Dear STFers,

It’s high summer, as you can tell from the drizzle. I’m off to see an open air Shakespeare tonight, picnic in hand, so of course it will rain.

STF August 2016 social outing

There’s no formal meeting of Stranger Than Fiction in August. But if you’re missing your non-fic fix, and you’re on our mailing list, you’ll laready have had notice of our get-together next Thursday 25th August 2016, for a drink and a catch-up. Hope you can make it.

STF September 2016

We get back into our normal routine on Thursday 22nd September 2016, with a regular meeting at 7.30pm upstairs at the Wash Bar on the Mound. We’ll be discussing a sample chapter from one of our number, and we’ll also be entertained by an extract from our sell-out performance back in April at the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2016 – of which more nearer the time. I will be in the chair for September, before handing over to STF co-founder Gillian Jack for the next three months.

Contributing (not financially!) to STF

Stranger Than Fiction exists for non-fiction authors to get peer feedback on their current projects. If you would like peer feedback on yours, the next two opportunities are at our meetings on Thursday 20th October 2016 and Thursday 24th November 2016. Get in touch via edinburghnonfic@gmail.com for more information, and the chair will guide you through the process. Why not commit yourself to a date and get writing? (December is another social month, so the next opportunities after those will be in 2017.)

As you may know, we’ve been working with a rotating chair, occupied by a different STFer every month. It has been argued that this creates problems of longterm continuity and overview, so we are experimenting wth a three-monthly tour of duty for each chairperson. I’ve in the hotseat July-September, and Gillian October-December. STF THEREFORE NEEDS someone to step up and take the January-March and April-June slots. It’s not an onerous job, and there is technical support for the sending of email newsletters like this one. Please consider having a go!

That’s all

Do think about submitting an extract for discussion this autumn; and about having a go at occupying the chair at meetings next year. But above all, I hope to see you next week at our social, and next month in the Wash Bar. And, as always, good luck with all your non-fiction writing.

Best wishes,



Hello all you STFers,

Reminding everyone that we will be meeting at The Wash Bar, The Mound, Edinburgh, from 7.30 on Thursday 26 May.

As usual, we are inviting you to submit something that you are working on for friendly comment. There aren’t any rules about what to submit, except that shorter rather than longer usually works best, and it could be an early draft or a pretty advanced one. We all learn from the discussions. If you haven’t submitted before, why not give it a go? Go on, why not? Gwaun, gwaun.

If you’re on our mailing list, get in touch about submitting. I’ll send any submissions round a week or so before we meet. If you want to discuss suitability, I’m game for it, and you can supply your own wee intro.

Jim McCarthy has said he will read a piece of his (he doesn’t want to submit it) by way of light entertainment, only if the conversation is flagging. Apparently it’s an account of a juvenile adventure of his, so it isn’t fiction, oh no.

It’s me sending this because we operate a rotating chair (that’s ambiguous,isn’t it?). So, obvs, we’re looking for someone to chair the June meeting. Thanks to Alex’s brilliant online tutorial, using mailchimp is dead easy. We’ll take offers now or at the meeting.

And finally – I wish I could upload a photo (how do you do that, Alex?) of an ad for a writing school that I snapped last week in Berlin The core message is in three words: Shreib! Dein! Buch! It seemed so easy, in Berlin!

Best wishes

Tim Bell

Hi Everyone,

It’s STF time again and a reminder that the next meeting is Thursday 21st of April at the usual time and place 7:30pm at the Wash Bar on The Mound. 

Cover Design Talk

We’ve got a treat coming up in this month, and a break from the norm, as designer and illustrator Mark Mechan has agreed to come and talk to us about his design process for book covers. You can find his website, with some of the images he’ll be taling about, here: http://redaxedesign.jimdo.com/books/

Any other (short) submissions?

Mark has said his talk will cover about half an hour, which I’m sure we will lengthen with copious questions and discussion.

However, this may leave a bit more time so if anyone has a short submission which they’d like discussed, please send it to me asap and I’ll distribute it to the group. I’m aware I’ve left it a bit late for such an announcement, and it’s not the end of the world if we don’t have another item, but if you’ve been sitting on a piece which you’d previously thought was too short for a regular submission – now’s your chance! 

Other Agenda Items

Stranger Than Fiction: The Panel Game

Well, the big agenda item this month was our sell-out show at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, “Stranger Than Fiction: The Panel Game”. That’s right, it sold out! The show went very well and we had some great interaction with the audience. There’s even been talk that we might want to re-spin the format for other festivals, now that we know that the format works. In case you’re wondering, the whole thing with STV didn’t happen in the end, but on reflection we all agreed that this was probably a good thing.

Mailchimp Emails and Submission Security

If you’re on the mailing list you may have noticed that the format of our email newsletters seem a little different from usual. This is because I’ve written it using Mailchimp. Following our discussions about security of submissions at last month’s meeting, we have decided to give this a try and see if it works for us.

With Mailchimp, the rotating chair will receive the login details for the Mailchimp account and a link to an unlisted YouTube video where I explain how to send the emails and submissions (it’s really easy to use but I know it can be helpful to have a brief, visual explanation of how to use new software). From a “submission security” perspective, this will help us in three ways. Firstly, the submissions will be downloadable through a link and the files themselves will be deleted by the rotating chair when they send out the meeting minutes. This means that nobody on the list will retain a copy indefinitely without having downloaded the file, which was raised as a general concern during the last meeting. Secondly, it will give us a better idea of how many people are actually downloading the files. Finally, using Mailchimp will hopefully reduce the potential for spam sent to mailing list members.

Right, that’s more than enough waffle from me.

See you next week, and please let me know if you have a suitably short submission so I can send it out asap.

Alex Owen-Hill (April 2016 chair)

Herewith a report on last Thursday’s meeting in the Wash Bar.

I was the one-off convener for February in the new rotation system. Thirteen STF-ers were present, including two new members, Lesley and Chris. There were four apologies. Two included comments on the piece that had been submitted, for which Simon and I are grateful.

The piece was the introduction to Simon’s book on “strong language”, which prompted some lively discussion, on matters as varied as the potential market for the book, its interesting cross-disciplinary nature, the book’s structure, and (an old favourite !) footnoting. Hopefully it all provided Simon with some useful pointers as he develops his work further. For anyone who feels nervous about submitting, the balance between encouragement and critique was, as ever, well judged.

We also had some helpful feedback from Vin on a recent Society of Authors meeting, at which Creative Scotland had made a presentation (the slides from this even are attached). Vin noted the speaker, Aly Barr, did not say much about non-fiction, and was somewhat dismissive of the genre in Q&A. There followed a lively debate amongst the STF-ers present on the meaning of “creative”, and whether the way it is used by the likes of Creative Scotland can be applied to non-fiction writing – I think it is fair to say the jury remained out on that one ! More seriously, Vin pointed us at the Creative Scotland funding programmes, notably ‘Open Project Funding’, which might be an avenue STF could explore at some later date, as part of a wider consideration of our future development.

Colin also updated us on the plans for the STF panel game at EISF on 2 April, which are proceeding apace. The final rehearsal will be at Colin’s flat on 17 March, at 7.30pm, as he explained, “to run through most or all of the show to check for bugs – small audience required, so please bring a partner or friend !” If you’d like to attend, let Colin know directly. And of course, if you want to come on the big night, book now with EISF .

Finally the next STF meeting will be on Thursday March 24 at the usual place and time – 7.30pm upstairs in the Wash Bar on The Mound. Anne will be convening, and she’ll be in touch in due course with more details of the evening. We also have Alex in place as a convenor for April, so thanks to both for stepping up to the mark !

Best wishes


Hi everyone – I am now picking up from Simon as our second “rotating convenor”. Many thanks to him for an excellent meeting last month !

Our next STF gathering is on Thursday 18 February, at the usual time and place – 7.30 pm in the Wash Bar on The Mound. Give it a try if you haven’t been for a while, we’re a very friendly and welcoming group.

If you have a piece of writing on which you would like some group feedback, please send it to me, ideally by 11 February (sorry, it’s all a bit early this month !), and I will pass it round. Guidelines, on length at least, seem to have loosened a little over the past year – a notional upper limit might be 10,000 words, one chapter or two short ones ; no lower limit, though less than a page might not give enough to talk about. Submissions should be something you’ve worked on – not first jottings – but not a fully polished final draft. If you’re new, do come to an event to see how the feedback sessions work before submitting.

Alternatively, if anyone has any current writing “issues” they’d like to raise with the group, or ideas for group activities, do let me know and I can add it to the agenda. I know Vin has a topic he’d like to raise, following a recent Society of Authors event.

In other booky news, Tim Bell, a long-standing STF member who presented drafts from his new book on Trainspotting last November, is giving a talk on the same topic at Edinburgh Central Library on 17 February – see here for more info and booking.

Meanwhile, east of Harthill, Glasgow’s book festival AyeWrite is looming, 10-20 March. Tickets are now on sale – for full details, see their website. There is quite a variety of topics being discussed, and I notice Sue Reid-Sexton, a good friend of STF and a leading light in ‘Weegie Wednesday’, has an event on 15 March. I can also think of someone who might be interested in an event on 13 March entitled ‘Ronnie – a dog owner’s guide to fulfillment’ !?!

Having done a very rough and unscientific analysis of all the AyeWrite events, around 58% appear to be non-fiction, in its widest sense, 87 out of 154 events – perhaps an encouraging sign ! However, almost all of the workshop-type events for writers are clearly aimed at fictionalists.

Staying in the West, the next ‘Weegie Wednesday’ gathering is 10 February – see their website for more background.

More longer-term dates for your diary – the Edinburgh Book Festival will run 13-29 August. The programme will be launch on 9 June, and tickets will go on sale on 21 June.

Looking forward to more productive STF-ing…

Best wishes

Graham Thompson

A report on last night’s meeting; news of not one but two chances to meet other STFers socially; and changes in how we organise our sessions in 2016 (it’s all good).

Stranger Than Fiction November 2015
We finished the season with a lively meeting last night, thanks to Tim’s character summaries, an extract from his guide to Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting. For new members and old in attendance, and for all of us whether or not we had seen or read Trainspotting, it prompted lots of questions about the book/film and about Tim’s analysis of them. This is what we live for at Stranger Than Fiction!

STFer at Waterstones
To coincide with the release of Stephen Spielberg’s new film, our very own Vin Arthey is launching the new edition of his book The Kremlin’s Geordie Spy at Waterstones George Street at 6.30pm on Monday 30th November. Vin’s book covers the same story and much much more, and predates Spielberg’s lightweight effort by a decade. Do please, if you can, come along and support a fellow STFer. Let Vin know you’re coming via vartheyATgmail.com. There will be wine, readings and an interview with Vin from me! The event will be over by 8pm, leaving those of us who wish time to dash to the Jolly Judge for their excellent Monday evening quiz … (Vin, Richard and I are regulars!)

Christmas party
No meeting in December, but all is not lost. If you’re on our mailing list you have received an invitation to our Christmas get-together on Thursday 17th Dcember 2015. There’s been a call for charades (don’t ALL do Trainspotting) and whether there’s a call for it or not we will be trying out a couple of rounds from our forthcoming event at Edinburgh International Science Festival, Stranger Than Fiction The Panel Game. You’d be mad to miss it, but please let me know if you’re coming to the party, via colin.salterATblueyonder.co.uk.

New year, new conveners
At last night’s meeting I said that after three and a half years at the helm I wanted to play a less active role in running Stranger Than Fiction. I’m delighted to say that Simon has offered to organise January’s meeting, and Graham to take on the task for February. Thanks to both of them, for requiring only moderate arm-twisting to do so. I will be lending backroom support until it becomes perfectly clear that I am redundant. I think the idea of a rotating convenership is a healthy one, bringing different minds to bear on how STF is run and what happens at each meeting. I hope that many STFers will, with the support of each other, want to take a turn at organising one of our meetings over the coming months. Who’s up for March 2016?

Stranger Than Fiction January 2016
You’ll be hearing from Simon in due course about our next regular meeting, which is on Thursday 21st January 2016, as usual at 7.30pm upstairs in the Wash Bar. If you’d like to start the New Year with some constructive feedback on your current project, perhaps as a way of giving it a boost after the doldrums of the festive season, get in touch with either Simon or me for details of how and when. Chapters of between 5000 and 10000 words are welcome, but as we’ve seen from the last couple of meetings, shorter pieces can trigger just as much lively debate. (If January is too soon, the following meeting is on Thursday 18th February 2016 under Graham’s stewardship.)

Thanks to everyone who has attended a Stranger Than Fiction meeting in 2015, and especially to everyone who has submitted a piece of work for discussion: David, Reta, Simon, Fiona, Jonathan, Camilla and Tim (and nearly Alison!). It’s been a good year. Whether or not you’ve been at a meeting, I hope you’ll come and help us round it off at the party in December (RSVP), and that we’ll see you soon in 2016. As always, best wishes for all your non-fiction writing.

PS Don’t forget the Edinburgh Literary Salon on Tuesday 24th November, the last salon of the year. No Santa, but among the speakers is someone from the Society of Authors (of which I spoke last night).

PPS Remember Vin’s book launch on 30th November!

Halloween is upon us, and then the unstoppable descent into tinseltime. News now of November’s Stranger Than Fiction meeting, our involvement in the Edinburgh International Science Festival, and Ch*****as.
STF October 2015
We had a large turn-out for last week’s meeting, and one of the most thoughtful discussions I can remember, triggered by Camilla’s use of interview transcriptions to describe the death of her subject. Thank you, Camilla and all who contributed. Also there was cake, and thank you Camilla again. (If you weren’t there: moist chocolate sponge and lashings of icing. Bet you wish you’d come along now.)
STF November 2015
We next meet on Thursday 19th November 2015, upstairs in the Wash Bar on the Mound at 7.30pm. If you haven’t been to a Stranger Than Fiction meeting yet, this is your last chance in 2015! We already have one submission for feedback, which I’ll circulate a week ahead of the session. But there is, I think, room for one more if you have something that you’d like some constructive criticism about, or that raises interesting questions about writing technique.
STF December 2015
November will be our last formal meeting of the year, but we will be meeting socially in December, as separately announced. Too soon to think about it, I know. Details to follow, but for those who have been invited, let me know if you’re coming so I can start to count the vol-au-vents.

STF at EISF 2016
Our proposal for a panel game based on telling scientific truth from fiction has been accepted by the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
This, next April, will be our third appearance at the festival and departs from our usual low-maintenance format of panel discussion; we will need light, possibly comic material to fit the formats of the game (loosely based on several well-known deception-style panel games). Please help! We also need lively witty panellists. Again, please help!
If you would like to be involved either as panellist or as writer or simply at the planning stage, let me know and I will include you in the separate emails I’ve been sending round about the details of the event.

Other events
The Edinburgh Literary Salon is tomorrow evening, Tuesday 27th October 2015, from 6pm downstairs in the Wash Bar. Highly recommended chance to hobnob/network with fellow writers and other workers in the publishing industry. Free wine and sandwiches if you get there early enough, as I intend to! Hope to see you there.
Weegie Wednesday, at which I spoke about STF and non-fiction earlier this month, next convenes on Wednesday 18th November 2015 at 7.30pm in the CCA bar on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. My talk drew several Glasgow nonfic authors out of the woodwork, who may join us on occasion at STF. But Weegies it is a useful networking event and worth making the arduous journey westwards for.
That’s all for now. But do think about getting involved with our Science Festival event, and about coming along to STF in November or at Ch*****as. See you then or tomorrow! And as always, best wishes for all your non-fiction writing.

In this post: opportunities for non-fiction writers, a talk from one of them (me), and an invitation for all of them (you) to this month’s regular Stranger Than Fiction meeting.
Stranger Than Fiction September 2015
Thanks to all who side-stepped one of these lovely late summer evenings we’ve been getting to come along to September’s Stranger Than Fiction session. Without any text to discuss, we had a lively few hours sharing our problems and progress and the occasional opportunity. Autumn is here now though, and with it lots of non-fiction action.
Stranger Than Fiction October 2015
Our next meeting is at 7.30pm on Thursday 22nd October 2015, upstairs in the Wash Bar on the Mound. If you want some feedback on the project you’re currently writing, let me know and we can discuss details. We normally aim to circulate submissions a week ahead of each meeting, to give everyone a chance to read them ahead of the session, so the October deadline for sending in a chapter or two is Friday 16th October. And as a rule it’s a good idea to have attended someone else’s feedback session first before putting your own work up for discussion, so that you know what to expect.
Scottish Books Trust opportunities
There are a couple of SBT schemes of potential interest to STFers. The annual SBT Mentoring Scheme is accepting applications for 2016 now, with a deadline of 28th October. “If you are a published writer who has completed a substantial amount of content and you need some additional support, mentoring could be for you. Mentoring can bring a fresh perspective to a project, help you develop your skills and grow in confidence as a writer.” There are a number of conditions of course, but the scheme is explicitly open to narrative non-fiction authors. Details here: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/writing/scottish-book-trust-training-awards/mentoring.
The SBT is also running another Next Chapter Award. The Next Chapter Award supports an emerging writer over the age of 40 yet to publish a full-length work for whom finding time and space to write has proved especially challenging. It includes a cash bursary, mentoring and a two-week writing retreat in Spring next year. The deadline for applications is 4th November, and narrative non-fiction authors are again explicitly included. details of that here: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/writing/scottish-book-trust-training-awards/next-chapter-award.
Weegie Wednesday non-fiction talk
For my sins, I am giving the keynote talk at October’s Weegie Wednesday. It’s at 7.30pm on Wednesday 14th October 2015, in the CCA bar on Sauchiehall Street. I will be expanding on the short talk about Stranger Than Fiction which I gave at the Salon earlier this year, mostly to talk about the absurd flukes and chances which have informed my career path so far. Needless to say it would be lovely to see some friendly faces in the crowd; but in any case Weegie Wednesday is a networking opportunity worth travelling to Glasgow for.
STF Christmas 2015
We don’t have a formal meeting in December. In the past I’ve hosted a Christmas social for STFers and partners in my flat, although last year life got in the way and I had to cancel. If you’re on our mailing list you will have received an email looking into various alternatives and asking for your feedback. I am happy to host again, but it should not all be down to me. It’s important that STF is directed by all its members, not just by the guy that sends the emails!
And finally … Krakow
Rather surprisingly, I have been chosen to represent Edinburgh UNESCO City of LIterature in Krakow UNESCO City of Literature next week! There was a short application window, and I can only assume that there were no other applicants, or that no one else was free to go next week! But more probably, it is because of the work that Stranger Than Fiction does in putting non-fiction writers in the frame. I am quite sure that the existence of STF, and the numbers of those attending and following its activities, has made a huge difference to the credibility of non-fiction writers in Edinburgh’s literary panoply. So to the Polish Consulate, to City of Edinburgh Council, to Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and especially to you my fellow STFers, thank you for my trip! (It’s not a holiday – I do actually have to write stuff about the two cities and their literary heritage.)
If you’re on our mailing list, please let me know your views on a Christmas social. Please let me know if you’d like to get some feedback yourself at the October meeting. I hope to see you at Weegie Wednesday AND at Stranger Than Fiction this month. And if you’re in Krakow next week Mon-Thu, get in touch! Above all, and as always, best of luck with all your non-fiction writing.

How was your summer? Glad it’s over? Sad it’s over? Either way, you can’t stop progress or the changing of the seasons. I always think that the temperature drops instantly with the last explosion of the Festival Fireworks and we’re plunged, like it or not, into the mists and mellow fruitfulness of the autumn program of Stranger Than Fiction meetings.
STF Summer Social
It was nice to meet up with many STFers at the Summer Social last month. About a dozen of us turned up at the Spiegeltent in the Book Festival, and promptly split into two groups of those who did and didn’t want to go in and see what Neu! Reekie were doing in the Unbound program. We became, I suppose, two non-fiction factions. A good time was had by all.
STF September 2015
We reconvene this month for the serious business of drinking and talking on Thursday 24th September 2015, meeting as usual at 7.30pm upstairs in the Wash Bar. It’s not too late to submit a chapter or two from whatever you’ve been writing over the summer, if you’d like to get the constructive feedback of your peers. Get in touch and I’ll book you in. Besides any contributions from members it will be a chance to catch up on what we’ve all been writing, to exchange news of opportunities and get the advice of other non-fiction writers on the problems which beset us all. Hope to see you then.
We’ve submitted a proposal for an event to the Edinburgh International Science Festival for their 2016 program. Breaking away from the conversation format of our previous contributions, we’ve come up with a panel game called Stranger Than Fiction, based loosely on all the other panel games but with particular reference to Call My Bluff, Would I Lie To You and The Unbelievable Truth. We’ll be telling each other and the audience a pack of lies in the form of short talks about various aspects of science and scientists. Hidden in the talks will be a number of truths which the audience will be challenged to spot. If I’m not making myself clear, here’s a random example of The Unbelievable Truth, which will give you a better idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzk6v5oL4iI. If our idea is accepted, we will need the help of all STFers to come up with short, witty, mendacious scripts.
Society of Authors
STFer Sue Lieberman has drawn my attention to a forthcoming visit by Society of Authors Media Consultant Kristen Harrison. Kristen visits Edinburgh about twice a year, and is interested in offering an advisory workshop to a small group on one of her next visits. It would be a 1.5-2hr session for a group of no more than four people. Would any STFers be interested in taking part? Sue has already had a consultation with her and says, “I can really recommend Kristen. She can cover issues to do with marketing and your writing “presence” in the public eye, including use of social media and your website profile. I had an individual phone session with her recently, and it was excellent. She did her homework, grasped “who I was” very quickly and came up with advice that was thoughtful, and tailored to me. A group session has additional benefits in that people can exchange experience and help each other.” If you want to know more, get in touch..
Other literary networking
Besides Stranger than Fiction, other literary networking events are also gearing up for the autumn. Weegie Wednesday is on Wednesday 16th September 2015, from 7.30pm in the CCA on Sauchiehall Street. I will be going along, partly because it’s a great chance to meet publishers and fellow writers and partly because I am to be a guest speaker (about Stranger Than Fiction and my own non-fiction work) at the October Weegie Wednesday. If anyone wants to join me next week, get in touch.
After a summer hiatus, the Edinburgh Literary Salon is also back this month, on Tuesday 29th September 2015 from 6pm, downstairs in the Wash Bar. Apart from the opportunity to hobnob with your fellow literary Edinburgers, two committee members from Weegie Wednesday are also coming through to see how we do things in the east. Edinburgh and Glasgow really are not that far apart, and I think there should be much more cross-pollination than there is at present. (I’m doing my bit – I’m from Glasgow and I bloomin’ LIVE here in Edinburgh!)
Let me know if you want to put a piece of work up for discussion this month or at a future STF session. I hope to see you soon at Weegie Wednesday, Stranger Than Fiction or the Edinburgh Literary Salon, or perhaps at all three. As always, best wishes for all your non-fiction writing.

If we were a football club, we’d be coming to the end of a great season. We’ve celebrated our fifth anniversary in the PLLG (premier league of literary groups), and finished the season with a great win at our July meeting: 2-0. Two really good submissions, both about food, both sparking lively discussion. How much emotional and descriptive detail do you put in or leave out? Is the reader always right? Should you dumb down? Should you include pictures? Should you include jokes? Should you fictionalise your material? (Surprisingly enough, a resounding No from us non-fiction writers on the last point.)

Summer Break and Autumn Restart
It was a good meeting to end the first half of our year on, and many of us stayed on in the Wash Bar long after the game was over. We take a break from formal sessions now until September, but watch this space for news of an informal social get-together towards the end of August. Our next regular session is on Thursday 24th September, at 7.30pm in the Wash Bar. If you want to use that as a deadline for getting on with your current non-fiction project over the summer, go for it! Let me know if you are thinking of submitting an extract for feedback in September, or indeed for later in the year. We have four more sessions left in 2015 before we take another break over Christmas.

Writers’ Essentials
At the July session we also discussed our possible contribution to the Writers’ Essentials novel-writing course. The consensus was that we non-fiction writers often have a greater sense of readership than novelists, because we are often writing to a publisher’s brief, a commission for the publisher’s target market. Even in the case of self-motivated non-fiction such as memoir, at Stranger Than Fiction the discussion often turns to a consideration of readership and marketability. STFers have a greater awreness of their readers than many writers. Sarah Hull of Writers’ Essentials is also interested in collaborating on other fiction-nonfiction events separate from the course.

We spent some time at the meeting brainstorming ideas for our contribution to next year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival. Having contributed panel discussions for the last two years, it’s been suggested we could aim for something more structured now. So far our events have looked at writing about science, and w are after all writers, not scientists. But perhaps we can also draw on our writerly skills to present actual science in an accessible way, just as we do when we’re writing about it. What about a quiz show format? Or a cookery show format to present the science of food? Or an exploration of the science of book production – paper, parchment, vellum, the mechanics of book-binding? These were all suggestions last night. What next?
Thursday 6th August, 3pm: EISF are holding an information event where we can find out more about the festival and the sort of contribution they are looking for.
Tuesday 1st September, 5pm: EISF’s deadline for proposals. In my experience this need not be a detailed proposal, but should at least give enough information for them to think, “Ooh yes, we want something like that.”
Somewhere in amongst those dates, it would useful for any interested STFers to get together and come up with an idea. I imagine a couple of brainstorming sessions, one before and one after the information event, would be useful. Please let me know if you would be interested in helping to devise our event, even if you don’t want to be part of it on the day next April. You don’t have to be a science writer, just a writer with ideas!

Diary dates
STF summer social, late August
STF September 2015 meeting, Thursday 24th September at 7.30pm in the Wash Bar

I hope to see you at an EISF brainstorm or at one or all of these dates! But in any case, good luck with all your summer non-fiction writing.
Best wishes,