SAW Conference

This weekend sees the 50th anniversary conference of The Scottish Association of Writers at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld. Over the weekend there will be opportunities to listen to respected published authors speaking to the assembly. There will also be opportunities to sign up for a number of workshops which are always enjoyable and informative. There will be the announcements of winners in the different writing genre competitions and a chance to hear winning entries being read out. This weekend is always inspiring and it’s bound to be extra especially so in this anniversary year. All competition entries receive helpful critiques which are most valuable.
We have come to expect a high standard of food and facilities at the venue which makes the whole experience memorable.
I shall be returning the Poetry Wall trophy which I won last year and the ‘Barbara Hammond trophy’for the best self published book which Tartan Witch also won last year.
With fellow Litereightee, Catherine’s, sketch being performed at some time – and I have a small part- it should all be a fun time.
I have bitten the bullet and booked a pitch with a publisher for a children’s novel which is simmering away so that won’t be the least bit stressful!!!
The weekend will fly by and if it’s like usual I shall go home saying ‘must do better’but completely inspired.
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Tartan Witch meets Willowbank Stars

As an extension to World Book Day, Tartan Witch visited the pupils and staff at Willowbank School, Kilmarnock. There were 3 sessions, infant classes, middle school and transition classes. The children sat patiently and listened to the story and showed their appreciation after the readings. I had prepared 4 follow up activities, there was a matching pairs game, book characters, design your own tartan and make a magic potion. All the activities were participated in with much enthusiasm but I reckon the ‘magic potion’ one took the biscuit. It was such a delight to see the thrills on the faces when the magic potion erupted and foamed over the rim of the glass. The children loved this.
I shall look forward to see receiving some photos of the wonderful tartans created which I hope to display here.
Thank you Willowbank for inviting Tartan Witch (and me!) to your inspiring school.

Cameron’s Review

It’s always good to get feedback and this one I felt I just had to share…..

‘I took a copy of your latest book about the Pirates to my grandson Cameron last month. He loved it and likes to hear t every night before bed. My son is his first choice to read it. Cameron has a lovely teacher who encourages the children to bring in the books they like for Storytime. The Pirates found themselves in a classroom in Littleport Community School. The teacher asked him to introduce the book. Cameron told the class that it was a very good story and that his Grandma had given it to him. ‘My Grandma knows the lady who wrote the book and she has other books about witches and if you sit nicely and listen I will bring those books in for you!’

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Scots in January

January sees Scottish schools focusing on Scots language. Addressing this I had a wonderful author visit to Doonfoot Primary School this afternoon where I introduced the P3s to Tartan Witch. Prior to this I read my poem, Learnin’ which is a child’s observation on P1 written in Scots. This was appreciatively received by children and adults.
Then P3 teacher, Mrs Falconer, read the English translation while I adopted the persona of Tartan Witch to read the story.
We had a great Q and A session with the children asking really relevant questions.
The children are now drawing Tartan Witch and hopefully I’ll be able to publish these here in the near future.
A great afternoon, well done children!
Tartan