I write in English and Scots, mainly poetry, but short stories and non-fiction too. My writing has appeared in a range of anthologies and magazines. I have won a number of awards and prizes for my poems and short fiction. I am also a qualified teacher in RE and English, with a First in Divinity from St Andrews University. I am based in Fife, but tend to travel everywhere.
About writer's work
I work as a writing tutor, employed by various arts, educational and community organisations. My main interest is in helping people develop their imaginative and critical skills, becoming their own tellers of tales.
Awards-wise, my writing has won a number of prizes, including First in the 2011 William Soutar Prize and Second in 2012; Runner-Up in the 2014 McCash Scots Poetry Competition and Third in 2013; Commended in the 2013 Wigtown Poetry Competition, Scots section; and Joint Second in the 2010-2011 Neil Gunn Writing Competition.
I am currently completing my first full-length poetry collection in English and Scots, entitled Automatic Writing, to be published in 2015 by Cultured Llama Publishing.
Websites featuring the authorWriting Voices
Current events and projects
I am available to do readings, residencies and workshops. I can be employed privately through rates on my website at www.writingvoices.com, or through SBT Live Literature Funding.
Recent workshops have been run for the Scottish Fisheries Museum, The Bethany Christian Trust and The Centre for Stewardship at Falkland. I have held writing workshops in primary and secondary schools in Fife and Dundee and given poetry readings.
Where I come from as a writer is heavily influenced by my own struggle to express myself in this life. My approach is grass-roots, since I believe many people are overlooked who have the ability to write. I find it hard to walk by and not be of some uplift. If the child in me steps forward, he might say it like this:
The story of me telling stories begins in my childhood with the light falling, the stir of a room's shadows and the sighs of a winter fire. Sometimes the company was a book, sharing a fantastic tale with me in the animated gloom. Sometimes the company was a pencil, holding me by the hand, ready at any time to pull me into the worlds of my imagination.
I feature on the Patron of Reading website as one of their available authors, with special interest in being a Scots Patron. Presently I am working with Waid Academy in Fife and her associated Primaries to develop projects that can further reading and writing through this exciting initiative.