About

I’m a widely published writer of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. I grapple with contemporary issues such as alcoholism, alienation, abortion. More generally, my themes are identity, belonging, language, class, women’s issues and – always – the restorative influence of the natural world. I explore these primarily in short fiction and poetry, but also in longer form writing and in photography. Though my first career was as a chartered librarian, working in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, I switched career in my late thirties, undertaking an MLitt in Creative Writing. Since then, I’ve taught creative writing through community groups and as an Arts Development Officer, and through The Open University between 2004 and 2018. I’m listed in Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature directory.

 

Awards 

  • Winner, White Label Quatre poetry pamphlet competition, Hedgehog Press, March 2020.
  • Longlisted, BBC National Short Story Award, Sept 2020 (‘In UK Now’ i.e. reached final 60)
  • Commended in Federation of Writers (Scotland) Vernal Equinox flash fiction competition for ‘There’s always another train’, 2019.
  • Finalist, Comma Press / UCLan Dinesh Allirajah Short Fiction Competition, 2019. (‘In UK Now’)
  • Awarded a place on Space/Time, Magnetic North’s artists’ development residency for experienced artists, Swallow Theatre, 23 – 27 February 2018.
  • Longlisted in Hedgehog Press’s ‘Slim Volume of One’s Own’ competition, 2018.
  • Commended in Indigo Dreams ‘Geoff Stevens’ poetry pamphlet competition, 2018.
  • Longlisted in Mslexia’s Short Story Competition, 2017 (‘In UK Now’).
  • Runner-up for Moniack Mhor’s Travel Writer’s Bursary in 2015.
  • Commended in Liquorice Fish ‘Lost Voices’ Competition, Cinnamon Press, 2014.
  • Winner, inaugural Booktown Writers’ Short Story Competition, 2012. (‘Flags’)
  • Awarded Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, 2010.
  • Shortlisted, Daily Telegraph Novel in a Year Competition, 2007. (‘Incunabulum Notebooks’)
  • Shortlisted, Macallan / Scotland on Sunday Short Story Competition, 2002. (‘Unrestricted’)
  • Writer’s Bursary from Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland), February 2002.

 

Publications

  • Reading the Landscape poetry pamphlet, Hedgehog Press, 2022.
  • Incunabulum (novel) PotHole Press, 2020.
  • Munro, Eileen with McKay, Carol (2008) As I lay me down to sleep. Edinburgh, Mainstream Publishing (Autobiography of Eileen Munro. Sold 55,000 copies).
  • Attrition, Steelman, Angels’ Share, Palette in Wee Dreich 5, Hybrid-Dreich, 2021 (4 poems)
  • Keening in Poetry Scotland #102, Autumn 2021 (poem)
  • Under Cadzow Bridge in Ghosts of the Early Morning shift: an anthology of radical prose from contemporary Scotland edited by Jim Aitken, Culture Matters, 2021. (short story)
  • Her Body was an Aviary in Break in Case of Silence: New Writing Scotland 39, ASLS 2021.
  • Holding all the Aces in Gutter 23, Spring 2021 (poem)
  • Metaphor in https://poetryandcovid.com/2021/01/05/metaphor/ A Project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, University of Plymouth, and Nottingham Trent University. January 2021 (poem)
  • After the Poetry Reading, Ceilidh, and Enclosure, Penruddock, in Dreich 5, 2020. (3 poems)
  • Kintyre in The Blue Nib 41, April 2020, (poem) 
  • Beach in Island and Sea, Spring 2020, Scottish Writers’ Centre (poem)
  • Salt in Gutter 20, Autumn 2019 (extract from the novel)
  • In UK Now in Scent, May 2019 (Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction finalist, published in the ebook by Comma Press and UCLan)
  • Accessories in Gutter 19, Spring 2019 (poem)
  • Lords of Misrule in Firth 2, November 2018 (poem).
  • Walking the Lowthers in X: an anthology to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Scottish Writers’ Centre. Red Squirrel Press, 2018. (poem)
  • Under the Paling in Stickleback: Ode to a Hedgehog: hedgehog poems. ISSN 2631 4126 (poem) November 2018.
  • Beach Babes, in Laldy 2, November 2018 (short story)
  • Front Line – poem and research about Isabella McIntyre (project between the Imperial War Museum and the writers’ group 26 to commemorate 100 people alive at the start of the First World War) 5 September 2018.
  • Troubles in Wasafiri: International Contemporary Writing 92, Winter 2017 (short story)
  • First Floor Bedroom, Penruddock in Landfall: anthology of New Writing from the Federation of Writers (Scotland), New Voices Press, 2017. (poem)
  • Scarred in Southlight 22, Autumn 2017 (short story)
  • Spring Vessel in Gutter 15, Autumn 2016 (poem)
  • Plein Sud, in Gutter 11, Autumn 2014 (short story)
  • War Bird, in Gutter 10, Spring 2014 (poem)
  • Synaesthesia and Church, in The Istanbul Review 4, Winter 2013. (poems)
  • Reflection and Hard Graft in From Glasgow to Saturn, 32, November 2013 (poems)
  • Just Boys, They Were in Gutter 9, Autumn 2013 (short story)
  • Flags, winner of the inaugural Booktown Writers’ Short Story Competition 2012 and subsequently published in Southlight 14, Autumn 2013.
  • Safety Glass, in Spilling Ink Review e-zine, 7 December 2011 (short story)
  • Three haiku, in A Thousand Cranes: Scottish Writers for Japan, Cargo, 2011
  • Grit, in From Glasgow to Saturn e-zine, 22 June 2011. (short story)
  • Frozen Waste, in Gutter 1, 2009. (short story)
  • What mattered about the dancing, in Written Remedies Luath, 2007 (short story)
  • Our family tradition, in The Herald, 8 April 2006 (flash fiction)
  • Ugly Duckling, in Chapman 107, 2005 (short story)
  • Transience, in Knuckle End, Freight, 2004 (poem)
  • Unrestricted, in Shorts 5, The Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Collection. Polygon, 2002 (reached final six in the last Macallan competition)
  • Decomposing, in Mslexia 15, 2002 (short story)
  • Wisdom Teeth, in Cencrastus 71, 2002 (Translation of Mouloud Akkouche’s short story Les dents du bonheur , originally published in Libération, 1998)
  • Still Life Without Colour, Garscadden Estate/Drumchapel Scheme, and Social Climbing (The Bearsden/Drumchapel Divide), in Cutting Teeth 18, 2001 (3 poems)
  • Total Obliteration, in Chapman 98, 2001 (short story)
  • God’s Jewels, in Northwords 23, 2000 (short story)
  • Marion, in Cencrastus 63, 1999 (short story)

 

Poems in Exhibitions

 

In addition, Pothole Press has published my e-books:

  • Ordinary Domestic: collected short stories PotHole Press, 3/2012
  • Creative Writing Prompts to Feed the Imagination PotHole Press, 8/2012
  • Second Chances: true stories of living with Addison’s Disease PotHole Press, 11/2012

 

Journalism

Between 1994 and 2001, I freelanced for magazines, including eleven in-depth features for Family History Monthly, a monthly column on local surnames for Cumbria and Lake District Magazine, a feature for Autocar and Motor, writing several issues of Women Into the Network, and restaurant reviews for Snapfax. I was a regular reviewer of fiction and life writing for Northwords Now from January 2011 till June 2015, and for UK reading charity Booktrust from December 2012 till September 2015. In Autumn 2020 and 2021, I was a volunteer reader for the Highland Book Prize.