An author friend of mine is thinking of moving back to Scotland after a long time in the States. He emailed to ask what the literary scene is like here at the moment. My response was threefold:

1. It’s vibrant and exciting. There are loads of events going on. Every day, something appears on my Facebook page that I want to go to.

2. There’s great camaraderie, as I experienced yesterday at the Crime Writers’ Association lunch. Writers are supportive and want to see each other succeed. Every month or so I wonder about moving back to Australia, or to anywhere with sun, but I don’t think I could give up the colleagues and friends I’ve made here in the writing world. It’s a lovely, inspiring community.

3. It’s filled with panic and fear. Writers like me are blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and networking to expand their readership. They’re diversifying into different genres, radio plays, screenplays, and journalism. They’re publishing e-books. They’re making video trailers. They’re realising that if they want to make it as a writer, they have to do a lot more than just write.

So I’d say move here, but be prepared to work hard and be scared. You’ll have fun doing it and you won’t be alone.

Here are some of the things I need to do in the following weeks, which excite and frighten me in equal measure:

 – Write confessional articles to help promote my book, The Donor, which is out in July.

–  Talk in front of a HUGE (?) crowd at the Ramshorn Theatre.

–  Prepare some material for the stand-up comedy course I’m doing in the hope that I will learn how to make people laugh (and therefore encourage them to buy my books!).

–  Edit a short book I wrote a while back in order to publish it myself as an e-book.

–  Rewrite the screenplay of The Devil’s Staircase, a project which has been re-invigorated by the Australian co-producers who are now on board.

–   Begin the play I’ve pitched to radio 4 – an adaptation of The Donor.

–   Attend at least two writer events a week – get myself out there, meet people!

–   Decide which Young Adult book I’m going to write next, helped along by an excellent and keen editor friend in the states.

–   Continue with adult book number 6.

But first, I need to post this on my blog, write something pointless on twitter and something funny on facebook and get ready for a long boozy lunch with my talented room-mates in Hope Street Studios.

(If you’d like to comment, you can skip the registering bit).



~ by helenfitzgerald on March 4, 2011.


  1. Thanks for this. I know quite a few writers who think all they need to do is sit in a room and make up stories. It hasn’t been that way in decades, if it ever was.


  2. I don’t think I was prepared for the business side of things. It’s a fun learning curve!


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