Originally from Falkirk, Alan is the author of the best selling Boyracers, much loved by teenagers and adults alike. His other books include Death of a Ladies Man, and The Incredible Adam Spark. His ‘much acclaimed’ Moira Monologues toured the UK in 2010. He has worked extensively in schools, delivering original and enthusiastic fiction workshops and readings. www.alanbissett.com
John Glenday was born in Dundee but now lives in the Scottish Highlands. His first collection, The Apple Ghost won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and his second, Undark, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His most recent collection, Grain (Picador, 2009) was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for both the Ted Hughes Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. A fourth collection will be published by Picador in September 2015.
Laura is Edinburgh born and bred, and is considered one of the best contemporary writers of short stories and novels in Scotland. Born Free was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Her other books include the story collections Hope and Other Urban Tales, and Nail and Other Stories. Laura is a very popular Moniack tutor, and is often requested by schools. www.laurahird.com
Laura is based in Glasgow, where she teaches Creative Writing at Glasgow University. Her humorous literary novels include Nobody Loves a Ginger Baby, No Wonder I Take a Drink, and Only Strange People Go to Church. She also writes for radio and television, and is a regular tutor for Moniack. www.fantasticfiction.co.uk
A Glaswegian author, Zoe has written three well acclaimed novels: Negative Space, Spin Cycle and Ever Fallen in Love. Her short stories appear in anthologies and literary magazines, and she also writes for radio. Zoe teaches Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. Student feedback on Zoe has been excellent. www.zoestrachan.com
Hamish is from Glasgow and lives in Inverness. He is a novelist, poet and playwright, with published works including The Gravy Star and The Girnin Gates, and is a co-founder of Dogstar Theatre Company. He has worked extensively with school groups locally, as well as in Dumfries and Galloway during his writing residency in 2003-06. A popular tutor, Hamish has also written for several Itchy Coo publications which have been used as educational resources at primary and secondary level in the teaching of Scots language. www.scottishbooktrust.org
Linda is an award winning short story writer, and works regularly as a writer in education. Her collections include Life Drawing and The Searching Glance. She has held many fellowships and residencies, including the Royal Literary Fellow at Stirling University. Her particular interest is nature writing, both non-fiction and fiction. www.lindacracknell.com
Magi is a prize winning Glasgow-based poet and novelist, and a very experienced school group tutor. Her popular Seriously Sassy novels are aimed at the young teen audience, and deal with serious issues in a light way. She has held three Arts Council Fellowships. www.magigibson.co.uk and www.seriouslysassy.co.uk
Karen is a graduate of Glasgow University’s Creative Writing Masters. Author of the Twilight Time, After the Fire, Shadowplay and Proof of Life, Karen was voted the Best New Scottish Writer 2009. A previous tutor for Arvon adult fiction courses, she has also carried out creative writing workshops and talks at schools such as Williamwood High in East Renfrewshire, and Berwickshire High in Duns and appeared in the 2011 schools’ strand at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. www.karencampbell.co.uk
Gerry Cambridge is a poet, editor and harmonica player with longstanding interests in nature photography and the natural world. His publications include Aves (Essence Press, 2007; reprinted 2008), a collection of prose poems about wild birds; Madame Fi Fi’s Farewell and Other Poems (Luath Press, 2003); and ‘Nothing but Heather!’: Scottish Nature in Poems, Photographs and Prose (Luath Press, 1999; 2nd edition, 2008), which is illustrated with his own nature photography. The Times Literary Supplement described him as ‘an honest-to-goodness makar’. Seamus Heaney wrote, of his long poem ‘Blue Sky, Green Grass’: ‘it’s a wonderful paean, and allows in so much that the usual poem keeps out—sheer, archaic joy: hymns to light, praise of the creatures, tales of the usual, names of the people and the places’. Gerry has worked with schools and community groups throughout Scotland and is the resident tutor for the annual Pushkin Writing Prizes: Scottish-Russian Writing Awards for S1 and S2 pupils.
Caroline Bird is an award-winning poet. She won a major Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and was short-listed for the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2001. Her first collection, Looking Through Letterboxes, was published by Carcanet Press in 2002 (when she was just fifteen.) She was short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2008 and 2010 for her second and third collections, Trouble Came To The Turnip, and Watering Can, and was the youngest writer on the list both times. Watering Can achieved a ‘Poetry Book Society Recommendation.’ Caroline was one of the five official poets for the London Olympics 2012. Her poem, ‘The Fun Palace’, which celebrates the life and work of Joan Littlewood, is now erected on the Olympic Site outside the main stadium. Her fourth poetry collection, The Hat-stand Union, was published in June 2013. She is also a playwright: her children’s musical, The Trial of Dennis the Menace, was performed at the Southbank Centre in February 2012. She is currently working on a new version of The Trojan Women, for the Gate Theatre, to be premiered later this year. www.carolinebird.co.uk
Liz, a poet and former teacher of English and Learning Support, and a Scots Language Dev. Officer, has delivered creative writing and language workshops for 30 years. She has held residencies in many schools across Scotland and delivered schools’ workshops as far afield as Beijing. She has published 6 poetry collections and collaborated with artists to produce text in a wide range of fabrics and locations. Liz has maintained her education work as a setter for the Advanced Higher Scottish & English Language paper for the Scottish Qualifications Authority and as a Marker for Adv. Higher Creative Writing. She has also written a wide range of materials and packs for schools poetry and drama in English and in Scots. Through her workshops for bodies such as Scottish Poetry Library, National Galleries, London Poetry Society and Ed. Authorities, she has helped generate thousands of new poems from young people and their teachers.
Kapka Kassabova grew up in Bulgaria and was educated at the French College in Sofia. Her family emigrated to New Zealand after the fall of the Berlin Wall, where Kapka studied literature and began writing poetry, travel, and fiction. After many years in Edinburgh, Kapka now lives in the Highlands. She is a regular contributor for The Guardian, Vogue, The Scottish Review of Books, Granta.com, and BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3.
She is the author of four poetry collections, the mystery novel Villa Pacifica, and the childhood memoir Street Without A Name (short-listed for the Prix du livre European and the 2009 Dolmann Travel Club Book Award). Her travel book about the Argentine tango, Twelve Minutes of Love, was short-listed for the 2012 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards. She participated in Poetry Parnassus at London’s Cultural Olympiad, and was the 2012 Shakespeare Birthplace Writer-in-Residence in Stratford-upon-Avon. www.kapka-kassabova.com
If you have experience of delivering workshops to young people and are interested in tutoring a schools course please contact the Centre Directors.