Thom Laycock


Thom LaycockBorn in West Yorkshire at six o’clock in the morning Thom Laycock has been trying to get some sleep ever since. He has adapted to living in Scotland for the past twenty years by drinking and swearing copiously. He studied literature and philosophy at the University of Stirling and graduated in 2003. Thom is not entirely sure what has happened since, but reassures himself that a lot of it was quite interesting. In 2010 he was granted the New Writers Award by the Scottish Book Trust for which he wrote a short biographical note that ends here.

Writing Sample



I remember the goat in my

neighbour’s garden skinning the tree

alive all down one side


hanging itself against leash and pole

forelegs stepping on the air

leech tongue molesting the strips of bark


its automatic jaw

and the squares of its pupils

were regular as instinct.


the goat is gone now

its owner dead of a heart attack

and his son - addict, escapist - slung


a rope over the rafters

noosed his neck stepped

into the slack, and that was that.


but this is this: a tree standing

ten years bolder

gnarly bark grown back


to cover up the raw works

where it bled so much sap,

forming the shape of a door


I wouldn’t dare open,

or even knock.



"Unbelievable and brilliant. Thanks so much. Winning this award has made me look back over my work with both a new appreciation and a tougher critical eye. The other eye is pointing toward the future, which might make me look like I have a lazy eye."