Glasgow Writer: Mary Irvine
Mary Irvine, is a writer who hails from Yorkshire but has made her home near Glasgow. She is involved in numerous projects writing short stories, collaborating in producing local history pamphlets about Dumbarton with the illustrator Anne Marshall. Mary also works tirelessly promoting other authors through the many literary events she initiates and organises. Her book ‘The Wind Whispers Her Name'(amazon.co.uk) , which draws on her experience of living in Greece, has recently been published.
Mary didn’t start writing creatively until some eight years ago after gaining an M.Litt. (CW) at Glasgow University. Passionate about her writing she loves experimenting with different styles, believing ‘it gives freedom but complements the discipline required’.
Being fairly new to creative writing Mary is keen to ask for advice, help/critiques from other authors. She also enjoys the company of an eclectic group of people as she believes diversity stimulates creativity.
All writers have their own work schedules. Mary writes something every day working on several projects at a time. It may take only one hour or many. For her first novel ‘The Wind Whispers Her Name’ she returned to Greece for several weeks – having lived there for many years Greece inspired her book and ‘this seemed a logical thing to do.’ Her routine was, eating when hungry, sleeping when tired and writing the rest of the time. A review of this book may be seen in issue 27 of the digital magazine ‘Scotland Correspondent’ (scotlandcorrespondent.com ). Issue 18 also has a piece of her creative writing inspired by Iona. A visit to a grave in Bosnia led to a short story which won 3rd prize in an international short story competition. This was subsequently published in Greece, in English and Greek (www.strangedaysbooks.gr). Two other short stories have been published in Greece. Surprisingly her first publication was a poem and she always insists she doesn’t write poetry.
Recently she has been busy promoting, advertising and setting up opportunities for local writers, especially those who find going up to Glasgow difficult. She has organised various courses and workshops including a five week course in creative writing for beginners in Alexandria, which proved popular, and a one day event at Fruin Farm.
Mary’s first big project was co-ordinating the Leven Litts Writers in producing sensory material to stimulate the memories of people living with dementia. The material produced was distributed to all Dementia Centres in Scotland and most of the North of England.
The ‘Meet the Author’ events at Fruin Farm, where various author came along to talk about their life and work, proved to be very popular and will start up again in the Autumn, 2019
Another very convivial literary event, which Mary helped establish, is the Open Mic at the Balloch House Hotel held every first Monday of the month. (I can vouch for this as I was there just last week). It includes established guest writers and also affords a platform for up and coming writers.
The next project she has arranged is a series of six monthly ‘An Evening with…’ for Helensburgh writers. Six writers will talk about their ‘life in books’. This is intended to be a social evening over the summer months.
An Evening With Robin Lloyd-Jones ‘A Life in Books’ 25 May, 2019 Helensburgh Library
Mary is grateful to all the authors who offer their services freely in all her projects.
Mary offers free talks to local groups as follows:
Living in Greece – life, customs, history, working, education, how she ended up living there and how it influenced her writing. Readings/illustrations.
Local History – in collaboration with local book illustrator, Anne Marshall, she has produced 4 of an intended 10 booklet series of local ‘tales’, promoting the cultural and historical heritage of Dumbarton, the ancient capital of Strathclyde, aiming to give locals and visitors a ‘taster’ of the richness of that heritage, starting with Dumbarton and spreading out as far as Cardross, Gartmore and Bowling. The talks can be pitched at any level. These books are not for profit and 50p of each book sold is for the Beatson Cancer Charity.
Margaret Harrison – Peace campaigner/Freeman of Dumbarton. This is a Power point presentation so would require the necessary equipment. It concentrates on Margaret the woman, rather than on her peace campaigns. ‘I am presently writing a memoir of Margaret after 5 years of research including interviews with people who knew her.’
Mary has a blog on Pat’s Guide to Glasgow’s West End, where you can find out more about her various literary enterprises, read reviews written by Mary and, of course, lots about Greece.
This section: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene, writers
- Aye Write Three Debut Authors (interviewed by Matthew Keeley)
- Aye Write: Prof Dame Sue Black ‘The Books that Made Me
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Interview with debut author Evelyne Lawrie
- The Carrbridge Rose – Brian Whittingham
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: What Exactly Is Love?
- Ruby McCann – Glasgow Writer
- Springburn: Rome of the North – Ian R. Mitchell
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Black History Month
- Graeme Macrae Burnet – Glasgow Writer
- Mary Irvine’s Blog:Connect
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: EUROS
- Glasgow Writers: Tom Leonard
- Bernard MacLaverty: Glasgow Writer
- Janet Paisley: Scottish Author, Poet and Playwright
- Glasgow Writer: Samina Chaudry
- Glasgow Writers: Willy Maley
- Glasgow Writers: Alistair Braidwood – Scots Whay Hae!
- Glasgow Writers: Theresa Talbot
- Glasgow Writers: Pauline Lynch
- Glasgow Writer: Stuart Cosgrove