In January, I went along to a writing workshop led by Alan Bissett which was organised to stimulate ideas on what it felt to be a bairn (the term for anyone from Falkirk). The group were encouraged to submit their piece to be considered for inclusion in an anthology which Alan was to edit.
There’s no doubt about it, out of the many anthologies I’ve submitted to over the years this one meant the most to me and I was chuffed to bits to learn that my short story, ‘Today’s Special at the York Cafe‘ was to be featured in the book, ‘Alight Here:An Anthology of Falkirk Writing.’
The official blurb states that, “this book celebrates the work of local professional and amateur writers from the Falkirk area. When we think of Scottish literature we think first of the urban grit which came from Edinburgh and Glasgow or the rural poetry of the Highlands and Islands. No-one thinks of Falkirk.
The collection features established writers from the area such as Aidan Moffat, the lyrical genius behind the band Arab Strap; Gordon Legge, who was key to the ‘Rebel Inc’ movement of the 1990s; Janet Paisley, one of Scotland’s leading Scots language voices; and Brian McCabe, arguably one of Scotland’s most accomplished short-story writers. Alongside them are a host of new and young talents, as well as unseen poetry unearthed from Falkirk Archives. Together, these voices create a compelling picture of Falkirk.”
The launch was a great night with readings from contributors Bethany Ruth Anderson, Paul Cowan and local literary legend, Janet Paisley. It was exciting to see my words in print and I feel honoured to have my writing published alongside the talents of Samuel Best, Peter Callaghan, Karyn Dougan, Lorna Fraser, Matt Hamilton, Brian McNeill, Gary Oberg, Constance Saim-Hunter, Lindsay Scott, Dickson Telfer, Paul Tonner, David Victor and Claire Wilson.
The event also included a preview of Alan’s excellent new one man show, ‘What the F**kirk’ which will be touring the Falkirk area over the next couple of weeks. He had the audience in stitches and I’m looking forward to seeing it again on Friday night with my two best friends and fellow bairns.
Last night was a proud moment for me as a bairn! Does your local area have a strong identity represented by the arts?