I have always liked stories, admired a good storyteller, longed to become one. As a child I told my stories through pictures. Later, as an illustrator, I interpreted the words of others before daring to link my own words with my own pictures. Gradually the words took over as did my interest in Scottish history and the use of Scots language to carry a story.
My qualifications are: DA (GSA) ADF (Manc) M.Ltt (Stirling).
Worked as teacher/lecturer of Graphic Design. Also a qualified holistic-therapist/teacher and British registered hypno-therapist which has allowed me to meet and interact with a wide range of people and ages - great for any writer.
I have a four-book contract with Thunderpoint Publishing Ltd. My debut novel, Changed Times, was published 27 April 2016.
About writer's work
In Changed Times, part one of a trilogy, I have worked to portray the images of turbulent 17th-century Scottish lives in words, and give them their voice.
I have tried to convey the impact of traumatic events on individual peoples' lives with clarity and insight, forcing the reader to consider how they would react when ideas and laws they fundamentally disagree with are being imposed on society.
The dialogue is in Scots and gives a flavour of the time. Author James Robertson was kind enough to say -‘Ethyl Smith writes with a fine ear for Scots speech, and with a sensitive awareness to the different ways in which history intrudes upon the lives of men and women, soldiers and civilians, adults and children. Changed Times, the first in a projected trilogy, reminds us that the past is neither as distant nor as complete as we might like to think.’
Part 2 Dark Times - Currently being edited, takes this theme further through the eyes of the main characters.
Part 3 End of Times - Currently being researched and written, will tie up the two previous books and arrive at a conclusion. Hopefully each book will also work as a stand-alone read
Have had numerous short stories published in a range of publications, including Scottish Field, Spilling Ink, Stirling Collective Anthology, Mistaken Identities (edited by James Robertson) Gutter Magazine, Mixing the Colours Anthology, Scottish Memories Magazine, Scottish Life Magazine.
Finalist Dragon's Pen competition 2012-2013. Joint winner 2014. Story recorded for BBC Radio Scotland, Scottish Book Trust Treasures 2014, Finalist Bold Type Competition 2015. Finalist Wigtown Book Festival Short Story Competition 2015.
Websites featuring the authorWriter's WebsiteTwitterFacebook PageWordpress Blog
Current events and projects
Available for readings, workshops on the novel and short story, adjudications, radio interviews.
Live literature events can be tailored to most requirements
• Readings and talks for writers’ groups, book groups and other organisations.
• Wide range of workshops to suit writers of all ages and levels of experience, developing skills with plotting, characterisation, dialogue, voice etc …. just enjoying the experience of putting your own words on paper.
Workshops can be tailored to suit needs and interests of the group. I prefer to work in a 1.5-hour time slot, using the short story as the focus for a particular theme.
• Fun workshops for adult community groups, again tailored to themselves.
• Detailed feedback for fiction writers.
Involved in Mixing the Colours anti-sectarian project 2014-15 with Glasgow Womens Library. This involved giving readings at various venues, October Conference for a variety of disciplines, Planning & Assessment days at GWA, recording stories for GWA podcast.