our literary magazine Shetland Create. These past two days have been filled with amazing sites: striking cliffs, silly sheep, warm coffee, sweet treats (puffin poo!) and rolling green hills.

Oh, and I’m on the radio *gulp*. I met with Richard Forbes from BBC Radio Shetland to chat about Shetland Create. Check out the interview at 24:00.

Tomorrow, I’m off on a boat trip around the island of Noss, then a little shopping (looking to take home some Shetland wool and fudge… not to mention Shetland Reel Gin), and finally Shetland Create’s Issue #1 Launch Party at the Peerie Shop Cafe! Can’t wait to meet some of the lovely contributors to the magazine as well as other local Shetland writers. Come along if you’re in Lerwick from 7 – 10 PM, 9 July for a night of stories and treats.

Day 2

Day 1

Shetland Create celebrates creativity in Shetland through its literary magazine and literary readings. The next reading will take place on 9 July. Issue #1 of the magazine is available for free online at http://www.shetlandcreate.com. Hosted by University of Glasgow students Kirsten Boswell and Angie Spoto. Follow us on Twitter @ShetlandCreate. Come celebrate with us!

Issue #1 Now Available in Print

I’m proud to announce the print publication of Shetland Create’s Issue #1 Home. It’s been quite a journey through the world of book production and design, and I’ve learned so much along the way. The book (if I may say so myself) turned out beautifully!

It’s for sale online, and you can order a copy by sending me an email (nightofcreativity[at]gmail.com) or following the links on the website here. Proceeds from the books sales go toward covering production costs and paying the authors.

issue one with succulant

I’d like to also extend a special thank you to our Crowd Funder sponsors who made our lit mag a reality!

Sponsers page

This Saturday 9 July, we’re hosting the Issue #1 Launch Party up in Shetland. Expect cute pictures of seals and puffins soon 😀

Launch Party Photo 3.png

Angie

Shetland Create celebrates creativity in Shetland through its literary magazine and literary readings. The next reading will take place on 9 July. Issue #1 of the magazine is available for free online at http://www.shetlandcreate.com. Hosted by University of Glasgow students Kirsten Boswell and Angie Spoto. Follow us on Twitter @ShetlandCreate. Come celebrate with us!

Issue #1 Launch Party

It’s official! Shetland’ Create’s Issue #1 launch party will be held on 9 July, 7 – 10 PM at the Peerie Shop Cafe in Lerwick, Shetland. You can sign up for free via Eventbrite!

Launch Party Graphic (3)

Celebrate with us as we introduce the first issue of Shetland Create’s literary magazine. Issue #1 is all about home. The issue includes stories, poetry and essays from writers hailing from all around the world. The night will feature readings by contributors and local writers and artists. Light refreshments will be provided and additional fare can be purchased in the cafe. Come along for a cozy evening filled with stories and creativity.

Shetland Create celebrates creativity in Shetland through its literary magazine and literary readings. The next reading will take place on 9 July. Issue #1 of the magazine is available for free online at http://www.shetlandcreate.com. Hosted by University of Glasgow students Kirsten Boswell and Angie Spoto. Follow us on Twitter @ShetlandCreate. Come celebrate with us!

Issue #1 Published!

I’m proud to announce that Shetland Create’s Issue #1 Home is now available for free online. The issue features the voices of 21 writers who explore the complex meanings of home through poetry, prose, and essay.

Shetland CreateIssueHome

When Kirsten and I set out to found Shetland Create, we both gravitated toward the theme of ‘home’. Kirsten is from Shetland living now in Aberdeen and studying in Glasgow, and I’m from, well, Chicago-New Hampshire-Wisconsin-Holland-Glasgow. In fact, neither of us really knew where we called home and certainly home wasn’t a singular place. And perhaps home wasn’t a place at all: the purest form of home for me is when I’m united with my twin sister. She’s my home.

Home’s complicated, and that’s why Kirsten and I wanted to dig deep into its depths. The work featured in Issue #1 explores home in its many nuanced meanings. Colin Herd’s poem ‘Sleep‘ reminds us that home can be as simple the place we rest our heads at night. Eunice Chung’s essay ‘At Sea‘ likens home to an anchor, a place we return to again and again and which gives us our bearings. The poems ‘White Goods‘ by Derek Parkes and ‘Safe‘ by Sandra Kohls transport us with their honest nostalgia for domestic spaces. And Marsali Taylor’s excerpt from the novel Death on a Longship  shows us what it means to return home burdened with new memories and experiences.

Writers featured in Issue #1 are: Colin Herd, Sandra Kohls, Vivien Jones, Jane Goldman, Catriona Carter, Derek Parkes, Marsali Taylor, Jane Frank, Anne-Trine Benjaminsen, Finola Scott, Lorrie Hartshorn, Kirsten Boswell, Angie Spoto, Natalie Reid, Peter McCune, Mairi Murphy, Jessica Spoto, Sally Huband, David Ross Linklater, Laura B. Bechere, and Eunice Chung.

Please, sit back, make yourself a cup of tea (or cup of joe), get cozy in your favorite sweater and explore home with us. Visit the magazine here.

I would implore you to please press ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of the magazine’s webpage. More literary treats await you. (Apologies on my part as I struggle to manipulate our WordPress theme… I’m aiming to get everything on one page soon!)

If you missed the deadline to submit your work to Issue #1, please check back shortly. The reading period for Issue #2 opens soon… we’ll be getting to the bottom of that ever-alluring season: Autumn.

Happy reading!

Angie Spoto

Co-Editor, Shetland Create

Shetland Create celebrates creativity in Shetland through its literary magazine and literary readings. The next reading will take place on 9 July. Issue #1 of the magazine is available for free online at http://www.shetlandcreate.com. Hosted by University of Glasgow students Kirsten Boswell and Angie Spoto. Follow us on Twitter @ShetlandCreate. Come celebrate with us!

 

 

Where do you call home? Interview with Colin Herd & Jane Goldman

I sat down with University of Glasgow tutors Colin Herd and Jane Goldman in Jane’s cozy, book-filled office. After perching my camera on a stack of novels, I asked them a deceptively simple question: where do you call home?

View the video on You Tube here.

Home Interview Colin.jpg

Colin Herd is a renowned Edinburgh-based poet and fiction writer and tutor of creative writing at Glasgow Uni.

Home Interview Jane

Jane Goldman, also a published poet, teaches Modernism and Virginia Woolf at Glasgow Uni.

Their answers to my question were refreshingly complex, proof that an exploration of home brings you to many places, not always pleasant.

 

Event Postponed… and Lit Magazine Born!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we’ve had to postpone Shetland Create’s event, originally scheduled for 2 April. The good news is that the event is rescheduled for 9 July (tickets will be on sale soon), and with the additional time, we’ve decided to put together an online literary magazine right here on the website. We’re accepting submissions of stories, poems, and essays centered around the theme of home by 15 April. See our submissions guidelines page for more details.

If you have 2 minutes, please provide your feedback via our survey and help us make Shetland Create the best it can be!

A big THANK YOU to everyone for your support along the way. It’s been an amazing experience planning an event in Shetland. We couldn’t do it without your support!

thank you!

 

Meet Zoë Strachan, Scottish Writer

Our wonderful creative writing tutor, Zoë Strachan, tells us a bit about what home means to her. As well as teaching at the University of Glasgow, Zoë is the author of a number of novels, including Spin Cycle and Ever Fallen in Love. 

Home is mixture of things. Of course it’s where I live now, my flat in Glasgow, but increasingly it’s also where I come from, Ayrshire. Whenever I’m there, I recognise that the landscape, and the coastline, their familiarity and all the memories they hold, have made me and remain part of me.

Zoe

But home can move with me quite easily too. When I’m in another place for a length of time I don’t tend to feel homesick. I miss the people I love if I’m away from them, but where I live sometimes seems pleasantly hazy. I can’t imagine staying away from Scotland forever though. The culture feels like home, in good and bad ways. I miss the sense of humour when I’m away, and I miss the particular kind of light that we get when the sun finally struggles through the clouds.

Zoe Strachan

That sense of a shared Scottish experience and demeanour is quite a big influence in my work. At the moment I’m preoccupied with Ayrshire and its past, in terms of industry, society, landscape, towns. I don’t feel confined when I write about Scotland, because really I’m writing about people who happen to be in Scotland.

My website is www.zoestrachan.com and I’m @zoestrachan on twitter.

Shetland Create celebrates creativity in Shetland through its bi-annual literary magazine and literary readings. The next reading will take place on 9 July. Issue #1 of the magazine is available for free online at http://www.shetlandcreate.com. Hosted by University of Glasgow students Kirsten Boswell and Angie Spoto. Follow us on Twitter @ShetlandCreate. Come celebrate with us!

Meet Shambles Miller, Glasgow Singer/Songwriter

In preparation for Shetland Create’s literary night, we’re getting to know a few Scottish creatives. Today we learn about Shambles Miller, Glasgow singer/songwriter.

My name is Shambles Miller and I’m a singer/songwriter. Sometimes people ask me why I’m called Shambles. It could be because I’m 29 and I still regularly run out of money before the end of the month, or because I’m a professional(ish) musician who plays a super-cheap guitar with ghosts painted on it. Or maybe it’s just because I’m always forgetting my keys and stuff.

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Photo Credit: Kate Smith

I write music that’s funny but also sometimes not, and I wouldn’t say I’m a comedy musician, but I’m sure some people think I am. Maybe they’re right, I don’t know. I’m quite indecisive. I think I just tend to deal with stuff through humour.

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I overthink things a lot, and much of my inspiration comes from a desire to understand things better. Things like politics, death, my stupid brain, love, Star Wars. All the usual stuff.
Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Launch 01 September 2014

FREE IMAGE PLEASE CREDIT (c) Russell G Sneddon Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Launch Glasgow 01 September 2014 Glasgow comedy singer/songwriter Shambles Miller performed at the launch (c) Russell G Sneddon

I’m from Glasgow. It’s in everything I write, woven through my songs like it’s woven through me. But home isn’t where I am, it’s what I’m doing. Who I’m with. It’s singing songs to people, playing board games with my friends, talking to my parents about how we miss our dog whilst drinking Buck’s Fizz at 11am on Christmas. It’s when I’m actually enjoying something in the moment and not worrying about tomorrow. I feel at home in any pub with a lot of dogs.
Shambles Miller.jpg

I’m Shambles Miller and I’m at home in Cardonald, Ooo, Hyrule, Nashville, Tatooine, Florida, and Partick.

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Twitter: @shamblesmiller

Facebook: Facebook.com/iamshambles

Website: shamblesmiller.com

Bandcamp: shamblesmiller.bandcamp.com

And I’m shamblesmiller on pretty much everything else. Instagram, vine, tumblr, etc.

Shetland Create celebrates creativity in Shetland through its bi-annual literary magazine and literary readings. The next reading will take place on 9 July. Issue #1 of the magazine is available for free online at http://www.shetlandcreate.com. Hosted by University of Glasgow students Kirsten Boswell and Angie Spoto. Follow us on Twitter @ShetlandCreate. Come celebrate with us!