August events #1

Posted by Helen | Posted in Bloc events, Other events | Posted on 22-07-2011


The Writers’ Bloc comrades will be keeping busy in August. First up, two new Bloc shows:

  • The Writers’ Bloc Think Tank – Wordpower Books, Sunday 14th August 2:30pm, FREE

    Following on from Mr Big Society, we present another show of spoken word and unlikely social policy.

  • Havers and Blethers – Captain’s Bar, Friday 19th August 7:30-8:30pm, FREE

    Including a sneak preview of some of the material for Electric Lit Orchestra

And, don’t forget:

  • Electric Lit Orchestra – Unbound, EIBF, Tuesday 23rd August 2011, 9-11pm, FREE

    This is our main show for August and it’s going to rock! Why should the story stop when the band comes on?

Bloc will also have a table at:

  • Edinburgh Zine & Small Press Fair – The Forest Cafe, Sunday 7th August, 12-5pm, FREE

    For one day only, The Forest Cafe will be turned into a bookshop – featuring rare and hand-made zines, chapbooks, books, CDs and other ephemera.

As if three Writers’ Bloc shows and a book sale weren’t enough, we have confirmation of the first few other shows that will include appearances by Bloc comrades. There will be more to add to this list, so check the Comrades in August 2012 page for the latest updates.

  • Venus in Eclipse – Captain’s Bar, Friday 12th August 7:30-8:30pm, FREE

    Hear parts of the legendary singer-songwriter Venus Carmichael’s life story with performances of her songs by Tribute to Venus Carmichael. Featuring Andrew C Ferguson, Helen Jackson and Kirsti Wishart.

  • Andrew J. Wilson – The Last Man in Space – The Banshee Labyrinth, Tuesday 16th August 9:30-11pm 9:50-10:50pm, FREE

    For one night only, Scottish spacemen, doo-wop devil worshippers and quite possibly the end of the world as we know it. Part of the Free Fringe.

  • Edwin Morgan international poetry prize – EIBF, Wed 17th August, 7-8pm, £10/£8

    Jane McKie has been shortlisted in the prestigious Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition. The prize ceremony, which will include readings, is part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Jane McKie at Inky Fingers

Posted by Helen | Posted in Other events | Posted on 22-06-2011


Another quick shout-out for Inky Fingers. This month’s Open Mic night features comrade Jane alongside the multi-talented Alan Bissett.

Inky Fingers poster - open mic featuring Jane McKie and Alan BissettInky Fingers Open Mic featuring Jane McKie and Alan Bissett
Tuesday 28th June, 8 – 11pm, Forest Café, FREE

We want to hear from everybody. We want your poems, your rants, your ballads, your short stories, your diaries, your experimental texts, your heart, your mind, your body. We want the essay on your summer holidays you wrote when you were four, your adolescent haiku, and extracts from your eventually-to-be-completed epic fantasy quadrilogy. We want to hear your best new work as well. And we want people to care about the way words are performed.

Our featured performers this month are Jane McKie, award-winning poet and Knucker Press publisher, and Alan Bissett, novelist, playwright, and all-round banterer.

More details at

Inky Fingers deadlines

Posted by Helen | Posted in Other events | Posted on 06-06-2011


Our fellow travellers over at Inky Fingers have two reminders this week:

Inky Fingers Readeasy
Thursday 9th June (sign up by the 8th!), 6 – 9pm, Forest Action Room, FREE

The READeasy Writers’ Group is a safe and encouraging space for writers to meet up, hear their words read, and get constructive critical feedback. It’s open to writers of any style, experience, identity and genre — but places each month are limited. See the Writers’ Group page for full instructions (including length limits).

Inky Fingers August Minifest
Deadline for Proposals: Friday 10th June

Calling writers, performers, poets, storytellers, spoken word artistes, linguistic experimenters, and everyone who cares about putting beautiful words in a beautiful order!

Inky Fingers, Edinburgh’s live-lit organising collective, is programming a spectacular wordly mini-fest at the Forest Café, 8th – 13th August 2011, and is looking for proposed events and readings from writers around the country.

Check the Minifest Callout for full details and send in your ideas by Friday!

Love Sick: The Anti-Valentine

Posted by mo | Posted in Other events | Posted on 23-01-2011


Our next show will be “Love Sick”, a bracing antidote to Valentine’s Day. Writers’ Bloc’s Andrew C Ferguson, Andrew J Wilson and Morag Edward will be the guests of the talented Napier University Creative Writing folk, who will include Jennifer Bryce, Ever Dundas, Sian Bevan, Matthew Nadelhaft, Sean Martin, Ariadne Cass-Maran and Barbara Melville.

Hello, my pretties. Do you think Valentine’s Day is squishy (in a bad way)? Forget the evening of shoplifting you had planned. Instead, come join us on Sunday 13th February for a FREE night of anti-Valentine stories, including guest performances from spoken word group Writers’ Bloc. We kick off at 8pm, and promise tales of historical romance, sexual perversions, and… well, more sexual perversions. After that, you can stay around for a drink and some other ‘stuff’. Don’t forget the safe word, darling.

Love Sick” will be held in the Speakeasy at Cabaret Voltaire, 36-38 Blair Street, on Sunday 13th February from 8pm to 11:00 pm. And it’s free!

* Loveheart artwork available as prints and gift cards from Edinburgh art collective

Lineup for Wee Red Gig

Posted by gav | Posted in Other events | Posted on 23-11-2010


We had a staggering response to our call for contributions to the Wee Red Gig and had to make some very hard decisions to keep the programme to a manageable length. But we’ve done it and are ready to present our selection of new short fiction by up and coming writers working in Edinburgh.

Ready for some new voices? Come along to the Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh College of Art, Wednesday 24th November, 8pm. Admission £3/£2 (readers free).

  • Ali Maloney: Crimson Snow
  • Barbara Melville: One Small Step
  • Bram Gieben: Dancers
  • Caitlin Smythe: The Pumpkin Shells Are Mine
  • Charlotte Plews: Who Killed Cock Robin?
  • Gavin McMenemy: Prisoner
  • Helen Jackson: Form Follows Foretelling
  • Mark Harding: We Love you, MTV
  • Rosie Phenix-Walker: The Lucky Ones
  • Rosy Barnes: The Power of Art: Basketweaving for Psychopaths
  • Sindhu Rajasekharan: Ravasatam: The Way of Mercury
  • Stephen Barnaby: 50 word stories
  • Stuart Wallace: Tasting Notes: Vin-dication

Plus sneaky little appearances from Andrew C Ferguson, Gavin Inglis, Jane McKie, Kirsti Wishart and Morag Edward.

Image courtesy of CoCreatr / Bernd (Yokohama, Japan) on

Read with us

Posted by gav | Posted in Other events | Posted on 14-11-2010


If you’re on our mailing list (you can join through the embassy) you’ve already heard about this and thanks to everybody who submitted so far. But we’re opening up a few slots for the last week.

We think there are plenty of opportunities for performance poets around Edinburgh and not nearly enough for performance prosers.* So we’re putting on a gig and we want readers. You could be one.

The Wee Red Gig on Wednesday 24th November at the Wee Red Bar will showcase a number of new voices, all delivering their own material to an enthusiastic audience. We have a few slots left. If you’re interested, send us the story or extract you want to read. It can be up to 800 words. We have only a limited number of slots so send us your best work and what you think might appeal to the Bloc audience;
Writers’ Bloc has been putting on themed shows in Edinburgh and beyond for nine years. We like punchy, surprising, macabre or funny work, mainstream or genre.

Our veteran readers will be there to help out and contribute five minutes of their own. We won’t pay you, but we will buy each reader a drink.

Has it got to be your own work? Yes!

Can you read poetry? No!

The submission address is and the absolutely final deadline is noon on November 20th. But get your application in early!

* We do not like that word either.

Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh College of Art, Wednesday 24th November, 8pm, £3/£2 (readers free).

we survived the book festival

Posted by mo | Posted in Other events | Posted on 02-09-2010


Thanks very much to everyone who came along to hear us all at our many and varied individual shows this Fringe/ Festival. We’ve almost recovered, I think.

My first reading of the festivities was at the Big Red Door for the opening Fringe cabaret night. A  treat of multimedia circus, I had a scaly, glittery trapeze artist with witchy acrobat underneath as I read the tale of the creature in the caves.

Loved doing Story Shop at the book festival (thanks to City of Literature) with the cellist Lindsay Martindale – see the wee recording they made afterwards: There was a heatwave that day.

Then the new Unbound book festival cabaret on Tuesday 24th with Writers’ Bloc doing a damn fine line-up in the splendid Spiegeltent. We had a blast – and we have new fans! The Unbound cabaret series was a fantastic addition to the book festival menu, long may it continue.

Last gig of the season was the final farewell show at the Big Red Door, a seven hour cabaret to celebrate and say goodbye to this unique venue. There may be photographs. I was on stage just as the tattoo firework bombardment hit the skies…

I’m sure the others will tell you of their literary exploits if you buy them a beer 🙂

Ken MacLeod’s The Restoration Game

Posted by Lenin | Posted in Other events | Posted on 31-03-2010


When it looked like Ken MacLeod’s next book, The Restoration Game, would be published in March rather than in July, Blackwell’s on South Bridge very kindly and cannily offered to host a launch party at (6:30 for) 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday 17 March at the nearby Pleasance Theatre. We’ll have to wait another four months to see the novel, but the event is still on — and you’re invited.

It will now consist of readings followed by discussion with Ken, and Writers’ Bloc personnel Charles Stross and Andrew J. Wilson. Ken’s own reading will be from The Restoration Game, and anyone pre-ordering at the event will get an early copy (signed, if you like). Charlie may well be reading from his novel-in-progress, Rule 34, and Andrew will offer a short story.

This event is ticketed, but all tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell Bookshop, 53-59 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1YS. For more information or to reserve tickets, please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8206 or

The Restoration Game has been briefly and favourably reviewed in The Guardian []:

As ever, MacLeod’s grasp of political intrigue is first rate, and in Lucy he’s created a complex heroine forever in doubt as to the true nature of events.

Hope you can make it,

Writers’ Bloc.

Underword – August 2009

Posted by Lenin | Posted in Other events | Posted on 09-10-2009


micCatch various members of Writers’ Bloc at Underword during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Each show is 7.50pm at Fingers Piano Bar, with free entry. Every one is different. Come to all twenty-two and collect the set.

Tuesday 11th August sees Jane McKie appear with Loose Tongues, an uncompromising feminist poetry collective.

Thursday 13th August is a solo show by Andrew C. Ferguson.

Tuesday 18th August sees a welcome repeat of Under the Bright and Hollow Sky, a multi-voice production written by Andrew J. Wilson which has not been performed for seven years.

Thursday 20th August is a solo show by Gavin Inglis. As the main organiser there is likely to be rather a lot of Gavin at Underword.

Friday 21st August welcomes our Glasgow sister group Word Dogs and Sunday 23rd features two of them — Hal Duncan and Richard Mosses.

Thursday 27th August lets Stefan Pearson out of his cage for the definitive presentation of his novel Worse Things and the startling true stories which form its fishy backdrop.

Finally on Friday 28th August Writers’ Bloc joins together like some mental big pumpkin to draw down the blinds on this Fringe run.