FGTS hosts CW Reading Party

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From Glasgow to Saturn was asked to host a special Reading Party last week, to welcome the Creative Writing Programme’s new students. The students were treated to fabulous readings from current students, staff & recent graduates (a huge thank you to Elizabeth Reeder, Kerri McLawlin, Emily Munro, Alan Gillespie, Bethany Anderson & Laura Marney).  The evening also featured music from singer-songwriter and GU graduate Jo Mango, and we even made cake.  Thank you to all the CW students who came along and made it such a great evening.  We had fun, so watch this space for details of another FGTS reading party later in the term for all you lovely subscribers and contributors.

Siobhan Staples, Megan Primrose & Paul Deaton

Summer Issue Online Now!

Dear Readers,

It is with great pleasure that we present the long-awaited Issue 22 of From Glasgow to Saturn. This contains a selection of prose and poetry from the myriad talents of Catherine Baird, Patrick Holloway, R. A. Davis, Bethany Anderson, Izabela Ilowska, Siobhan Staples, Mizzy Hussain, Caroline Moir, Michelle Waering, Andrea Stout, G. W. Colkitto, Alan Bissett, Kathrine Sowerby, Katy McAulay, Mairi McCloud, Mark Fraser, Kirsty Neary, Anneliese Mackintosh, Katy Ewing, Matthew Baxter, Kirsty Logan, Gill Davies, Angela Blacklock-Brown, Elly Farrelly, George Craig, Thomas Walpole, Carol McKay, Evanglia Daskalaki and Vivien Jones.

You can read the poetry and prose online, or via our supershiny, free, downloadable pdf, which you can print off or upload to some kind of new-fangled e-reader gizmo or simply save to your desktop.

Cyril Connolly once said that there are two kinds of literary magazine: hotels and clubs. Hotels ‘fill up every week with a different clique.’ Clubs are occupied by a single clique whose purpose in life is to keep non-members out.[1]

Over our nine-month editorship of From Glasgow to Saturn, we have tried to be more of an hotel than a club. We have travelled in a different direction than James Byrne, editor of the ultra-clubbish The Wolf, who announced in a recent editorial that he will publish nothing but ‘demanding’ work which possesses ‘layers of multiplicity of meaning’; writing that ‘hovers among uncertainties.’[2]

In the hands of the present editors, From Glasgow to Saturn did not seek to promote (or discredit) any particular style of writing. We opened our doors equally to poetry that was free or accentual-syllabic, obscure or accessible. We had no preference for prose that was realistic instead of fantastic, gritty instead of uplifting. All we looked for was writing that worked.

So what kind of writing do we consider to work? Does a poem work if it makes the reader think deeply about the human condition? Does a story work if there’s a twist at the end the reader didn’t see coming? Ultimately, the judgment of what works is subjective; it is felt but cannot be explained; the editors’ judgment must be final, and like the decision of a jury, does not need to be justified.

In Issue 22, we offer poetry and prose pieces which, in our collective opinion, work well. Here you will find concrete verses, experimental formats, characters dark and delightful. We hope you enjoy the issue and find something that moves you. Please feel free to leave comments letting the writers and editors know what you make of the selection.

And with that, our task is complete. It is now time to hand over the editorship to a new and sparkling team: Paul Deaton, Megan Primrose and Siobhan Staples. We wish them well for the next incarnation of the University of Glasgow’s creative writing showcase, and look forward to their launch in the autumn.

With good wishes,

Alan Gillespie, Nick Boreham and Sheila Millar

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[1] Cyril Connolly, ‘Fifty Years of Little Magazines’, Art and Literature 1 (1964).

[2] James Byrne, ‘Editorial’, The Wolf, issue 19 (2008), pp 2-3.

Issue 19

Dear readers,

It is with great excitement that we present Issue 19 of From Glasgow to Saturn for your reading enjoyment. This contains a selection of prose and poetry from the various talents of Iain Maloney, Mairi McCloud, Amy Rafferty, Bethany Anderson, Elly Farrelly, Donald Ferguson, Vivien Jones, Nasim Marie Jafry, Paul Joseph Abbott, Ellen Glasgow, Katy McAulay and Mandy Haggith. To download your free copy of the magazine, visit https://glasgowtosaturn.com/currentissue.

Issue 19 also contains the debut column of Louise Welsh, the bestselling author of The Cutting Room, Tamburlaine Must Die, The Bullet Trick and Naming the Bones, and the university’s new Writer in Residence. She has agreed to turn agony aunt and lend her expert opinion to writers seeking guidance. Whatever you are having bookish problems with, be it characterisation, tension, plot or motivation, she is here to help. For details on how to pitch your own dilemma to Louise for future issues, please visit https://glasgowtosaturn.com/ask-louise.

Many thanks to those who submitted work for our consideration. We are continuously intrigued and impressed by Glasgow University’s students and alumni, and thrive on the quality being produced. We are beginning work on Issue 20, due out next month, so if you have not heard back from us regarding your submission, you can expect to do so within the next few weeks.

Keep an eye out for imminent details of a February Reading Party, and feel free to say hello on facebook, twitter and of course via email. Please continue sending us your stories and verses for publication; without submissions we are nothing, and this is your magazine – make of it what you will.

With good wishes,

Alan, Nick & Sheila