Author details

Margot McCuaig

Biography

Who am I? I’m an author, a TV producer, a filmmaker, a scriptwriter, a Womentoring mentor, a graduate, a mother, a grandmother… in short a person who has her eyes open all the time, living each moment of each day until it’s not physically possible to squeeze any more from it. I capture this magical world and then I write about it, losing myself in unfolding narratives. I live in the bustling (and gorgeous) city of Glasgow and also in a remote self-build home on a beautiful island in Ireland, Rathlin.

My debut novel, The Birds That Never Flew, was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012 and Longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize in 2014. The novel is written in first and third person narrative voices, mostly Glaswegian. I love using different narrative voices in my writing, caressing readers in POVs that provide valuable insights into the story.

I am currently writing my second novel, The Gowk Hunt, an intense tale of a family torn apart by a fatal April Fool. It has first and third person POVs and its dialect includes Scots, Glaswegian and Gaelic. I am excited for the world to see it. 

About writer's work

The Birds That Never Flew was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and Longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. I’m currently writing my second novel, ‘The Gowk Hunt”.

Jock Stein’ film I wrote, directed and produced won a Royal Television Society Award in 2015.

I like to explore the differences of similarities in fiction and filmmaking, exploring how we use characters to drive the narrative journey.

When we write a novel our characters’ dialogue, background and surroundings drive the narrative. We use our personality to tell ‘another’s’ story, drawing from the complex persona of fictional characters to create a sense of belonging and an understanding of where the plot is taking the reader. It is fiction, and therefore freestyle, but that said we are using key devices to generate our outcomes. In documentary filmmaking we are actually doing a very similar thing. The testimony of programme contributors is the equivalent of our fictional dialogue; they are the characters we want our viewers to engage and emphasise with. Similarly, the voice-over and film cutaways are our prose, our positioning of place, and as with the narrator in fiction, they provide the context for the viewer in television.

These key elements set the scene and illustrate the testimony in a visual format. In fiction we describe what we want the reader to see, in documentary film we show the viewer. In fiction our dialogue is crisp, definitive, true to the characters; in factual it is accurate, sharp, edited honestly so it delivers the point objectively and as dramatically as possible.

When I’m working in each discipline I use different tools to deliver the same objective….

 

I also enjoy working with writers and readers as I think the creative process is shared between writing and reading. I love to explore how readers interpret my work, examining how the narrative drive is realised from a reader perspective. Where do the reader and writer meet in the narrative process?

I am also keen to explore women’s voice in fiction and examine gender difference and perceptions in both reading and writing. I am a member of the Scottish Government select group “Women in Sport” working with the Minister to identify gender bias and make a series of recommendations to implement change at all levels from grassroots to legislative.

I’m extremely interested in language and exploring the ways in which writers use authentic voices in literature. I particularly love writing that is driven by a voice written in the vernacular.

Websites featuring the author

WoMentoring profileTwitterWebsiteGoodreadsFacebook author pageParagraph Planet

Current events and projects

I would be thrilled to read from my novel. I’m also keen to engage with both readers and writers in a Q & A’s format or workshop about writing processes, creative choices and energies, managing writing and working and the route to publication.

I also produce, direct and write documentary films so would be keen to explore the different choices we make in fiction and non-fiction and how we represent our characters and narratives in the different creative genres.

I enjoy working with writers and readers as I think the creative process is shared between writing and reading. I love to explore how readers interpret my work, examining how the narrative drive is realised from a reader perspective. Where do the reader and writer meet in the narrative process?

I am also keen to explore women’s voice in fiction and examine gender difference and perceptions in both reading and writing. I am a member of the Scottish Government select group “Women in Sport” working with the Minister to identify gender bias and make a series of recommendations to implement change at all levels from grassroots to legislative.

Other work

I took part in a collaborative short story written by women throughout the world called the Short Story Collaboration for International Women’s Month.  

Article about the close relationship between writing fiction and non-fiction.

My two mentees have had fiction published (one mentee has had two short stories published, and the other has signed a publishing contract for her novel) during our period we have been working together. More information here. 

Published “Noctilucent Clouds” short story In on the Tide, Appletree Press. 

Active member speaking to young girls of school age at organised events in Scotland.

I have several pieces of short, 75-word fiction, published on Paragraph Planet Flash Fiction.

Contact details

 

Email

margot@purpletv.tv

Local authority where they are based

Glasgow

Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Other1, Outer Hebrides, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

Teens, Adults

LL funded

Yes

BRAW network

No

Author type

Storyteller, Writer

Language

English

Books written

The Birds That Never Flew

Author(s): Margot McCuaig
Battered and bruised, Elizabeth has taken her daughter and left her abusive husband Patrick. Again.