Anyone who knows me is well aware that I lurve events to do with books, authors, writing. Usually these also involve visits to illustrious places.

Last year I drove all the way to Wigtown (which, believe me, is a LONG way from most places) just to catch the last day of their annual book festival, and to soak up the beauty of Scotland’s premier book town. This May I spent a long weekend in Ullapool, sitting inside their village hall – despite the glorious weather outside – experiencing back to back writers talking about their books and the craft, although in between there was time to listen to the gulls and low flying jets, and to explore Ullapool’s TWO lovely independent bookshops.

I live in Edinburgh – the first Unesco City of Literature, which also has the best book festival in the world. Every August I practically camp in Charlotte Square.

However this September I’m off to one of the least glamorous places in Scotland – Cumbernauld. Why? Because of Scotswrite.

I’ve been involved in organising the Society of Authors in Scotland’s three day conference at the Westerwood Hotel near Cumbernauld. What could be better than attending a conference where you’ve had a say in what’s happening? And I think this is why we’re attracting so many bookings. (We’ve already exceeded expectations, and the bookings still flood in.) It’s a conference organised by writers, for writers, and in my book that’s pretty unique.

As organisers we started from the principle: what would we want to see at a conference for writers? ‘Time to network’ got a big tick. ‘How to stay healthy as a writer’ – you know, why does my wrist and back ache at the end of the day? Am I sitting properly at my desk? Another tick. How to make a living -we all agreed that needed to be a priority. The ideas kept coming. We need something about Scrivener. What about meeting with agents and editors? Make sure there is something of interest for translators. And childrens’ writers…. We would have liked to have had a week. But somehow we’ve crammed it all into just three days.

And best of all, it’s open to everyone, not just published writers.
See you there.

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