Read Raw Blog

Read Raw Blog


Welcome to the BlogPosted by Read Raw Sun, December 11, 2011 13:23:19

We have let the blog slip as there have been all those pressures of life and writing that beset us all. However time for some catch up. Book shop has gone victim of the High Street doldrums. Mo has started the Mlit at Glasgow Uni. Ian has just brought out the second edition of Unspoken Water. All four of us have been taking part in the Poetry Competition at the Scotia Bar in Glasgow.

We have finalised an anthology of the Poetry from the work we did with Renfrewshire Council in 2010 celebrating the work of Robert Tannahill and hope to have this launched early next year.

Things what we have been doing included taking part in the SMHAFF doing workshops and performances during the festival week. Ian and Wullie were invited performers at the West End Wurdz at the Ashtree Hotel in Paisley, Ian reading a selection of his poetry and Wullie in a change of tack sang some songs.

Personally I am on a bit of a high for I have an ebook coming out. It is being published, if that is the right term for an ebook, by Mx Publishing, Hopefully it will be out soon and I will of course plug on the site so watch for Sebastian Symes in The Case of the Hungarian Foot ( especially any Sherlock Holmes fans )


Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival

Welcome to the BlogPosted by Read Raw Wed, October 05, 2011 12:39:07

The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival is on during October and Renfrewshire is staging many events as part of it. The opening event was on Saturday in County Square in Paisley. Despite the rain the enthusiasm of performers and audience shone through. Read Raw are taking part and we are reading at The Bankhouse, Gilmour Street, Paisley on 6th October between 8.00 and 9.00 followed by a band. Also we will be at the Paisley Museum on 19th October, 12.30 to 1.30. If you can come along we will be delighted to see you.

Details of the festival can be found on or download the Renfrewshire programme from

GW went to London, not to see the Queen

Welcome to the BlogPosted by Read Raw Wed, September 14, 2011 21:05:05

Sometimes it is good to be crazy. I submitted a flash fiction entry to the ‘Fishy Tales’ competition for the Thames River Festival. It was selected for display on Southwark Bridge and I was invited to read it on the bridge on Saturday.

I have long had an ambition to take the sleeper to London and this was the opportunity. So Friday night I caught the sleeper to London. Good journey down and on Saturday morning walked along the Thames to Borough Market close to Southwark Cathedral. Great to wander through the market and then sit for a full breakfast under the walls of the Cathedral. Spent the rest of the morning in Tate Modern and then on to Southwark Bridge. Read at various times between 1.00 and 3.30 and in addition to my own story read extracts from Moby Dick then walked to the Tower before back to Euston and the train home. Such a good time I may do the trip again.


GW let out by himself

Welcome to the BlogPosted by Read Raw Fri, August 26, 2011 22:18:14

Trying to recover from the Edinburgh trip yesterday. Decided to catch up on the new look National Museum of Scotland. I am definitely out of touch. Building is beautiful but the exhibits left me cold other than the model ships. Too much space. Too much big writing. Motor bikes half way up a wall. Auto gyro hung vertically. Why can you not go and loose yourself in an atmosphere anymore? Everything has to be an ’experience’ and boy are we told what to experience.

Better was the hour I wandered in Grey Friar’s grave-yard now that was worthwhile. Probably because there was no big sign saying ’This is a grave yard’

Earlier I went to the Scottish Poetry Library afternoon reading at the courtyard steps. I had not intended to read but could not resist. It was a small crowd but good fun.

Evening event was the Gutter Magazine poetry reading in the Fruit Market Gallery. Very enjoyable. Jim Ferguson, Jim Carruth and Graham Fulton were the reason I decided to go and they exceeded my expectations. What with the chat, some libations, I missed last train home from Glasgow so bread and water for a few days to pay off the taxi.



Welcome to the BlogPosted by Read Raw Ltd Sun, August 21, 2011 13:28:38

Been writing a lot of reviews lately for the British Fantasy Society and Concatenation. One of them was for China Mieville's latest novel "Embassytown".

China was supposed to be appearing at the Edinburgh Book Festival tonight, but cancelled, which is shame as I was hoping to hear him read something new, and get the new book signed, as well as a mega-proof of his last novel,"Kraken" (and I mean mega-proof, it is a kraken of a book - not your standard format).

On my website, I've just written two mini-reviews of the last two books I've read: the Pulitzer Prize winning "A Visit from the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan, and "Dinkin Dings and the Curse of Clawfinger" by Guy Bass.

You can read that here:

Also, at the mighty "The Horror Zine" site, my review of Adrian Chamberlin's "The Caretakers" has just been posted, here:

You'll see a picture of the dashing Mr. Chamberlin, and one of me in a cafe in Elie enjoying the best mocha in the world (well, it was then, but sadly, no more).

If you are into horror - stories, poems, art, information, then "The Horror Zine" is the place to go.

Happy reading.


Raindrops and Pittenweem

Welcome to the BlogPosted by Read Raw Sun, August 14, 2011 13:19:38

Well, Read Raw set off for the Pittenweem Arts Festival in sunshine and good spirits. Ian and family were staying in a house and the rest of us spread between a camper van and tent in St Monans.We arrived early in the afternoon at the campsite in the shadow of the ruins of Newark Castle with stunning views across the Forth. After a happy day of wandering about we returned suitably fed and refreshed to the campsite and settled into our various abodes, Ian and family retiring to cosy beds in a nice wee house.

About 1 am the rains came with a vengeance. In the morning the campsite was waterlogged, Mo was floating on an airbed in her tent and the rain kept going sideways. Discovered GW had lost his phone and after a search decided it had been lost while returning the previous evening. The fruitless search, which included wandering around a waterlogged graveyard, resulted in getting soaked. This was recurring feature of the rest of the day. Headed into Pittenweem and after a wander round some of the galleries went to collect our tickets for the events we had booked only to discover the the Poetry Cafe on the Thursday night had been cancelled due to the performers being unable to get there due to the weather.

Wandered around a bit more, resoaking the bits of us that had dried out, had a delicious fish supper, a couple of beers and went to see the Khartoum Heroes & the Fence Collective with King Creosote.A brilliant event with excellent supporting acts. As the rain was still going sideways and a serious lack of dry socks etc was manifesting itself it was decided to make a strategic withdrawal and return home the next morning. As Mo's tent was now doing an impression of an indoor swimming pool Ian and family tok pity on her and let her stay with them while GW and I returned to the campsite for another noisy night of beating rain and the wind howling round the ruined castle.

Next morning we collected Mo and made a discreet, if soggy withdrawal.

All in all, despite the rain, it was a great couple of days and no doubt we will return next year while making offerings to the rain gods to go somewhere else.

Our next outing is to the Callander Poetry Weekend where all the Read Raw crowd have slots on the Friday programme. More details here:-

What's Occuring

Welcome to the BlogPosted by Read Raw Sat, August 06, 2011 15:32:45

Apologies for the gap in the news. It is not that we have been doing nothing but that fates have a habit of ganging up on us. Mo and George have decided to close the bookshop in West Kilbride. The shutters come down at the end of August. We hope to have a read Raw bash in the shop so watch the site for details. Meantime stock is reduced by 50% so if you feel like a day out down the coast have a browse.

Last year we organised events in Paisley in celebration of Robert Tannahill and as part of this a poetry wall was set up in the town centre. In conjunction with Renfrewshire Museums and Arts, Read Raw Press are producing a collection of the best poetry from the wall along with some guest poets. Wullie has been busy getting this ready for the printer. We rather take for granted his ability to do this and run the website and all this while fighting off one of those summer bugs.

Early September you can hear Read Raw reading at the Callendar Poetry Weekend.


Welcome to the BlogPosted by Read Raw Ltd Sat, June 11, 2011 10:49:34

Ian is today's guest blogger over at Steve Lockley's website:

offering some words of wisdom - it says here - about writing and the like, and he would recommend that you read the previous entries and keep in touch with the blog to pick up some nuggets from other guest writers, editors and publishers.

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