Aye Write 2013: Top Five Picks

by .

How do we know it’s spring? Aside the heating coming down a notch and the first ‘taps aff’ in the park, the mighty Aye Write festival always shakes Glasgow out of its woolly socks. A week of sunny literary events at the Mitchell Library is just what we need to get the brain cells sparking again, but what to choose from the 170 events running from 12th to 20th of April? We at Kohl HQ have our wish list ready:

  1. Cookie Cabaret – why choose one event when you can see them all at once? The cream of the Scottish lit scene, indie bands and graffiti artists vie for your attention beside top eatery Cookie. It’s artsy Glasgow in a nutshell you can eat.  Worth fighting the bespectacled hipsters to get a ticket, especially if you are one. (12 April, 7.30-10.30pm)
  2. A L Kennedy: On Writing – if you’re a fan of her columns in The Guardian you’ll know what to expect! Honest, witty, strange and sage; the stand-up novelist surprises and inspires with her collected musings. (19 April, 6-7pm)
  3. Muriel Spark – 50 years on from its publication, we are still trying to work out why The Girls of Slender Means fascinates us so. An impressive panel including Janice Galloway discuss Edinburgh’s most caustic daughter. (13 April, 7.30-9pm)
  4. Fifty Shades of Feminism – half a century ago Betty Friedan’s second wave feminist classic The Feminine Mystique caused uproar. How much roar is left? Rather than the same old tired diatribes, this debate is bound to get global and sparky between the formidable Bidisha and Rachel Holmes. (14 April, 7.30-9pm)
  5. Book Spine Poetry workshop – what’s the point of a lit festival if you don’t get wordy? This one lets you run amok in the Mitchell Library. Surrealist bibliophiles with a good sense of humour need apply; kids welcome too. Running on both the 14th and 20th of April. Take a look at all the workshops though, from character speed dating, to detectives and museum objects there’s something for everyone, plus some drop in freebies. (14 & 20 April, 3-4.30pm)
  6. University of Glasgow Showcase – did I say five? Well, I lied. Alumni from Glasgow Uni’s prestigious Creative Writing programme justifiably show off.  Includes Anne Donovan of Buddha Da fame and the experi-mental Nick-E Melville. Dazzling and diverse. And *FREE*. (16 April, 6-7pm)

Besides all that, Tracey Thorn talks about her life in pop, teeny Sandi Toksvig tells us a tall tale, Alasdair Gray’s Short Stories are worth celebrating, Kathleen Jamie has an impressive new poetry collection and David Shrigley has got to be as weird in person as his cartoons, right? What are your top picks? Will we see you there?



Considered necessary carpentry contractor for your building! We provide services for property developers as they appreciate advantages of dealing with only one contractor for all of their building needs. We build your house gorgeous.


Alasdair Gray is worth celebrating, no matter how short or long his stories are.


One of the best authors to come out of Scotland in many a year, and certainly the reason that I myself discovered a love of books and writing.


Escobar Walker