Ba Boom Ka Zoom!

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

The Writer-In-Residence is back in the Zoom Room!

As you may already know, my secret second life as a waitress/server can sometimes get in the way of more literary pursuits. My current place of work is still offering 50 percent off to ‘Help Out’ which has meant my plate-balancing skills have been in higher demand than usual both night and day. Service is very much without a smile as I and my team serve locals and tourists alike their towers of haggis, steak pies, and Scottish sundaes behind our black, synthetic masks.

But with the day off today, I’m getting the green tea bags out for two Japanese-themed workshops coming up soon. And, having spent the best part of twenty years in Tokyo, I am really looking forward to these.

At 11:00am, the University of Glasgow Japanese Book Club has gathered together three fantastic contemporary authors with a wealth of knowledge on all things Japanese to celebrate the literature of this intriguing country and discuss writing about Japan. Having attended a previous session with the critically acclaimed author Iain Maloney, I know I am in good hands, and with fellow author Nick Bradley and cultural historian Christopher Harding by his side, I can’t wait to her what they have to say.

After that, a Haiku and Tanka workshop with Japanese fiction writer, poet, and playwright

NC Tanabe. I had the great pleasure of taking part in Nahoko’s first workshop at the inaugural Stay-at-Home! Fringe Festival earlier in the year and am looking forward to trying my hand at this short-form poetry with her again.

The weekend continues with workshops for writers old and new providing prompts from The Inspiration Library and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Creative Writing student Bonnie Bolt will explore ways of using meditation as a way in to writing, and my very talented classmate and author Rebecca Smith will draw on her decade of working at BBC Radio and the expertise of industry professionals to lead a workshop on podcasting and audio production.

And for the final week – Creative Conversations continues to deliver the goods with award-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, and influential writer and critic Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Workshops with Spam Press, Katrine Solvaag, and our very own Erin Gannon that promise to take your writing to new and uncharted waters. Not to mention live readings from six fantastic underrepresented writers, courtesy of

So rain, rain, please don’t go away! Stay, stay, stay, and give me every excuse to stay in and tune in to the festival. Inspiration and exploration abound. And I look forward to seeing you all very soon!

(Mowgli will not be joining us today as he has - yet again - gone walkabout)

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