Wednesday, 16 November 2011

November Hotchpotch is now in...December!

Due to Braes Bar's busy festive schedule, the regular Hotchpotch Open Mic that was originally due to take place on Monday November 28th will now take place one week later on Monday December 5th.
Bring something to read (poetry or prose), bring friends or just bring yourself - a good night out guaranteed! Starts at 7.30pm till late...


Douglas Dunn launches new chapbook in St Andrews this Friday

Douglas Dunn's new chapbook 'Invisible Ink' (published by Mariscat) will launch at Waterstones in St Andrews on Friday 18 November at 6pm. Douglas will be reading from the collection - a great opportunity to see and hear one of Scotland's poetic greats!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

New Writing Dundee 6 launches this Saturday!

Come along for an evening of music, food, readings and two book launches at the University of Dundee's Dalhousie Building on Saturday 29th October from 7.30pm till late

New Writing Dundee 6 will be launched with readings from some of the contributors.  New Writing Dundee is an international poetry and short fiction anthology supported by Literary Dundee and the University of Dundee.

In addition, The Parlour Cafe Cookbook will also be launched at the same event. There will be food, of course, and wine, and music from Panda Su and the AutoDisco DJ's, so please come along and help celebrate this joint launch in style.

Poetry at Dundee Literary Festival this week

Some great poetry in prospect at this year's Literary Festival at Dundee University :-

Thursday 27th October sees Eddie Gibbons at the Bonar Hall from 12noon for 'Poem and a Piece'. Eddie's Scouse wit is by turns funny and touching. A genuinely human voice and a great poet (tickets £5)

Friday 28th October brings us Dawn Wood, again at the Bonar Hall at 10am. Dawn is a scientist and a painter, and her background in both makes for fascinating and powerful poetry. (Tickets £3)

Later on Friday, Stewart Conn, inaugural Poetry Makar of Edinburgh, reads in the midday 'Poem and a Piece' slot, bringing you his unique blend of people, places and stories in poetic form (Tickets £5)

Saturday 29th sees Chris Powici, editor of the north's only free poetry magazine Northwords Now, providing more 'Poems and a Piece' on a variety of natural and human subjects (Tickets £5)

Add to this Alexander McCall Smith, Val McDermid, Meaghan Delahunt and many more, plus the Dundee Comics Day on Sunday and you have a packed festival!

Tickets available for all events here

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Cabinet, a new spoken word night in Dundee THIS FRIDAY October 14th

This Friday (October 14th) sees the launch of Cabinet, Dundee's new spoken word evening at the Burgh Coffeehouse, 25 Castle Street, Dundee from 7pm-10pm.

Verbatim is Cabinet's launch event - an evening of original works from authors and performers based in and around Dundee. Prepare to be entertained; enthralled, inspired, titillated. Come along and support local artists, and become involved in a collective of emerging talent. Cabinet assures you that you will enjoy yourself!

The event is entirely FREE, and couldn't happen without the kind assistance of the Burgh Coffeehouse.

Come along early, stay all night, arrive late, but DO come along and say hello! More information here.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

National Poetry Day 2011 - Patchwork Poem published

The contributions are in, the poem is assembled - and here it is! Thanks to all who contributed...a colourful pdf version can be downloaded here


A patchwork poem for National Poetry Day 2011

I had such high hopes for you.
We were so strong on paper,
both on fire. The last time
we'd played was in the old house,
six stolen weeks, secure in your den,
me listening to your stories,
then climbing the ladder
to play a different game.

What games shall we play today,
foul play and slapstick?
Kiss chase, spin the bottle,
not fun like they used to be.
You leap and stretch in High Definition
like a striker taunting home fans.
If you look at the ball closely
you'll see it has bloodstains.

Now we are too tired
to remember the rules.
I am small again, a little girl,
alone and chartless,
separated by legal distance
stretching into infinity,
bewildered on the brink of tears,
fishing for wishes in the long loch-dream.

We get to the heart of the thing -
war games, the unbearable logic
of how it's taking part that really counts,
plenty of time to rest up later.
The game becomes lacklustre,
scrappy, no great shakes
when the moment comes,
same old same old.
We are playing for pride. 

This poem was created by taking a line from contributions by the following writers :-

Peter Alexander
Deborah Alma
Anne Berkeley
Di Chorley
Giles Conisbee
Rafael de Swarte
Ian Duhig
Maurice Gartshore
Gwen Grant
Niels Hav
Ailsa Holland
Isaac Hughes-Dennis
Janet Jenkins
Wendy Jane Muzlanova
Stella Pierides
Alison Raybould
Heather Reid
Nicola Robson
Ian Searcey
Elizabeth Taylor
Judith Taylor
Sheila Templeton
Angela Topping
Alice Walsh
Deborah Williams-Kurz
Rodney Wood
Erik Zoha

Poem collated by
Andy Jackson

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A Private View - Dundee's Nethergate Writers at the McManus Gallery October 23rd

In their latest anthology, A Private View, Nethergate Writers find inspiration from exhibits in the McManus collection. The result is an entertaining, illuminating and sometimes suprising read.
There’s a chance to meet the writers at a book signing in Waterstone's, Dundee, on October 15th or you can enjoy a tour of some of the exhibits featured in the book and listen to the writers read from their work at the McManus on Sunday 23rd October, 2pm to 4pm. (The venue is the Creative Learning Studio, first floor. This is a free event, no need to book.)
Further readings will take place at Lomond Hills Hotel, Freuchie on November 20th at 2pm and at The Vine, Magdalen Yard Road, on November 28th at 7pm as part of Dundee’s WestFest.
A Private View is on sale at Waterstone's in Dundee and at the McManus from October 13th priced £7.99. For further information on the writers go to

Creative Writing workshops in Perthshire's Big Tree country this October

During October, writer Linda Cracknell will be running workshops on three Big Tree Country sites - three for adults and three for Higher English students.

Members of the public who would like to take part should send their name, contact details and the location they would prefer to Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust, Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth PH1 5GD or email

Dates and locations:
Kinnoull Hill, Perth – Saturday 1 October;
Birks of Aberfeldy – Saturday 8 October;
MacRosty Park, Crieff – Saturday 15 October.

Risk-a-Verse Friendly Poetry Slam - St Andrews 8th October

Risk-A-Verse Friendly Slam

Harry Giles is your MC as the Risk-A-Verse Friendly Poetry Slam comes to St Andrews on Saturday October 8th. The event, hosted by Inky Fingers in conjunction with the StAnza Poetry Festival, takes place at the Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, St Andrews from 7.30pm.

Fourteen poets (including your humble blogger!) compete for your cheers, tears laughs and scores: judged by you, the audience! Special prizes for all types of poet, witty repartee, bad puns, and a lot more besides. A great night of poetry duelling in prospect, and all for only £3 entry (£2 concessions).

Poetry in Crieff - The Drovers' Tryst 15th October

The annual Crieff-based congregation of walkers known as the Drovers' Tryst presents an evening of words and music with a Tryst twist!....  and a fine way to relax after a week of great days on the hills.

Come along for an informal evening of stories, songs and poems with award-winning writers Patricia Ace, Maurice Gartshore, Andy Jackson and Jess Smith with local musicians Andrew Finlayson and Robin Spearing.
It all happens in the Red Squirrel Cafe, East High Street, Crieff  7.30 pm.  £5 at the door or tickets in advance from The Red Squirrel Cafe in Crieff. Bar available, and possibly Baa too! More information here.

Monday, 26 September 2011

September Hotchpotch tonight @ Braes!

The usual shenanigans on Monday, September 26 in the basement of Braes bar from 7.30pm onwards. The optional theme is "welcome"! Bring something to read on the open mic - or just come along and listen.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Writers Anonymous meeting tonight

Dundee's Writers Anonymous relaunches tonight with its first meeting for a while. Writers Anonymous is an opportunity to have your work (one poem or up to 2500 words prose) discussed in a relaxed atmosphere with fellow writers giving advice and comment. Pieces are submitted anonymously in advance, so there should be less pressure on new writers or writers new to creative writing groups.

The meeting takes place in Dundee University on Wednesday 7th September, starting at 6.30 in Room G9 of the Dundee University Tower Building. Come along and share the conversation!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

National Poetry Day 2011 - Patchwork Poem on the theme of 'Playing Games'

The theme of National Poetry Day 2011 is Games.

Following on from the success of last year’s Patchwork Poem to coincide with NPD2010, I’ve been asked to run another this year.  So, if you wish to contribute here’s what to do:-

Please send us your original poetry on the theme of Playing Games - they can be complete poems, either already written or written specially for the Patchwork, or they can be just random lines or poetic thoughts, but should address the theme of playing games – for instance, you could send a poem or a few lines concerning :-

* real or imaginary games
* games of chance, skill or love
* the rules of the game
* the players of the game
* the outcome of the game

We will then create a Patchwork Poem by taking individual lines from your contributions. The resulting Patchwork Poem will be published in a variety of places (including here) on National Poetry Day.

Please email your contribution to with the email subject ‘Patchwork Poem’.

Contributions should reach me by September 30th at the latest

Remember, we can only use a line or two from each contribution, so please keep them brief and don’t send long poems. Feel free to spread the word to anyone who you feel might be interested in submitting something – even if it’s just a line!

Many thanks and we wait to receive your contribution…

Monday, 29 August 2011

Callander Poetry Weekend

The annual Callander Poetry Weekend takes place from 2nd-4th September - this weekend in fact! The usual heady brew of poetry, scenery and food is promised, with readings from the like of Colin Will, Magi McGlynn, Sheena Blackhall, Kevin Cadwallander, Alan Gay and Judith Taylor, among many others, as well as the tireless host Sally Evans. The event begins in the Kirk Hall in Callander and moves on in the evenings to King's Bookshop over the road.

If you've not been to a Callander Weekend before, it's one of the most rewarding and relaxing poetry events of the year - a wonderful setting and some cracking readers make this unmissable for those in the know. It's free, so why not come along?

For details either go to Sally's blog or email, or phone 01877 339449.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

August Hotchpotch Open Mic in Braes Bar, Dundee on August 29th

Just a wee reminder that Hotchpotch takes place this coming Monday, August 29th, in the basement of Braes bar on Perth Road from 7.30pm onwards. Bring something to read, or just come along and listen.

As mentioned at the last Hotchpotch, we have been invited to send representatives along to Dundee University as part of an event showcasing Dundee's creative community for the benefit of new students on the morning of September 9. Please click here to contact Jen Cosgrove via the Facebook group if you're interested.

Dare You! A literary happening at the Dighty Burn in Dundee

The next two weekends see the presentation of Dare You! A Happening At The Dighty by DightyConnect, featuring original pieces by local writers performed along the banks of the burn. 

The performances take place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August and again on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September at 3.00 - 4.30 pm.

Meet at the Viaduct at Finlathen Park, on Fontainbleau Drive (close to Morrisons on Forfar Road)

Tickets are £5 (£3 concessions) - for tickets/information phone Ann Lolley on (01382) 436932 or

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Andy Jackson in 'Immortality Now!' at the Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe

Hi all

Shameless self-publicity, but I have two 50-minute shows entitled Immortality Now! at the PBH Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe, as follows:-
  • Tuesday 16th August @1710 - The Banshee Labyrinth, Niddry Street, Edinburgh
  • Sunday 21st August @1600 - The Banshee Labyrinth, Niddry Street, Edinburgh
 The Blurb says - Lively and surreal poetry featuring a cast of bizarre characters and situations brought to life by Manchester-born fortysomething Andy Jackson. Come and hear about conspiracy theorists, cross-dressing aliens, public conveniences and the hokey-cokey - and prepare to be involved! (‘chilly, deadpan funny, and inimitable’ – Northwords Now) 

I hope you can come - it's FREE!

July Hotchpotch Monday 25th July @Braes

Just a wee reminder that Hotchpotch takes place this coming Monday, July 25, in the basement of Braes bar on Perth Road from 7.30pm onwards. Bring something to read, or just come along and listen.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Summer Special Open Mic Night in St Andrews this Wednesday @7pm

Following the success of the StAnza Poetry Festival's early evening festival Open Mic in March at Zest Juice Bar in St Andrews, here's another chance to enjoy the delights of a Zest-ful hour or so of open mic slots - for poetry or short prose - with Fife's own Milton Balgonie as MC. The event starts at 7pm and runs till 8.30pm at Zest Juicing and Coffee Bar, 95 South Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9QW.

Come along with your own poems to read or just sit back with a good coffee to listen and enjoy a cornucopia of voices. Zest will also provide its wonderful range of juices and smoothies and cakes. 

Reading slots will be limited but you can bag one from Monday 4th July by contacting

Monday, 27 June 2011

Cat & Mouse - rehearsed reading of a new play by Ajay Close 7th July

Stellar Quines Theatre Company in partnership with Perth Theatre, the Gannochy Trust and Ajay Close present a rehearsed reading of CAT AND MOUSE, a new play by Ajay Close about the Scottish suffragettes jailed in Perth and the prison doctor who force-fed them. The reading will take place at Perth Theatre Studio on Mill Street Perth on Thursday July 7th at 6pm. Admission is free and unticketed - do come along for a fascinating and absorbing experience!

Friday, 24 June 2011

June Hotchpotch at Braes on Monday 27th

The monthly creative writing extravaganza that is Hotchpotch will take place downstairs at Braes in Dundee on Perth Road on Monday 27th June from 7.30pm. Come along and read or just listen to the cream of Dundee creative mic slots available, so don't leave it too late!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Kevin Cadwallender at Dundee WestFest Friday 17th

Acclaimed poet and performer Kevin Cadwallender will be appearing at Dundee's WestFest Cabaret Night on Friday 17th June. Kevin has had a long career in stand-up poetry, and is famous for his selection of hilarious Dalek poems - have a look here for an example.
The Cabaret Night also features Roberto Cassani, Pauline Meikleham, The Lazy Susans, Captain Duncan, Ovarian Cysters, and lots more music and comedy routines. Tickets are £20 and include a buffet.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Don Paterson in Dundee 8th June

Queen’s Gold Medal-winning poet Don Paterson will read at the opening of the annual English Postgraduate Conference at Dundee University next week.

Dundee-born Mr Paterson will give a poetry reading at the conference launch event at 6 pm on Wednesday June 8th in the D’Arcy Thompson lecture theatre in the University Tower Building on Perth Road. The event is free and open to the public. Do come along and see Scotland's most acclaimed contemporary poet read in his home town!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Dundee's Hotchpotch open mic night returns on Monday 30th May

Join us once again for an evening of poetry and prose on Monday 30th May downstairs at Braes on Perth Road, Dundee from 7.30pm. Bring something to read or just come along and listen - if you've never been before then make this your first time!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Poetry in St Andrews May 3rd - Douglas Dunn, Don Paterson & Chris Jones

Two poetry events on offer in St Andrews, both on Tuesday 3rd May. At 5.30pm in the Garden Seminar Room at the School of English on The Scores, Tom Jones will deliver a workshop on “What makes poetic language poetic”.  Then at 7.30pm in the King James Library in St Mary’s Quad off South Street, Douglas Dunn, Chris Jones and Don Paterson are giving a poetry reading. Events are free (I think) so get along there if you're able!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Two Dolls present...a creative writing course in Dundee starting this Saturday!

Two Dolls are Zoe Venditozzi and Jill Skulina. They are hosting a creative writing workshop in Dundee at their HQ at 72 Meadowside on Saturday 30th April, which will form the first of a four-week short course. The workshop runs from 10 – 12.

Through a mixture of break-out exercises, free writing and workshopping they aim to encourage and develop writing, no matter which stage of your writing career you are at. The course is only £25 for four weeks of tuition, and includes refreshments.

Two Dolls are also hosting a monthly workshop entitled Illustrate and Write, bringing together illustrators and writers to collaborate on work for possible publication. This takes place on the first Thursday evening of each month, starting on May 5th.

If Saturdays aren’t any good for you, Two Dolls plan to start another 4-week course on Tuesday 10th May. Contact for further information, or click here.

Today's pwoermd is...


Monday, 25 April 2011

Today's pwoermd is...


April's Hotchpotch is tonight in Dundee

The latest in the series of Dundee-based Hotchpotch open mic nights takes place in the basement of Braes bar tonight from 7.30pm onwards. Bring something to read, or just come along and listen - a varied and interesting night is guaranteed. Hope to see you there!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Online poetry course with Winning Words

An online poetry-writing course is about to start. Run by Winning Words and hosted by Jo Bell (director of National Poetry Day and all-round poetry enthusiast), it costs £137 for six weeks of exercises and feedback, and should be lively and challenging for any level of writer. They'll be using links to online resources like videos and sound files, and also encouraging course members to use their own materials at home - like their music collection or bookshelf.

Because it's online, people will be able to use their materials as a prompt, but with the sense of taking part in a proper class, with classmates meeting in a forum and working in a really challenging way. If you're interested you can find more information here at the Winning Words site or by emailing

Today's pwoermd

is Moralysis


I’ll be joining Geof Huth and others by posting a pwoemrd a day through out April (which is National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo). For more information regarding the pwoemrd see Geof’s blog and the annual site he maintains for the pwoemrd - InterNaPwoWriMo where links to the other participants are.

No, this is not an April Fool!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Open Mic poetry & short stories in Perth Library this Saturday night March 26th

Bring your poems and (short) short stories along to the AK Bell Library Café in Perth for the ever popular Open Mic Night. Readers & Listeners welcome from 8pm till 11pm, admission free. Also featuring music from Don Nicolson. Come along and give your work a public airing!

Helena Nelson poetry workshop at Perth Writers Day March 26th

Avoiding the slush pile

Where do you want to see your poems in five years' time? Helena Nelson will introduce ways of planning a strategy, promoting your work and dramatically improving your prospects.

Maximise your chances of succcess with:
• magazines
• competitions
• publishers

Workshop participants are encouraged to bring up to five poems with them, preferably a set they might send in to a magazine.

Helena Nelson is originator and editor of the award-winning HappenStance Press, which specialises in poetry pamphlets. She is also the author of two collections of poetry, the first of which (Starlight on Water, Rialto 2003) was a Jerwood Prize winner.

The workshop takes place in the AK Bell Library's Soutar Theatre from 2.30-4.30pm. Tickets £10 (£7 concessions). Further details here


Fiona Thackeray launches her book at Perth Writers Day 26th March

Join Fiona to celebrate the launch of her first collection of short stories. The Secret's in the Folding moves between the glamorous Brazil of beachfront and Sambadrome and the backlands, parochial towns and favelas.

Fiona Thackeray lived in Brazil for several years and now runs a national charity based in Perthshire. Her stories have won several prizes, been broadcast on BBC Radio, and published in literary anthologies and magazines.

The launch takes place in the A K Bell Library's Sandeman Room, 1-2pm and it's free!

More details here

Andrew Philip poetry workshop at Perth Writers Day - Saturday 26th March

“No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader” — whether you are setting out on your journey into poetry or have already been on the road a long time, Robert Frost's statement rings true. Join Andrew Philip to explore ways of bringing that element of surprise into your writing.

Andrew Philip has published two pamphlets with HappenStance. His first full collection, The Ambulance Box (Salt, March 2009), was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh, Seamus Heaney Centre and Scottish Arts Council first book prizes. He is an experienced workshop tutor and recently taught an online course for the Poetry School.

This event takes place in the A K Bell Library in Perth, in the Sandeman Room from 10:30am - 12:30pm
Tickets £10.00 (£7.00 concession)

Further details available here

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Hotchpotch 1st Birthday event - Monday 21st March

Hotchpotch celebrates its first anniversary on March 21 in Braes basement on Perth Road, Dundee at 7.30pm – can you believe it's been going for a full year? Organiser Jen Cosgrove sends thanks to everyone who has supported the venture over the last 12 months. It would be great to see some new folk, so if you know someone who has never been before, this is your chance to bring them along.

As ever, if you’d like to read, then please feel free to get in touch with Jen at There will be a bit of a party atmosphere at Braes, with nibbles and drinks. If you feel inclined, please do bring along some food of your own to share with others. Also, anyone who has written or read material inspired by Hotchpotch (we know some of you have!) then please bring it along.

Brian Johnstone presents 'The Home Service' at the Dundee Cultural Quarter

The latest in our Dundee Cultural Quarter series of poetry events sees Brian Johnstone (poet and former director of the StAnza Poetry Festival) present 'The Home Service' in which he reads poems of postwar childhood and upbringing from his recent collection 'The Book of Belonging'. Interspersed with the poems will be popular songs reflecting the times in which the poems are set, rendered lovingly on the ukulele by Dave Burnett.

The event will take place from 6-7pm on Monday 4th April at Dundee Rep Theatre. Just £3 entry will get you an hour of marvellously atmospheric poetry and music - please do come along to what promises to be an unmissable poetry event. Details from Andy Jackson if required!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Your humbler blogger reads in Edinburgh on March 9th...

This is a bit self-congratulatory, but I will be giving a reading with Kona Macphee for the Poetry Association of Scotland on the evening of Wednesday March 9th. The reading will take place in the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, starting at 7.30pm. Entry is £5 (£3 concessions).

The evening will also feature the premiere of Alastair Cook's new filmpoem 'Prodigal', from a poem by Kona Macphee, and with a live musical score composed and performed by Rebecca Rowe.

I do hope you can join us!

Monday, 21 February 2011

New Writing Dundee 2011 - call for submissions

In case you haven't seen it yet, New Writing Dundee is looking for submissions for the 2011 edition. Prose (max 2000 words) or poetry (max 25 lines) both welcome. Closing date is April 2nd - more details here.

Hotchpotch - February 28th

The February Hotchpotch will take place downstairs in Braes on Monday 28th February at 7.30pm.

It's an Open Mic, so please bring something along to read. It's also suggested that you bring your favourite song lyrics to share with us, in celebration of the Let's Get Lyrical campaign being run by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music this month.

If you've not been to Hotchpotch before, do come along and see what goes on - Dundee is a city with a wealth of creative writing talent, and Hotchpotch is a great showcase for what's happening.

Monday, 7 February 2011

A Taste Of StAnza at Dundee University - Stewart Conn & Dawn Wood 15th February

Warm up for the StAnza Poetry Festival in March by coming to see two of the poets who will grace StAnza 2011 at the latest Dundee Cultural Quarter event.

Stewart Conn is one of Scotland's best-loved poets, and a former Makar for Edinburgh. Stewart has published ten poetry collections over forty years, and Dundee is delighted to welcome Stewart to give his first reading in the city for some time.

Dawn Wood is from Omagh in Northern Ireland, but now lives in Perthshire. Her first collection 'Quarry' (Templar Press) was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh Prize for the best first collection of 2009.

Both are captivating readers - please don't miss this opportunity to see them, and to hear about StAnza 2011 from Director Eleanor Livingstone.
This hour-long event will take place at the Dundee Rep Theatre on Tuesday 15th February from 6pm. Admission is free but we ask for a small donation of £2 to cover costs.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Spring Poetry Readings at Dundee University

A new season of poetry readings will take place in Dundee University in February - all events are free and open to anyone, so please come along if you can.

Thursday 10th February - JIM STEWART

Jim teaches Creative Writing, and has published in a number of outlets over the years, including New Writing Scotland. He received a New Writers Bursary from the SAC in 2007.

Thursday 17th February - ANDY JACKSON
Andy Jackson's poems have appeared in publications such as Northwords Now, Magma and New Writing Scotland. He launched his first collection The Assassination Museum in 2010, and is a regular reader of his work.

Thursday 24th February - JACQUELINE THOMPSON

Jacqueline recently read at the Edinburgh Book Festival, and contributed to the celebration of Burns For A' That. The Scotsman published one of her pieces as Poem Of The Month in January 2010.

All readings will take place in Room G8 of the Tower Extension, University of Dundee, running from 6pm-7pm. Please come along!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Claire Dyer and others read poetry at the Dundee Women's Festival

This year's festival will be held between February 28th-March 13th, and will include a large number of events, including a poetry reading from Claire Dyer on Saturday 5th March, starting at 7.30pm.

Claire Dyer, winner of the WomenWords Poetry competition, will be reading her poetry, accompanied by women poets from Dundee and hinterland.

Also performing in the second part of the evening will be renowned Scots singer/songwriter, Horse. The event takes place in the Meeting Room at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Tickets for the event are £10, and booking is recommended by calling 01382 221545.

Announcing the William Soutar Prize 2011

The William Soutar Prize  is an annual competition, now in its ninth year, alternating between poetry and short stories. 2011 sees the turn of poetry. Entry is free and open to anyone living within Scotland, but you are limited to two poems.

First Prize is an Arvon Writing course at Moniack Mhor (for which the normal fee would be approximately £600), or another of the UK Arvon Centres.Second Prize is £100 in book tokens, and there is also a Local Prize of £50 for the best work from a resident of Perth and Kinross.

The winner will be announced on Writers’ Day, Saturday 26 March 2011, at the AK Bell Library.

Full details of the rules and how to enter are available here. Good luck!

New Year, New Events!

2011 sees a rash of news and activities in Tayside area, starting with news of Perthshire writer Fiona Thackeray, whose new collection of short stories centering on the people and culture of Brazil. If you want something to lift you out of the gloomy weather and bring some colour and rhythm into your new year, this is the book for you. Published by Pewter Rose Press, it's available by clicking here.