Hello!  Here are the happenings from my desk and beyond.
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Stop Press

Many of you have already seen me squawking about this on Twitter and Facebook Apologies for the excessive excitement, but, for me, this is HUGE.  To fill in (for anyone lucky enough to have missed the hullaballoo) I have just been taken on by Cathryn Summerhayes, literary agent with Curtis Brown.  As one of the longest-established and most influential ‘talent’ agencies in the UK, with international branches, this is a major breakthrough.  At the same time, one of the pitfalls of being small fry in a big river is that you can get completely ignored.  However, Cathryn has been warm in her welcome and swift in communication and I am assured by the other Scottish writers with her that she does a fantastic job, so am hopeful.  And hugely relieved.  After the collapse of Freight and the slow growth of this novel over four-and-a-half years, to be in the hands of a highly competent agent is sheer joy.  Thank YOU, Dear Readers, for the words of encouragement along the way.  The next step is for Cathryn to secure a publisher, at which point it is usually still another 12 to 18 months before the book hits the shelves, so still a fair old road ahead.  In the meantime, I’m exploring a few different writing projects, but not quite sure which direction to take next.  As ever, will keep you posted.
The Strath  -  where this book is set


My short story, The Windhover, which was part of Radio 4’s ‘The Poet and The Echo’ series, was broadcast in January and seemed to strike a chord for many people.  It was chosen for Pick of the Week and generated emotional responses both to the BBC and me personally.  Here was a very special one:
“I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you... I think it is the most moving piece of radio I have ever heard. Your story has a particular resonance for me, as I had a son Luke who was very much like Johnny, from his slapstick sense of humour to his amazing laugh and love of nature. Luke was born with a very rare neuro-degenerative disease and physically he was also very similar to Johhny. Listening to you describe the highs and lows of caring for Johnny, and other peoples' reactions to same, could have been a snapshot into my life. I was not only touched by the content though, I felt it was beautifully written and superbly narrated. Next week will be 18 years since Luke died and so this was also a very poignant time for me to hear your story.”
Alison Peebles, the extraordinary actress who read this story and has been in two of my plays

Poetry Please!

Early this year I tutored five evening classes for adults in an introduction to Writing Poetry through the Cairngorms Learning Partnership.  We were booked out and it proved to be both hilarious and heart-warming as we played around together with lots of poetic forms from concrete poetry to haiku.  Participants were enthusiastic and I had a ball, so we’re exploring options for a Café Writing course.  Watch this space: there might be cake!
With Karen Hodgson, course participant, gifted poet and wild swimmer

Grand Days Out

Also in February and March I got along to some stimulating literature-focused events in Edinburgh: the annual Scottish Book Trade conference, jointly organised by Publishing Scotland and The Bookseller’s Association, and Future Proof, a day I helped to organise with Creative Scotland partly to equip ex-Freight authors finding ways forward, but open in the afternoon to anyone interested.  Both events demonstrated the vibrancy and, er, unpredictability of the Scottish publishing scene.
Checking out the free literature at the Book Trade Fair

Finding the Write Way

Recently I led two writing workshops at Kingussie High School, one for S3 boys thinking about life challenges and the other for S3 girls thinking about self-esteem.  I’m not sure about them, but I certainly learned a huge amount!  School author visits are often challenging and a potential blow to the self-esteem, but always rewarding.  I hope to do more.
I knew I spoke with my hands, but this is ridiculous!

Off to Oz!

On the personal front, I loved a whistle-stop trip to Australia in April, mainly as a belated celebration for my Mum’s 80th, but seeing some dear friends into the bargain. It was a very special time, not least because my dear Dad was bookseller extraordinaire and helped me get 40 copies out to new readers.  One of those was the artist Kerrie Warren, whose breath-taking work I discovered on an Open Studios tour.  The other day she wrote:
“I cannot recommend this book highly enough...  it took me on an unexpected journey… all the way to India where my mind and emotions took up residence, and still linger. I've not been so affected by a novel for years and now miss being trapped within its pages.”
Kerrie talking about her paint throwing techniques


And in the fiercely contested category of Most Boring Non-Fiction Ever, the award goes to… Merryn Glover’s Privacy Policy!  I will spare you the acceptance speech, but just to let you know I have nearly driven myself to a catatonic state trying to fathom the new GDPR regulations.  Wish I could just follow Frances McDormand, who said in her BAFTA acceptance speech, ‘I have a little trouble with compliance,’ but, unfortunately, I had to get over it and do the job.  You really don’t have to read it.  I’d much rather you read this beautiful poetry collection by my friend and former writing tutor Chris Powici, whose reading I attended the other night at The Nairn Bookshop.  (And, by the way, you don’t need to click anything or fill out a form again to keep receiving my newsletters because you already did all that the first time, so this IS compliant.  You can, of course unsubscribe at any time.  The link to do that is – and always has been – at the bottom of every newsletter.)
Chris Powici, with his other great passion: riding a bike

Festival Vibe

If you like outdoor music, stimulating debate, art, literature and lounging around on hay bales, then you’ll love Solas!  Described as Scotland’s mini-Greenbelt and the ‘most laid back’ of our summer festivals, it is a colourful, slightly crazy gathering at The Bield of Blackruthven in the heart of Perthshire.  I’m lucky enough to be running a writing workshop there this year called Time for Trees, so if you’re in that neck of the woods (sorry about the pun) on the weekend of 22nd to 24th June, do come along!
Soaking up the sun at Solas
Till then, or our next meet-up, wherever that may be, thank you again for your interest, your support, your kind words, prayers and encouragement.  It means the world to me.


Copyright © 2018 Merryn Glover, All rights reserved.

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