Author details

Alison Irvine


I am the author of This Road is Red (Luath Press), a novel based on the true stories of residents of Glasgow’s Red Road Flats. It was nominated for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award in 2011. In 2015 I published Nothing is Lost (Freight), which looked at the impact of the Commonwealth Games on people living in the East End of Glasgow. This creative non-fiction book was based on the experiences and stories of local people and was a collaboration with photographer Chris Leslie and artist Mitch Miller.

I was Scottish Book Trust Reader in Residence for East Dunbartonshire Library Service in 2014/2015, a job that saw me facilitating writing, reading and drama workshops in libraries, community centres and church halls all over East Dunbartonshire and working with participants aged between 0 and 101.

Born and brought up in East London/Essex to antipodean parents, I moved to Glasgow in 2005 where I still live with my husband and three daughters.

About writer's work

My writing is often based on the true stories of people in relation to a particular place. It involves extensive interviews which I transcribe and then work from. I used this technique with a commission from the Glasgow Film Theatre when I was asked to interview different audience groups and write a story based on their cinema-going experiences (For All Project) and with a commission from the National Youth Theatre to write a play based on the oral histories of people living and working in Greater Easterhouse.

I’m enjoying collaborating with a photographer and an illustrator and seeing how our different art forms converge to represent a place and its people. Our latest project is the documentation of some young people engaged with Aberlour Children’s Charity in Govan, Glasgow.

My short stories have been published in New Writing Scotland, The Edinburgh Review, Gutter and Mslexia magazines.

My collaboration with Mitch Miller has continued with Pranked (Luath Press), an illustrated cautionary tale about the internet for 8-12 year olds. Again, this involved a lot of research about the internet and some very thorough interviews with 12-year-old schoolchildren who taught me what it was like to be twelve and in possession of a mobile phone and a YouTube account.

Websites featuring the author Is Lost

Current events and projects

I love running creative writing and drama workshops in school and community settings as well as Read and Relax poetry and prose sessions. I have been running workshops for over twenty years and love working with people of all ages and abilities. Here are some examples of workshops and sessions I deliver:

* Story Stars: book themed music and drama workshops for 0-4s and their parents and carers in community centres and nurseries

* Read and Relax poetry and prose sessions in libraries and community centres

* Poetry and Reminiscence sessions in day centres, sheltered housing and care homes

* Words for wellbeing creative writing workshops for adults

* Advanced Higher Creative Writing classes in schools

* Creative writing and storytelling workshops in primary and secondary schools

* Creative Writing workshops in libraries, including Aye Write’s Creative Cafe

* Clear writing workshops incorporating storytelling techniques for Aberdeen Council

* Open Access drama and writing workshops for hard to reach teenagers

* Writing workshops for Phd Ethnography students

* Talks and readings for World Book Night, Book Week Scotland.

I also run creative writing and illustration workshops with Mitch Miller, and the three of us (Chris Leslie, Mitch Miller and I) would be very happy to talk together about our collective.


Local authority where they are based


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, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian, Other

Age groups

0-4, 5-8, 9-12, Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type




Books written

Nothing is Lost

Author(s): Alison Irvine
Nothing is Lost: Three artists, three artforms, one city, a shared sensibility.
This Road is Red

This Road is Red

Author(s): Alison Irvine
It is 1964. Red Road is rising out of the fields. To the families who move in, it is a dream and a shining future. It is 2010. The Red Road Flats are scheduled for demolition.