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15 April 2021

New Writing Scotland 30

6 October 2012

Do you know who published:

  • Iain Banks in 1983, a year before The Wasp Factory came out?
  • Ian Rankin in 1985, a year before his first novel The Flood, and two years before the first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses?
  • Janice Galloway in 1988, a year before the publication of The Trick is to Keep Breathing?
  • Irvine Welsh in 1991, two years before the arrival of Trainspotting?

And who can also lay claim to bringing out new work from writers as diverse as Leila Aboulela, Lin Anderson, Anne Donovan, Valerie Gillies, A L Kennedy, Norman MacCaig, Aonghas MacNeacail, James Meek, Edwin Morgan, Janet Paisley, James Robertson, Suhayl Saadi, Iain Crichton Smith and many, many others, written in all the languages of Scotland - from standard (and not-so-standard) English, through a dazzling variety of Scots, to Scottish Gaelic?

It's all from the annual collection called New Writing Scotland, published by ASLS. For the last thirty years New Writing Scotland has played a crucial part in the modern Scottish literary renaissance, publishing work from writers either resident in Scotland or from those who are Scots by birth, residence, or inclination: Scotland, after all, as the poet Maurice Lindsay (1918-2009) once wrote, is an attitude of mind.

"a testament to some of the freshest, punchiest, most sparkling new writing" Janice Galloway

"New Writing Scotland plays a large role in the writing life of Scotland" A L Kennedy

"New Writing Scotland gave me one of my earliest breaks as a writer"  Ian Rankin

Summer 2012 saw the arrival of New Writing Scotland 30: A Little Touch of Cliff in the Evening - the largest edition to date, containing over 100 pieces from more than 80 contributors. Some (such as Neal Ascherson, Alasdair Gray, Andrew Greig, Agnes Owens, and others) are internationally renowned; for others this issue of New Writing Scotland marks their first appearance in print. Other anthologies have come and gone, but New Writing Scotland keeps on publishing. It is nothing less than the strong, steady and continuing pulse of Scotland's literary heart.