Student Guide 2016: The best literary events
Reading groups, spoken-word nights and author events across Glasgow and Edinburgh
Whether you want to discuss what you've been reading, pen your novel or take to the stage with your latest poem there are plenty of events across the cities for the literary-inclined student.
There's nothing better than curling up with a good book. Unless you like chatting about a good book, in which case there are plenty of opportunities to discuss your thoughts and feelings with fellow bibliophiles. The Edinburgh branch of Blackwell's hosts a book group on the third Monday of every month. The Fruitmarket Gallery runs a similar operation on the first Sunday of the month (and this one's in a cafe, which means coffee, which means happiness). Waterstones on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow hosts a monthly book club for sci-fi, horror and fantasy lovers (aptly named the Sci Fi / Horror / Fantasy Book Group), and The Glasgow Book Group meets at Liberte to discuss all things literary. Keep an eye on meetup.com for information on that one.
They say there's a novel in everyone, so why not let yours out at a local creative writing group? In Edinburgh, Edinburgh Writers' Club has 15 meetings per year, and offers a chance to meet with fellow scribes and share your work. There's also Visible Ink, who meet regularly at Nelson Hall Community Centre and offer members constructive feedback on the pieces they read. The Meetup Group has a weekly callout for submissions, and the group reads the pieces ahead of time in order to offer the writer maximum feedback. Larkfield Writers Group is a friendly place to talk about your scribblings, and has been running since 1990. That's 26 years of creative writing expertise for you.
Scotland's spoken-word scene is booming. Loud Poets is a regular night running across both cities which puts poetry where it belongs: in front of a microphone. Neu! Reekie! is a spoken-word / music / animation night, which, though Edinburgh-based, has events in both cities. Unbound is the Edinburgh International Book Festival's literary cabaret, which combines music, poetry and storytelling every night in August. If you fancy trying your hand at an open mic, Edinburgh has two regular nights, Blind Poetics and Inky Fingers, which are perfect for this, while Glasgow has Word Play at the Tron and Inn Deep, which takes place on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
Big authors regularly pass through both cities in order to launch new books, chat about old work or simply meet the fans. Keep an eye on Blackwell's lineup, as they regularly pull in exciting writers (look out for Margaret Atwood in Edinburgh this October). Waterstones is a good bet too, as the shops at the West End of Princes Street and on Sauchiehall Street, respectively, are known for hosting exciting signings. It's not all about the chains, though: Golden Hare Books in Stockbridge is also known for its stellar speakers, as is the CCA in Glasgow.