Tom Murray is a playwright, fiction writer and poet living in the Scottish Borders. His play Sins of the Father a winner of the Rowan Tree Playwriting Competition.
He was recently Scottish Book Trust Reader in Residence to Scottish Borders Libraries and is currently Creative Writing Fellow to Tyne & Esk Writers. He has been Writer In Residence to Clackmannanshire Council. He works extensively with writers groups, and schools having been Writer In Residence to Peebles High School and Galashiels Academy. He is experienced at workshops for Creative Writing Conferences aimed at advanced higher pupils.
About writer's work
I like to look at different ways of telling a story while maintaining a clear narrative. My stories and plays are character driven, their hopes and fears the beating heart of any story.
My writing encompasses poetry, fiction and playwriting. Currently my main focus is playwriting. I have been merging various dramatic techniques including monologue, dialogue and the highly visual to tell dramatic stories that can be best told on stage. I am currently taking this exploration of technique further in a series of site specific interlinked plays that involve other art forms such as song, and incorporating the audience into the story. I aim to use song to highlight characters and move the story along, the incorporation of the audience as a way of breaking down the distance between observer and story.
At the same time I am very interested in the classical structure of plays from Greek Drama. I am currently working on another play telling one person’s story in the classical style over a limited time frame in a particular place. Also involving themes of redemption and the role of catharsis in character. This particular play making use of a chorus not in song but using modern implements such as telephone dialogue to comment on the story and move it along.
I see these various projects overlapping in style and aim.
As part of my Reader In Residence role I built on my experience of storytelling to family audiences. I aim to continue this and see it as a cross over to my playwriting. It puts me very much in the role of the actor and gives insights to what works and what doesn’t to engage an audience.
As indicated all of the above working towards the main goal of making vivid the beating heart of the story.
Websites featuring the authorWebsite | Postcards from Borderland | Play performance | Story reading
Current events and projects
I am available to do residencies, readings, workshops in drama both for the stage and radio, prose or poetry both adults and young writers.
I am willing to travel having worked all over Scotland for instance delivering a series of radio drama workshops in Dumfries and Galloway, talking and reading fiction in Ayrshire, playwriting workshops to advanced higher pupils in Aberdeen, poetry workshop in Eyemouth.
I have delivered over a hundred workshops on a wide variety of subjects and themes. These include the above but also memoirs, imagery in poetry, flash fiction, and writing for graphic novels.
I worked alongside artists in five primary schools in Galashiels on the Windows to the Future Project exploring the changing nature of Galashiels town centre. In addition I have worked with primary and secondary schools in Kelso on the Discover Kelso through poetry detailing the changing architecture of the town centre. In secondary I have participated in a series of creative writing conferences working in partnership with teachers and advanced higher pupils to the curriculum.
With libraries and family centres on interactive family storytelling activities; youth theatres, mental health organisations, prison service, recovery groups; adults with learning disability, physical disability or sensory impairment.
I have mentored over sixty writers, including as mentor for CABN in the Scottish Borders. I have worked extensively with writers groups providing feedback and continuous development of an individual’s creative writing.
Currently Creative Writing Fellow for Tyne and Esk Writers
Scottish Book Trust Reader In Residence to Scottish Borders Libraries 2013-2014
Creative Writing Fellow for Tyne and Esk Writers 2013-2014
Creative Writing Fellow for Tyne and Esk Writers 2010-2012
Writer In Residence Clackmannanshire Council 2006-2010
Writer In Residence Peebles High School 2006-2007
Writer In Residence Galashiels Academy 2005-2006
Co Editor Eildon Tree Literary Magazine 2000-2011
By Its Nature Uncertain: 2014: Part of National Theatre of Scotland event ‘fiveminutetheatre’
The Skull; Sons of War; Soldiers Tale; I am Flodden: 2013 Treading The Borders Theatre Company as part of Towards Flodden
Sins of the Father: September-October 2011: Rowan Tree Theatre Company
(A winner of the Rowan Tree playwriting competition 2009)
Tangents: Co written with Elizabeth Fuller. Clax Youth Theatre, 2010 Edinburgh International Fringe
Just Like Us: Clax Youth Theatre, February 2008
Can You Hear Me?: As part of the ‘I Confess’ production 2005, Arches Theatre Co, Arches Theatre, Glasgow
Snow White: The Untold Story: Scottish Borders Youth Theatre, October 2004
Your Mother Should Know: Cross Country Theatre Company, May 2004
Stories/poems published or to be published (1993 - 2015) in the following publications:
Rebel inc; Northwords; Markings; Flytrap; Poetry Scotland; Poetry Update; Cutting Teeth; Eildon Tree; Iota; Tears in the Fence; Front and Centre; Lateral Moves; Fire; The New Writer; Poetry Monthly; Northwords Now; Scheherazade; CoffeeHouse Poetry; Haiku Scotland; www.laurahird.com; The Write Side Up; Aesthetical; Envoi; Southlight; Poetrygeek; Under the Radar