Short Stories

MUMMA’S BOY was commissioned by BBC Radio 4’s Short Works, and first broadcast in 2020. It’s about motherhood and apocalyptic weather and can be heard here. A longer version, looking in depth at post-natal depression, was published in the Rock Trust’s anthology All The Way Home, under the title ‘The Edinburgh Scale’.

PAINT FUMES is a commission by BBC Radio Drama. It’s inspired by the culture of street art and graffiti I encountered in Buenos Aires when travelling in South America. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 as part of Scottish Shorts in February 2014. You can listen to it on the BBC site here.

CLYDE WALKWAY, CITY CENTRE is a short story I was commissioned to write by The Scottish Book Trust and BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. You can hear me reading excerpts from the story, and an interview with me, on Woman’s Hour Listen Again, here.

THE DANCING I was commissioned by the Ghost City project to write and perform a story designed to be downloaded and listened to in a specific part of Edinburgh. This works best if you happen to be around Fountainbridge and the old disused Palais De Danse, but I’m sure you can use your imagination.

BEEFCAKE In 2010, Cargo Publishing commissioned me to write a short story for a new collection, The Year of Open Doors. It was a huge honour, especially as writers like Duncan McLean, Suhayl Saadi, Sophie Cooke, Aidan Moffat, Alan Bissett and Doug Johnstone were involved in the collection.  The brief was simply ‘Scotland, Now’; I came up with ‘Beefcake’, which is about sex, desire, how Scotland markets itself, and red meat. You can order a copy of The Year of Open Doors here (you should, it’s GREAT), or, even more thrillingly, take a wander to the Chemikal Underground website, where you can download an mp3 of my dulcet tones reading the story for 69p. 69p! That’s practically nothing, even in the current economic climate.

HORROR STORY In 2010 I was also asked to take part in Elsewhere, a new project run by the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The brief was simple: write a story on the theme of ‘Elsewhere’, set somewhere that isn’t your home country. I was one of 50 writers involved in the project, along with Roddy Doyle, Alan Warner, Ali Smith, Jen Hadfield, Louise Welsh and AL Kennedy. ‘Horror Story’, about Serbia, Scotland and nationalism, is the result. Read it here, listen to me reading an excerpt here, and find out more about Elsewhere here.

TEN YEARS PAST ANGIE was the first story I ever sent off for publication. It was accepted for the first issue of Gutter Magazine in 2009. It’s about memory, teen angst and sexy tits. I also performed it on BBC Radio Scotland in January 2010, and here I am reading it at Glasgow performance night Discombobulate in 2009: