We are simply over-the-moon giddy to announce our very first Writer in Residence at Golden Hare Books – the extremely talented Claire Askew! You can find out a bit more about what Claire will be doing with us at the bookshop by visiting our Writing Group page, but read on here to find a little introduction to Claire, by Claire!
Hello! My name’s Claire Askew, and I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Golden Hare Books as their Writer in Residence!
I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon (my parents delight in telling me that my first ever poem was a limerick about a carrot, complete with scrawled illustrations). However, I first started Being A Writer around 2004, so I’ve been at this strange game for a while now.
I started out as a poet, and I think poetry will always be my first love. My debut poetry collection, This changes things, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016, and was shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and a Saltire First Book Award. I also write fiction, and in 2016 my novel-in-progress, working title Three Rivers, won the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize. The book is represented by Nelle Andrew from Peters, Fraser and Dunlop Associates.
I strongly believe that writers should make themselves useful, so — when I’m not scribbling poems or clacketing away at novel-rewrites on my very elderly laptop — I spend a lot of time working in the community. Since 2014 I’ve been the Scotland tutor for Write Like A Grrrl!, a creative writing course aimed at women who face barriers to reaching their writing goals. Over the past two years I’ve also worked as the Creative Writing Fellow for a community writing organisation called Tyne and Esk Writers — working in libraries in Mid- and East Lothian — and as the 2016 Scottish Book Trust Reading Champion at Craigmillar Library. I do a lot of one-off workshops, talks and community arts sessions, too, and have worked with organisations like Bethany Christian Trust, Crisis Skylight, The Welcoming, Pilton Community Health Project, Glasgow Women’s Library and lots, lots more.
I’m excited to be helping Golden Hare Books to increase the opportunities they can provide for people like YOU to get to grips with books, reading for pleasure, and/or creative writing. Come along to one of my events and say hello, or drop me a line on Twitter @onenightstanzas!