Out There is in print at last and looking beautiful, thanks to everyone at Freight Books! And the contents are pretty good too, with stellar contributions from Ali Smith, Jackie Kay, Louise Welsh, Ronald Frame, Christopher Whyte, Kirsty Logan, Allan Radcliffe and many, many more. I am particularly pleased to have been able to include so many writers I admire, including some who have been an inspiration to me for many years. At the same time, I’ve discovered exciting new voices who will, I believe, go on to publish many more works in the future. The book is already attracting some lovely review coverage:
‘the work in this collection from both established and emerging writers is as moving as it is brilliantly written, and the opportunity to have them all in one place is irresistible.’ The List
‘this sophisticated and mature volume does a great deal more than simply tackle the heterosexual viewpoint that dominates most Scottish literary work, especially in very male-dominated stories. The short stories, poems and non-fiction collected here all put lesbian women and gay men at the centre of society and the centre of the story. But they do so in such a casual and easeful way that it almost feels as though the centre of society and the centre of the story are a place they have always occupied.’ Sunday Herald
The anthology would not have been possible without funding from LGBT History Month Scotland – thank you very much indeed for that, and to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, who also contributed to production costs.
GLASGOW LAUNCH coming up: Mono, Thursday 13th November, 7pm! All welcome.
A couple of events coming up that I’m really excited about! On Tuesday 13th August at 8pm, I’ll be taking part in Muriel Spark, 50 Years On, along with Alan Taylor, Toby Litt and Candia McWilliam. Muriel Romanes and Maureen Beattie, who produced and acted in the 2009 Stellar Quines theatre production of The Girls of Slender Means, will be performing extracts from the play as part of the event.
And then on Sunday 18th August, I’ll be joining up with Gutter magazine for Out There, a Jura Unbound event to announce our plans for a new anthology of Scottish LGBT writing which I’ll be editing in 2014. There will readings from Damian Barr, Kirsty Logan and Allan Radcliffe as well as music and who knows what else . . . Free from 9pm in the Spiegeltent.
This is Amy Murray’s lovely illustration for my story ‘Dykes’ Delight’, commissioned for LGBT History Month. You can read the story here. It was inspired by Glasgow’s first gay club, at 4 Queens Crescent. A couple of weeks ago I read an extract from the story at a History Month event in Dalmuir Library, and then met a lovely man at a who turned out to be one of the founder members of The Club. Apparently it was rather more glamorous than I’ve imagined it in the story, and its Bistro served fancier food. I wish I could have seen it! Many thanks to the anonymous person who scanned and uploaded brochures such as the one below – I’ve been fascinated by The Club for a while and it’s beena pleasure to spend time there in my imagination.
I am a keen supporter of LGBT History Month and this year I’m looking forward to taking part in a few events:
Saturday 9th February, 3pm, Summerhall, Edinburgh – Kin: Short Stories for LGBT History Month. Eight Scottish-based writers, including Ronald Frame, Roy Gill and myself have written short stories on the theme of ‘family’, which will be published online here through History Month – starting on Monday 4 February with Ronald Frame’s ‘Bill & Coo’. Free, refreshments provided, should be a great event and there’s another one on 16th Feb as well.
Monday 11th February, 7pm, Dalmiur Library, Clydebank – A Great Night Out: LGBT Discussion Panel with Diane Torr, Derek Ogg, myself and a mystery guest. This is ‘the hub event for LGBT History Month and will be an evening of lively discussion and debate.’ Also free, tickets from local libraries. Very impressive coverage from West Dunbartonshire Libraries, which is great to see.
Wednesday 13th February, .6.30pm, Word Power Books, Edinburgh – Queer Writers in Conversation. ‘Join writers Hal Duncan, Kirsty Logan and Zoe Strachan for an intimate, informal evening of readings and discussion at Word Power,Edinburgh’s leading independent bookshop. Themes include identity, sexuality, and whether genre fiction provides the ideal platform for LGBT writers.’