News of last night’s and next month’s Stranger Than Fiction meetings; of STF‘s presence online and at the Edinburgh International Science Festival; of the Salon; and of a competition you may be interested in entering.
Stranger Than Fiction March 2015
A really good turn-out for our March meeting in the Wash Bar last night. Three new faces joined a veritable crowd of regulars as we caught up with each others’ work and in particular Dave’s current project about Scottish castles. The feedback was useful not just for him but for anyone wrestling with many of the problems common to all non-fiction writers. Even in a large group, where you might expect to run out of things to say about a particular submission, everyone has a different angle, a different personal interest in the work, a different experience to bring to bear on it. Thanks to Dave for giving us his work to discuss, and to all those who came along and gave him and the rest of us the benefit of their constructive criticism.
Stranger Than Fiction April 2015
Next month’s meeting in the Wash Bar on the Mound is only four weeks away, at 7.30pm on Thursday 23rd April. If you are working on something at the moment which would benefit from the considered and helpful views of your fellow non-fiction writers, why not put a chapter up for discussion at the meeting. As Dave (and everyone else who has ever submitted) will tell you) it is a relaxed and genuinely useful aid to the writing process. We aim to circulate submissions a week ahead of the meeting to give us all time to read them; so get in touch if you’re thinking of putting something forward for feedback.
Stranger Than Fiction Online
I’ve just posted the second of Keith’s informative articles about keeping your work safe from the perils of the digital age. You can read the first one here, which deals with documents and files. The latest one looks at the security of the software we all use to produce our work. Feel free to leave your comments or questions for the benefit or answers of other non-fiction writers. Thanks once again to Keith for the time and experience he has put into writing these articles for us.
Unsurprisingly, many people at the March meeting were unaware that Stranger Than Fiction has a Twitter account, @edinburghnonfic. I am not a very active tweeter, and if anyone has any suggestions for a better use of the account, do feel free to make them. At the very least, if you follow @edinburghnonfic you will be able to see the Twitter names of other STFers who are also following, and then we can all follow each other and speed the exchange of information on the information super highway. Or something like that. (FWIW my personal account is @bigrainyday.)
Stranger Than Fiction at the Edinburgh International Science Festival
After our successful debut at EISF last year, with a lively panel discussion about good and bad science writing, Stranger Than Fiction has been asked back for this year’s EISF. We are staging an event called Stranger Than Fiction: Illuminating Scientific Lives which will look at the value or otherwise of the biographies of scientists. I know that many STFers are biographers of one sort or another, and since the problems of science biography are often the same ones confronting a biographer in any field, it should be an interesting hour’s discussion for many of us. I do hope you can come along and support your fellow STFers in only our second ever public event. The event is at 5.30pm on Thursday 16th April (a week before next month’s regular Stranger Than Fiction meeting) in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre at Summerhall. Tickets (£8/£6) are available through the EISF website or on the door – but probably better book in advance as it’s not a huge auditorium.
Edinburgh City of Literature Salon and the alternative
The City of Literature organisers are being honoured with a Civic Reception this month to mark the 10th Anniversary of Edinburgh being designated a UNESCO City of Literature. Unfortunately this has resulted in the cancellation of the March Literary Salon, which would have taken place on Tuesday 31st March. I think it is just possible that this news may not filter through to all the Salon’s regulars, so I am probably going to go along to the Wash Bar that evening anyway and see who else turns up. If you need another fix of literary networking/socialising, do please turn up too!
Failing that, may I recommend Weegie Wednesday, Glasgow’s answer to the Salon, which next falls on Wednesday 15th April, at 7.30pm in the CCA Bar on Sauchiehall Street. I will be going by the 6.30pm train from Waverley, and would be very glad of your company at this useful networking event.
Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize
And finally … you may be familiar with Notting Hill Editions, an imprint “devoted to the best in non-fiction essay writing.” They have just announced their 2015 Essay Prize, for an essay of 2000-8000 words on any subject, worth £20,000. Full details and guidelines are on their website here – the submission deadline is midnight on 1st May 2015. Go for it!
Phew, there you go. A lot of news, and all of it good. Hope to see you again next month, and until then, as always,
Best wishes for all your non-fiction writing,