I up-and-coming authors. March 11 will see a visit from Esther Freud.
; Sue Wilson reports on a ' new initiative by a
Waterstone’s bookshop to encourage fresh literary
Despite the fact that around 65.000 books are now published each year.
it remains fiendishly difficult for new 3 writers to get their work into print. Over the next six months. however.
5 Waterstone‘s George Street branch
in Edinburgh will be doing their best to make it that wee bit easier. with a series ofevents designed to help aspiring scribes with all stages of the literary assault-course.
Events already confirmed include a new fiction evening on February 10. with A.L. Kennedy. Carl MacDougall and David Dabydeen discussing their respective new books — see Books Events listings for details. The session is being organised in conjunction with publishers Seeker & Warburg. whose paperback original imprint. launched last year. has rapidly become one of the major outlets for
whose debut novel Hideous Kinky earned her a place on the controversial Granta ‘Twenty Best Young British Novelists‘ list. and Russell Celyn Jones. author oflast year’s widely-praised Small Things (reissued in paperback by Penguin). Both will be reading from and discussing their work (Freud‘s second novel Peerless Flats is published on February 25). and Waterstone‘s hope that Celyn Jones. recently appointed writer-in-residence for Malcolm Bradbury‘s Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. will also offer some more general advice for would-be writers.
Among other plans in the pipeline is a poetry promotion in April in conjunction with Faber & Faber‘s latest New Poets collection. and a launch event in May for the Granta list, which includes several Scots or Scots-based writers. lt‘s hoped that a fiction editor from a major
' publishinghousewillbegivingatalk ‘ at some stage.discussing what he or
she looks for when sorting out the stars of tomorrow from the slush pile.
The shop has also been in touch
:I with the Arvon Foundation. whose
new Scottish Writers‘ Centre at ; Moniack Mhor will be hosting its 2 i first season of residential courses this spring and summer. investigatingthe
possibility ofholding workshop sessions in the shop - watch this space for further developments.
In addition to the events programme. the George Street branch will be setting up a ‘New Writing‘ section in the shop. featuring a range ofbooks aimed at literary hopefuls. whether they want creative inspiration or advice on practical issues such as desktop publishing and finding an agent. Last but not least. the branch will shortly be announcing details of a short story
. competition. complete with
substantial cash prize and possible publication for the winner.
‘We want to expand on our programme ofstraightforward author visits. reading and signing
F sessions. and get something going
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A.L. Kennedy that will actually encourage new writers.’ says Waterstone‘s‘ John Pelan. ‘The idea is to establish this branch as a centre for creative writing in Edinburgh. which is
I something we feel has been seriously
lacking until now. A bookshop is the ideal place to do it — we can offer a huge network ofcontacts and resources. and hopefully the shop will become a kind ofaccess or
; information centre for budding writers. a resource point where they 3 can come for help and advice.‘
For more in formation. contact John I Pelan at Waterstone's. 83 George Street. Edinburgh. ()3 I .325 3436.
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L____,_.. ...-._.-.-____ .--__._-____ 56 The List 29January— 11 February 1993