News

≈April 20 2019

Edna St Vincent Millay - Spring croppedLooking forward to the Spring session of the Clarkston Poetry Group, which kicks off this Tuesday 23rd.

 

 

≈April 18 2019

Jenny Diski Wide Blue Yonder croppedOff to a flying start with my new Introduction to Creative Writing class today – a session on killer opening lines. Thanks to everyone for your first-class contributions.

 

≈April 17 2019

Bleak House - fog silver background croppedOff to a good start with my Creative Writing: Workshop class today – a session on writing in the third person. Thanks to everyone for their great contributions.

 

≈April 4 2019

Glasgow Writing GroupThanks to the Glasgow Writing Group for a great workshop on creating characters tonight.

 

 

 

≈January 29 2019

Falkirk Writers Jan 2019Had a great time at the Falkirk Writers Circle tonight – it was a pleasure to adjudicate the Allan Brownlee Poetry Competition. Congratulations to winner Morven Mack, and to everyone who entered the contest.

 

≈January 17 2019

Marley was deadOff to a great start with my new Introduction to Creative Writing class – an excellent workshop on killer opening lines. Looking forward to the next ten weeks.

 

 

 

 

≈January 15 2019

Spenser - One Day I Wrote Her Name 

Off to a great start with my new Introduction to Poetry class – everyone very smart, insightful and enthusiastic. Looking forward to a lively ten weeks.

 

 

 

 

≈January 11 2019

Book image photoLooking forward to my new Introduction to Creative Writing class, which starts this Thursday (17th) at 1.00 in Glasgow University’s Open Studies department. Contact me for more details, or sign up here.

 

 

≈January 8 2019

Anne Pettigrew - Not the Life ImaginedMark your calendars for the launch of Anne Pettigrew‘s debut novel, Not The Life Imagined, a funny and sharp-edged tale of Scottish medical students in the 1960’s. Everyone’s welcome to come along on Thursday 24th January, at 7.00 pm, at the Curlers Rest on Byres Road.

 

 

≈January 3 2019

Yeats - when you are old 2019 (4)Looking forward to my new literature course at Glasgow Uni’s Open Studies Department, which starts on Tuesday 15th January at 7.00 – 

            Poetic Themes: an Introduction to Poetry

We’ll be looking at the major themes of poetry: love, nature, war, humor and mortality. No previous knowledge of poetry is required, although you’re welcome to nominate your favorite poems for class discussion.  Contact me for further details, or book your place here.

 

 

≈December 13 2018

IMG_9081 (2)IMG_9088 (2)Congratulations to Anne Pettigrew, star of the Garnethill Writers’ Group, on the publication of  her novel Not The Life Imagined by Ringwood.  (And guess who gets a mention in the Acknowledgements…?)    Buy the book from Amazon, or from Ringwood Publishing here.

 

≈December 4 2018

Garnethill Multicultural CentreJust confirmed the dates of the next three Garnethill Writers’ Group meetings:
         – 21 January 2019
         – 18 February 2019
         – 18 March 2019
 
Sessions are held on Monday afternoons at Garnethill Multicultural Centre. More details here

 

 

≈November 11 2018

Ivor Gurney - To His Love 4 (2)The Clarkston Poetry group is marking November 2018 with some great WW1 poems.

 

 

 

 

≈October 9 2018

sonnet-116Welcome back to everyone at the Clarkston Poetry Group this week. We kicked off with an old favorite – no matter how often we read it, we always find something new. If you’d like more details see here.

 

≈October 6 2018

IMG_8982 (2)Glad to hear I’ve been asked back to the Falkirk Writers’ Circle – I’ll be adjudicating the Alan Brownlee poetry competition in January.

 

 

 

≈October 2 2018

Falkirk Writers CircleThanks to everyone at the Falkirk Writers’ Circle for a great workshop on editing this evening. Hope to be invited back soon.  

 

 

 

≈September 28 2018

thiwurd_green_small  Glad to hear the launch of thi wurd Issue 3 is happening next week, Weds 3rd October, at the Old Hairdressers in Renfield Lane. There’ll be readings by James Kelman and other writers. Only £2 – should be a great night.  More details here.

 

≈September 27 2018

Book imageThanks to everyone in my new Introduction to Creative Writing class for a great first session – everyone produced terrific work at very short notice. Looking forward to the next nine weeks.

 

 

≈September 26 2018

IMG_8953 (2)Enjoyed hearing some wonderful new writing at the From Glasgow to Saturn launch at Dram! this evening. The highlight of the evening was hearing Mandy Watson, star of the Garnethill Writers’ Group, reading her story ‘Freedom’. Thanks to the organizers and participants for a great night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

≈September 24 2018

Falkirk Writers CircleLooking forward to meeting the Falkirk Writers’ Circle on Tuesday 2nd October – we’re doing a workshop on editing fiction. By special request, my seasonal bear will also be attending, so I’ll have to look out his best suit for the occasion. Details here

 

 

 ≈September 24 2018

From Glasgow to Saturn 2Looking forward to the launch of the latest From Glasgow to Saturn this Wednesday, 26 September. One of the Gartnethill Writers Group, Mandy Watson, will be reading from the story she’s published in this issue; so I’ll be there to bask in her reflected glory. It’s free, and everyone’s welcome.  Details here.

 

 ≈September 23 2018

Garnethill Multicultural CentreLooking forward to next month’s meeting of the Garnethill Writers’ Group, in Garnethill Multicultural Centre. October’s session will be on the 22nd rather than the usual third Monday of the month (ie the 15th), but otherwise it’s business as usual. More details here.

 

≈September 17 2018

Book image spiralLooking forward to my next session of An Introduction to Creative Writing, which kicks off next week – Thursday 27th September, from 1.00 to 3.00, at Glasgow University Open Studies Department (for 10 weeks). We’ll be looking at writing short stories, novels, poetry and more. Suitable for anxious beginners, although more experienced writers are welcome too.  More details here.  

 

 

≈September 13 2018

Thanks to everyone at the Glasgow Writing Group for a great short story writing workshop today. The group’s based in the basement library in Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a supportive writing club in the city center. Hope to be invited back sometime soon.  Check out their details on the SAW page here.

 

 

≈September 8 2018

Great session today at Aberdeen Central Library. Everyone very bright and engaged – we’ve got the makings of a wonderful collection of short stories. Looking forward to our next meeting on the 22nd.

≈September 3 2018

Aberdeen Creative Writing workshopsLooking forward to my visit to the Granite City this Saturday – the first of three writing workshops in Aberdeen Central Library.  More details here .

≈September 2 2018

Robert Herrick Julias Clothes parchment (2)Looking forward to starting my new poetry reading class at the end of the month: Classic Poems, an Introduction to Poetry in English. We’ll be looking at outstanding verse in English and Scots, from Shakespeare to the present day: from Milton and Blake to Edwin Morgan and Carol Ann Duffy. No knowledge of poetry is required. 

Starts Tuesday 25th September, from 7.00 – 9.00 pm, for 10 weeks.  More information here.

 

≈July 29 2018

Edwin Muir - Refugees born for a land unknown - wave (2)Looking forward to the Clarkston Poetry Group starting up again, this Tuesday afternoon in Duff Hall, Busby. We’re kicking off with some great poems about refugees and immigration. More details here.

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≈July 25 2018

Garnethill Multicultural CentreThe next meeting of the Garnethill Writers’ Group will be going ahead on Monday 20th August (1.00-4.00 pm), in Garnethill Multicultural Centre on Rose St. (The Centre wasn’t too badly damaged in the fire, thank God, so it’s business as usual.) It’s open to everyone, so please contact me if you’d like more details.

 

 

≈July 19 2018

Thanks to my Intro to Creative Writing students for a great first session today. They’re a very bright and enthusiastic group – looking forward to working with them for the next ten weeks.

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≈July 18 2018

Aberdeen Creative Writing workshopsI’m doing three Creative Writing workshops this autumn for Aberdeen Libraries – an introduction to writing poetry and prose, specially designed for nervous beginners. The workshops will take place every fortnight, so participants will have the chance to put their new skills into practice between sessions. Please email the Library service for more details, or contact me here.  

 

 

 

 

 

≈July 11 2018

creative writingLooking forward to my new Introduction to Creative Writing course, which starts next week – Thursday 19th, from 1.00 to 3.00 – at Glasgow University. We’ll be looking at short stories, poetry, novels and non-fiction. Everyone’s welcome, experienced writers and nervous beginners alike. 

Get in touch if you’d like more information, or check it out here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

≈April 19 2018

clip art - penLooking forward to another six weeks of Community Learning writing workshops, starting this Wednesday at Westwood Hall in EK. Get in touch if you’d like to come along.

 

 

 

≈April 19 2018

creative-writing-glasgowOff to a great start with my Open Studies class at Glasgow Uni – Introduction to Creative Writing. A very bright and enthusiastic group of people, who rose to the workshop challenges brilliantly. Looking forward to the next nine weeks.

 

≈April 10 2018

Some of my Freight books, rescued from pulping and safely installed in the spare room. You can buy them signed from Amazon via HighRise Books, incidentally; and you’ll be able to purchase them from this website once I figure out how the card payments are supposed to work (this may take some time, so better stick to Amazon for now).

IMG_8711Cold City at Amazon

The Few at Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

≈ March 29 2018

Cathy McSporran Cold City masterCathy McSporran The Few cover largeNormal service has been resumed! Both The Few and Cold City are now available on Kindle again. (Despite my technophobia I managed to upload the data files all by myself, and I’m feeling absurdly pleased about it.) Both ebooks are on special offer at the moment – only £1.99 each. 

Check them out on my Amazon Author page here.

 

 

 

 

≈ March 28 2018

Book heart imageMy new creative writing class starts next month:

***Creative Writing: Workshop***

      10 weeks from Wednesday April 18, 1.00 – 3.00

      Glasgow University Open Studies Department

This class introduces students to different approaches to writing fiction and poetry.  We’ll look at narrative technique, voice and perspective, with sessions on writing dialogue, non-fiction and genre writing.  Suitable for experienced writers and absolute beginners alike.

Contact me for more information, or sign up here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/study/short/book/course/ADED11452

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

≈ March 23 2018

Garnethill Multicultural CentreThe next meeting of the Writers’ Support Group will be Monday 23rd October, from 1.00 to 4.00 pm, at Garnethill Multicultural Centre in Glasgow (http://garnethillmc.co.uk/). Please contact me if you’d like to join us.  

 

 

 

 

≈ March 23 2018

Yeats - He wishes for the cloths of heavenThe Clarkston Poetry Group will be meeting again from Tuesday 24th April, 2.15 – 4.15 in Duff Hall in Busby.  Looking forward to eight weeks of wonderful poetry by WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Jackie Kay and many more.

 

 

 

 

 

≈ March 2 2018

Please note that if anyone wants to buy my books on Kindle, they’re unavailable at the moment, while the ebook files are being transferred to me from Freight’s liquidators. I’ll have them back online as soon as I get the files from Booksource (which shouldn’t take long) and as soon as I figure out the technology for uploading them onto various websites (which given my level of techno-idiocy, may take quite a bit longer). Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible – in the meantime, there are still some paperback copies available on my Amazon page here.

Cathy McSporran The Few cover large

 

 

 

 

≈ February 28 2018

Cathy McSporran Cold City masterKelvingrove Park Feb 2018Life imitating art: the cover of Cold City, and Paula Nugent‘s picture of Kelvingrove Park today. Winter is coming!

 

 

 

≈ February 16 2018

CLHSP launch My Learning Journey

At the launch of My Learning Journey – an anthology of stories, poems and photos produced by CLHSP (South Lanarkshire’s Community Learning and Home School Partnership). The book will soon be appearing in libraries, community centers and other public venues, so keep your eyes peeled.

 

≈ January 26 2018

creative-writing-glasgowOff to a great start with my two Open Studies classes at Glasgow Uni – Introduction to Creative Writing and Creative Writing: Workshop. We’ve been looking at writing short stories in Intro to Creative Writing, and narrative perspectives in the Workshop. Everyone’s very enthusiastic and talented, so it should be a good session.

 

 

 

 

≈ January 26 2018

19 Jan 2005 --- Row of Old Books --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Got the dates for the next three meetings of the Writers Support Group: the third Monday of the month at Garnethill Multicultural Centre (http://garnethillmc.co.uk/)

-19th February
-19th March
-16th April

All sessions start at 13.00. Send me a message if you’d like more details.

 

 

 

≈ January 15 2018

Great writing workshop this afternoon with Advanced Higher students here at Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen. Not sure they actually needed my help – they’re already a very talented and hard-working group of people.

≈ January 4 2018

Looking forward to starting a new term with two new creative writing courses:

Creative Writing: Workshop. Wednesday 17th January, 1.00-3.00. An introduction to writing prose and poetry, which explores the use of different perspectives, styles and voices.

An Introduction to Creative Writing. Thursday 18th January, 1.00-3.00. This course looks at writing short stories, novels and poetry, with options to explore drama, genre fiction or writing for children.

Both courses are informal, friendly, and suitable for beginners and more experienced writers alike. Please contact me for more details, or check out the Open Studies website: 
https://www.gla.ac.uk/study/short/book/category/159

 

 

 

 

 

≈ January 1 2018Ring out wild bells

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

≈ December 11

Freight Books has officially gone into liquidation.  However, our books are still available: here’s a list of former Freight authors, with a timely reminder that books make excellent Christmas presents. (I’m not selling via my website just yet, but you can still get good deals on Amazon.)    https://sites.google.com/view/freight-authors/home

 

 

 

≈ September 27Garnethill Multicultural Centre

The next meeting of the Writers Support Group will be Monday 23rd October, from 1.00 to 4.00 pm, at Garnethill Multicultural Centre in Glasgow (http://www.garnethillmulticulturalcentre.org.uk/). Please contact me if you’d like to join us.  

 

 

 

 

≈ September 26

Remember me - hand 2

 

The Clarkston Poetry Group will start its weekly meetings again next week, from Tuesday 3rd October. Everything from Henryson to Dickinson to Jackie Kay, and all points in between. Can’t wait.

 

 

 

 

≈ September 10

An Introduction to Creative Writing (1)
10 Weeks from Thursday September 28th, 1.00-3.00 pmBook image photo

There are still some places left on this introductory course, which lets you try your hand at creative writing in a friendly, supportive environment. We’ll look at writing short stories, novels and poetry, with options to explore drama, genre fiction or writing for children. This course is suitable for writers of any level, although nervous beginners are especially welcome.

Contact me if you have any questions. To sign up, see  http://www.gla.ac.uk/study/short/book/course/ADED11340

 

 

 

 

 

≈ September 10

Yeats - when you are old 5Classic Poems: an Introduction to Poetry in English
10 weeks from Tuesday September 26th, 7.00-9.00 pm

A new course I’m running at Glasgow Uni’s Open Studies department. We’ll look at outstanding verse in English – and Scots – from Shakespeare to the present day: from Milton, Blake and Yeats to Edwin Morgan and Carol Ann Duffy. No knowledge of poetry is required, although students are welcome to nominate their favourite poems.

Contact me if you have any questions; to sign up, follow the link: http://www.gla.ac.uk/study/short/book/course/ADED11508

 

 

 

 

 

≈ August 14

Thanks to everyone at the Writers’ Support Group for a great first meeting today. It’s always good to see the varied and wonderful work Scottish writers are producing.
        The next meeting is next month – Monday 18th September, from 1.00 to 4.00 pm, at Garnethill Multicultural Centre in Glasgow (http://www.garnethillmulticulturalcentre.org.uk/). There’s still a couple of places left, so please contact me if you think you might like to join in.

 

 

 

≈ August 1

I’m setting up a writers’ support group, in which we meet once a month to give written feedback, encouragement and advice about what to do next.  I’ve finally got a date and location for the first meeting –

Garnethill Multicultural Centre    Monday 14th August 2017,  from 1  to 3 o’clock, at the Garnethill Multicultural Centre (on Rose Street in central Glasgow, near the Glasgow Film Theatre – more details here http://www.garnethillmulticulturalcentre.org.uk/  ).

 Here’s how it’ll work –

  • Everyone emails a piece of writing to me two or three days before the meeting date.
  • I’ll distribute all the pieces to the people who are going to attend. 
  • Everyone reads over what the others have submitted beforehand – then we don’t have to spend any time reading the material during the meeting. 
  • Everybody comes along on the 14th, gets and receives feedback and encouragement, and figures out what their next step is.

 The cost would be £10 per session.  There’s no obligation to sign up for any later sessions –everyone can just come along and see what they think.

There are still a few places left if you’re interested in coming along.   Please contact me if you’d like any more information.

 

 

 

≈ July 14 Scottish mental health arts & film festival logo

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be talking to the Community Learning Writers’ Group about this – the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival writing competition. It’s open to anyone, and it accepts poetry, short fiction, articles, letters and diary or blog entries. This year’s theme is ‘Reclaim’, and the deadline is Friday 28th July.   

Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival – Writing Competition

 

 

 

 

Community Learning - Writers Group≈ July 5

Great to meet everyone at the Community Learning Writers Group today – I’m looking forward to working with them over the next six weeks.

 ≈ June 14

  Looking forward to meeting Crime writer Mason Cross at Weegie Wednesday, this week on June 14th. Everyone’s welcome to come along – it should be a great night.                                                             Weegie Wednesdays 14th Jun

 

 

 

≈ May 30 eye-target Keith Douglas 2

We’re rounding off our session at the Clarkston Poetry Group with Keith Douglas, one of the greatest poets of the Second World War. Beautiful and chilling in equal measures.

 

 

 

≈ May 14AE Housman - Loveliest of trees

Time for a bit of summery verse by A.E. Housman at the Clarkston Poetry Group this week. It might be corny, but we love it anyway.

 

 

 

 

≈ May 8 WW1 plane - Yeats 5

We’re looking at some classic WB Yeats poems at the Clarkston Poetry Group this week – can’t wait.

 

 

 

≈ May 1

O Captain! my Captain!

Looking forward to an afternoon of Walt Whitman at the Clarkston Poetry Group this week. We’ll be standing on the desks reciting ‘Captain, my Captain’ before you know it. 

 

 


≈ April 29

Peter O'Rourke - The Few - Battle of BritainAnother great image inspired by The Few, by the very talented Peter O’Rourke.  For more of Peter’s work, see here.  Or check out his DeviantArt page at   http://tenement01.deviantart.com/

 

 

April 20

Interesting talk by Vin ‘Bridge of Spies’ Arthey at Weegie Wednesday last night. Think I feel a Cold War thriller coming on…

http://www.weegiewednesday.org/content/events-past/33-weegie-wednesday-april-event/

Looking forward to meeting Eleanor Collins of Floris Books at the next event (May 17th).

 

April 18

An afternoon of Marge Piercy at the Clarkston poetry group today. Great novelist and great poet.Marge Piercy cats song 4

 

April 11 sonnet-130


Welcome back to the Clarkston poetry group today. Looking forward to reading Shakespeare, Marge Piercy and many more.

 

April 10

Erskine WritersThanks again to everyone at Erskine Writers Group for the great response to my Writing for Young Adults workshop.  Here’s an example of the gripping ‘in media res’ opening paragraphs they produced:

 

Guilty or not guilty?

by Pete Marrison

Big decision: do I tell Mum or not?

It came across to me as bullying. Whilst as a sixth former and head girl, I have been involved as an outsider or even arbitrator in several cases of bullying, does that give me the right to intervene in what could become a very serious adult situation? It could result in the disciplining or even dismissal of a head teacher whom I have previously admired.

Mum is also a teacher, but at a different school. She could advise me, but would even the mention of the incident set her off in a direction which I might later regret? Bullying was a subject over which my Mother feels very strongly; she is almost certain to explode.

Visit Erskine Writers here:  http://erskinewriters-uk.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

≈ April 5

Writing-clipart-4Introduction to Creative Writing (3) is off to a flying start. Looking forward to hearing some amazing stories and poems over the next ten weeks.

 

 

March 22

creative-writing-glasgowPlaces are still available on my new course, Introduction to Creative Writing (3). Starting next week, Thursday March 30th, we’ll be looking at writing novels, short stories and poetry, as well as Science-Fiction and Fantasy, writing for children, and getting your book published. Everyone’s welcome – sign up here.

http://www.gla.ac.uk/study/short/book/course/ADED11339