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29 July 2021

Creative Conversations: Writing the Personal and the Political

11 August 2020

Scottish Writers Creative Conversations Showcase with Glasgow University 2020

The first in a three night series of Creative Conversation events showcasing the best in new Scottish writing co-hosted by Publishing Scotland and University of Glasgow Creative Writing Programme.

You can view recordings of all three events on YouTube until 20 September 2020. See:

Writing the Personal and the Political (11 August)

Writing the Past in the Present (12 August) 

Writing the Ground Beneath our Feet (13 August). 


Writing the Personal and the Political

Date: Tuesday 11 August 2020
Time:  17.30 - 19.00 GMT
Who: Stuart Cosgrove (Cassius X - Birlinn), Donald Murray (As the Women Lay Dreaming - Saraband), Nadine Aisha Jassat (Let Me Tell You This - 404 Ink), and Dina Nayeri (The Ungrateful Refugee - Canongate Books), chaired by Louise Welsh.


Dina Nayeri was born in Iran during the revolution and arrived in America when she was ten years old. She is the winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and the UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize. The author of two novels - Refuge and A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea - and contributor to The Displaced, her work has been published in over twenty countries. Her stories and essays have been published in The O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, the New York Times, Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Granta and many other publications. She lives in Paris.

Stuart Cosgrove, originally from Perth, was media editor with the NME and a feature writer for a range of newspapers and magazines. In 2005 he was named Broadcaster of the Year in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards and in 2012 he won numerous awards including a BAFTA and Royal Television Society award for Channel 4's coverage of the London Paralympics 2012. The second book in his soul trilogy, Memphis 68, won the Penderyn Music Prize in 2018.

From Ness, Isle of Lewis, Donald S Murray was a secondary teacher for many years. Since leaving the profession, he has published many books - fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Several have been chosen to be among the Guardian Nature Books of the Year. His latest books are The Dark Stuff - Stories from The Peatlands (Bloomsbury) and As the Women Lay Dreaming (Saraband) inspired by the effects of the Iolaire disaster of 1st January 1919 on his home community. This last novel was the subject of a documentary on BBC Alba and featured on BBC Radio 4's 'Open Book', presented by Mariella Frostrup. It was widely reviewed. Together with winning the Paul Torday Memorial Prize, it was shortlisted for the Authors Club First Books Award, the Herald Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Scottish Culture. and was Highly Commended in the Sir Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. A Gaelic speaker, he appears regularly on BBC Radio Nan Gaidheal. His next novel 'In a Veil of Mist' will be published by Saraband next spring.

Nadine Aisha Jassat is a poet, writer, and creative practitioner, whose work explores storytelling and social justice. She is the author of Let Me Tell You This (404 Ink, 2019), and has performed her work across the UK and internationally. Her poetry and prose feature in It's Not About the Burqa (Picador), Nasty Women (404 Ink), Islands Are But Mountains (Platypus Press) and more. Her work has drawn acclaim: she was named one of 30 Inspiring Women Under 30 in Scotland, received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers' Award, won the British Council's UK Open Call for the Discover project, and was shortlisted for the Outspoken London Prize for Poetry in Film and the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award 2018. In 2019, she was named by Makar Jackie Kay as one of 10 compelling BAME writers working in the UK, as part of Kay's International Literature Showcase selection. Kay writes: 'Hers is a powerful, unforgettable new voice.'


'Our partnership with Glasgow University's Creative Conversations have been invaluable in introducing a range of writing and publishing through expertly chaired events in the grand setting of the University Chapel. Moving the events online will lend our publishers and writers a new audience and we look forward to the opportunity to present our fresh new voices to them.' Marion Sinclair, Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland


The other events in the series are:

You can download a PDF with links to registering for each of the events (Creative Conversations August 2020 PDF).


Photo Credits: Kris Kesiak (Cosgrove), Chris Scott (Jassat), Anna Leader (Nayeri)