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Congratulations to Lynn Stewart (again) on winning yet another short story competition this time for ‘The Zombie Robot’.

Lynn’s short story ‘The Zombie Robot’ has taken first place in the Earlyworks Press Memoirs and Journalism competition, and will  published  in their  2012 anthology.
This is the second literary prize Lynn has won in the past month.

Kay Green of Earlyworks said ‘well done. It’s an excellent piece of writing. Thanks for entering. I look forward to hearing from you. All the best’

That is great news. Congrats again Lynn


The Drouth and Scotlit @ GU in collaboration with GSA announce the
Launch and Celebration of a new book

The Red Cockatoo
:James Kelman and the Art of Commitment

by Mitch Miller and Johnny Rodger

You are invited to the two day free event

Day One
Friday 7th October Glasgow Print Studio (103 Trongate) 7-9pm
Launch and conference opening party with live music, film, entertainment  and refreshments

and the launch of the TENTH ANNIVERSARY FORTIETH ISSUE of The Drouth: ‘Decade’

Day Two
Saturday 8th October Hunterian Gallery, Kelman in the City Conference 1-6pm
At the invitation of Glasgow University, top speakers/academics  come together to celebrate the publication of The Red Cockatoo and deliver papers/talks on Kelman’s engagement in the world of art and politics, activism, civics and anti-racism in Glasgow and beyond.  This is of vital interest to those working on Art groups and politics forming around GSA in the 80s and 90s.

 Speakers include:
     Dr. Scott Hames ,  (Edinburgh companion to James Kelman  (EUP) & forthcoming monograph on Kelman)
·         Dr. Simon Kovesi  (monograph on the novels of James Kelman, published by MUP)
·         Johnny Rodger  & Mitch Miller (Red Cockatoo) on the urban Kelman  &Kelman by dialectogram –drawings
·         Peter Kravitz, publisher of Kelman, at Polygon and Edinburgh Review, colleague of Kelman
·         Dr. Sarah Lowndes (Social Sculpture, pub by Luath, a history of art  & political movements in Glasgow 1980’s – present day)

There will also  be a showing of some of excerpts of some of the previously unseen film footage of the Govan 1990 conference ‘Self Determination and Power’ with Kelman, Chomsky et al ,prepared by Malcolm Dickson , director of Streetlevel Gallery, colleague and collaborator with Kelman.
There will be  a Wine Reception in the Hunterian 5-6pm

The Red Cockatoo: James Kelman and the Art of Commitment, a new book by Mitch Miller and Johnny Rodger will be launched at the conference.

Please feel free to distribute the attached flyer to your own contacts.

The vast majority of people who regularly lead or participate in brainstorms report that the results they achieve in their idea generation sessions are all-too-often, disappointing. A lack of fresh ideas, minimal participation, dominating personalities and inadequate follow-through are among the most common complaints.

 This is the first in a series of articles that will provide a basic understanding of the key principles necessary for brainstorming success. By simply considering and applying these concepts, you and your team can experience much more productive and enjoyable brainstorms.

The first, and one of the most important elements, is structure. Structuring your session…

 Structure? In a brainstorm? Isn’t that going to put everyone in a box, stifle creativity and suck all the life out of your session?

 In fact, adding some structure can have a big impact on the success of your brainstorm.



Many people mistakenly believe that because brainstorming is a creative process, it should be as free of structure, rules and process as possible. But in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Effective creative problem solving in any form always follows a structured process, whether the problem solvers realize it or not. Typically there are distinct phases for identifying and understanding the challenge, gathering and assimilating important background information, imaginative exploration, free association, critical judgment, refinement, etc.

 But while individuals engaging in creative thinking might naturally follow such a process, it is unlikely that a group will spontaneously do so. This is why applying a proven, systematic structure to your brainstorming sessions significantly increases your team’s productivity and by channeling the creative thinking efforts of the group.

 The SmartStorming 6-Step Structure is one example of a highly effective brainstorming process. It simulates the same type of process used by highly effective creative individuals, but adapted for group idea generation. The structure helps a brainstorm leader quickly achieve group alignment, focus attention, clearly state goals and objectives, inspire enthusiasm and create the momentum for spontaneous idea contribution.


Step 1: Pre-Session Strategy Planning
Perhaps the single most important thing you can do to ensure brainstorming success is to plan your session head of time. Pre-planning your session provides you with a step-by-step blueprint to follow during the brainstorm, resulting in more efficient use of time and a dramatic increase in your group’s “creative yield” of fresh ideas. When you know what you are going to do in your session, you can spend less time improvising and more time confidently inspiring and guiding your group. (SmartStorming provides a simple Pre-Session Planner checklist that you can download for free by clicking here.)

Step 2: Breaking the Ice (Group alignment exercise)
At the start a typical brainstorm session, participants may be in the room physically, but their minds are elsewhere. Their attention is often focused on outside concerns, responsibilities, tasks and deadlines. And the Smartphones they hold in their hands, a direct connection to the outside world, only make matters worse. In order to make the most of your brainstorm, you need to get your group focused on the task at hand and fully aligned toward the goal of the session. The faster you are able to do this, the more time and energy your group will be able to devote to generating ideas. Starting off your session with a fun group activity helps break down interpersonal barriers and frees up participants’ attention from outside concerns. There are countless effective icebreakers. Learn some…and use them.

Step 3: Defining Goals and Objectives
Most brainstorm leaders and participants, alike, have only a vague idea of what they are trying to accomplish. “Let’s see what we can come up with,” is hardly a specific goal to work towards. By clearly defining your session goals and objectives, and presenting a clear, inspiring challenge statement, you ensure that participants understand the task at hand and your expectations for the session. How many ideas, and of what nature? Are you looking for initial concepts or fully fleshed out plans? And when you state the challenge, are you using bland, cliché language that does nothing to inspire creative thinking?  Strive to make your challenge statement a launch pad for your group’s imagination.

Step 4: Idea Generation
Most brainstorms start here. And in fact, this is the “heart” of a brainstorming session, when an effective leader actively engages and guides the group in the exploration of ideas. Unfortunately, even this step is, more often than not, handled poorly. The key to effectiveness in the ideation phase (in addition to taking the previous three steps) is to employ a variety of ideation techniques to stimulate new, different ways of thinking. Such techniques are proven to help groups expand their thinking and generate a greater number of fresh, unexpected ideas. As a leader, familiarize yourself with some proven techniques (there are dozens; just look them up). Then in your Pre-Planning phase, decide on two or three to use during your session. Not only will you feel better prepared and more confident, you will watch your group’s productivity soar!

Step 5: Idea Evaluation and Selection
A well planned and facilitated brainstorm (following these steps) can generate hundreds of ideas— a handful of which may have real potential. It is critical to efficiently and accurately guide your group through the process of separating the “wheat” from the “chaff.” The most important consideration in this step is to have a predetermined set of selection criteria, which will serve as a yardstick the merits of ideas. Decide ahead of time what, specifically, will define a “good idea;” and then share your criteria with the group at the start of the brainstorm. In this way, everyone will understand the definition of success.

Step 6: Next Steps and Follow-Through
One of the top complaints we hear about brainstorms is that, even when interesting ideas are generated, no one ever hears about them again. The time to initiate next steps is before you leave the room. Wait until “later,” and the odds of decisive action being taken diminish significantly. Nothing will kill a great idea more effectively than passing time. So be sure to make this important, final step a part of your brainstorming structure. As quickly as possible after ideas are selected, determine action steps, assign roles and responsibilities, and agree to deliverables and deadlines.  This will help ensure that all the time and effort devoted to generating ideas, wasn’t wasted.

 Like the carefully sequenced acts in a tightly choreographed play, each of the 6 steps of the session format builds on the step before to help maximize your group’s creative performance and productivity. 

 If your brainstorms are like most, they are loose, unstructured and free – and the results probably fail to meet your expectations. Add a little structure, and watch your team’s creative genius explode!

 Click here to download your free copy of the SmartStorming Pre-Session Planner checklist.

 Next issue – Lesson 2: The Importance of Inviting Diversity…

  Firstly, a HUGE thanks from Linda Campbell to the regulars, newbies, visiting students and our host venue = the fantastic CCA, who all contributed to make September WCA such a great session!  Networking on the night has put two new productions in the pipeline so watch this space for cast and crew calls ;) )  
From October there will be a few small changes to enhance your workshop experience.   1)  A new WCA Reception area in the CCA to greet you, at which you’ll receive a raffle ticket for TWO COMPLIMENTARY PASSES to Cineworld – to be raffled on the night.  2)  The CCA will announce when the WCA sessions will begin and you should make your way to the Theatre which will be the new kick-off and casting point at 7 p.m. prompt.  3)  The CAFE will open under new management for refreshments, before and after workshop  so, 4)  Workshop will continue uninterrupted to performance at 9 p.m.
We have 3 writers booked for October 17 th WCA so room for two more 2 WRITER PLACES are available - book asap.  If you have not applied before send a small writing sample with request.  OCT WCA will have one improv session only.   
Okay, TO CALLOUTS - Remember, the next call out might be for your production so,  SUPPORT HOME GROWN!!!  
EXTRAS REQUIRED for 2 separate shoots at the same location over the September weekend: SPOON CAFE, corner of Albion St. Trongate. Email Linda to confirm attendance to either day approx 12 noon – teatime and she will meet you on the day.  Food, fun and networking guaranteed. Both projects are high quality productions with support from WCA.
Shoot 1)  Saturday 24th Sept. WCA Participant Sarmed Mirza – Independent Production - extras required from 12 -4/5 p.m. for fun, food, networking.
Shoot 2) Sunday 25th Sept. WCA Participant Luke Aherne - Independent Production – extras required from 12 – 4/5 p.m. for fun, food, networking. 
SOUND RECORDIST REQ’D must have own equipment – for shoot 1 – for the Saturday 24th Sept from 10 a.m. till teatime – great showreel and networking opportunity. Contact Producer Sarmed directly on 
PRODUCER Req’d;  WCA Participant Nicola Stead is a writer/director looking for an enthusiastic and resourceful producer to join her on a short film production to be shot in Glasgow, early 2012. The film is a gritty drama in which troubled youth James struggles to keep control of his chaotic life. There is no budget though catering will be provided and it should be a fun and rewarding shoot. Contact Nicola directly on  (that’s an underescore between n and s)
When replying to any mailshot from WCA please remember and tell them you heard it through the WCA Grapevine!
LAST but not least - WCA MEMBERSHIP will be announced shortly, so watch your emails and don’t miss out!

Contact Linda Campbell   at   
WCA Coordinator

WCA Reminder - Monday 19th Sept - 6 great scripts being workshopped plus the popular improv sessions. Register between6-6.50 for a prompt 7 p.m. start £5 incl refreshment. Come along, be part of the madness, network, and have a great night! (Writing samples not accepted on a workshop night – email Linda for submission guidelines)

WCA UPDATE:  update on the two Short Script Competition Winning Scripts ‘Your Number’s Up’ by Andrew Niven and ‘Cloud 9’ by Mark Loftus – both have now been filmed successfully and are currently in post-production edit, near completion! Well done to the teams, cast and crew for bringing these great scripts to film.. amazing results, fantastic short films and shining examples of both standard and excellence on every front. Also, ‘The Waster’ by Mark Loftus, finalist in the competition, Produced by Luke Aherne, facilitated and Exec. Produced by WCA, is in post – Big congrats to cast and crew and all involved. WCA can’t wait to share them with you when we launch the WCA Short Script Competition for 2012.

and of course to seeing them up on the BIG screen at Next Years WCA Screening and Awards Night which looks set to be awesome, and a thoroughly entertaining evening.  

The 1st Screening & Awards night in April 2011 was so popular it sold out to the submitting filmmakers and Guests before it even touched our mailing list, so next year we are delighted to announce a bigger venue to accomodate our participants as well.  With support from Cineworld we have secured a Cinema space to screen our 2012 Screening & Awards Night.  So, watch out for details about submissions and criteria for both the short script competition and the Screening & Awards night coming soon! 

CALL TO MEMBERS: To support the continued growth of WCA in supporting independent filmmaking, and to ensure the quality of further initiatives, productions and collaborations, WCA will be introducing membership to support all the good work we do – watch this space for further details coming soon!
Team Write Camera Action!  has entered the 48 Hour Film Challenge – as have teams compiled of many of our participants – Good Luck to all, and may the best team win!! will keep you all posted.  Tickets to see the completed films will be available from gft for screenings on Tues/Wed/Thur 11-13th Oct, details in their Oct brochure/web. The winning team will receive air fare and accomodation for their Representative to attend Filmapalooza (the 48HFP international finals) at the Taos Shortz Film Fest in New Mexico, USA. Now there’s motivation!

EXTRAS REQ’D: further filming is currently underway on Lights, Camera, Action! and we are looking for EXTRAS to accompany Linda for the Cafe scene on Sat 24th September - let me know if you can join in via this email – no expenses but fun guaranteed! 
Email linda  



MA Music: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Aimed at individuals who are passionate about music and want to start heir own music-related business, this MA is the first of its kind in the UK and has the backing of leading and legendary music industry innovators.

It is about making money from music across all the creative industries, not about working in the music industry.

Delivered in the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Scotland’s first city of cool, Glasgow.

al mccuskerthompson

Programme Leader MA Music: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

University of the West of Scotland

Tel: 01292 886473

Currently Reading: Free:The Future of a Radical Price – Chris Anderson

My friend and Colleague Tom Murray’s new play is touring the Borders in September and October. Here are all the details.
Catch up with it for a great night out at the Theatre. 



With Lesley Hart as Emma and Jordan Young as Robert.

Lesley’s stage work includes Future Proof a 2011 Edinburgh Fringe first
at the Traverse.  Other work includes:  I Was a Beautiful Day,
Shimmer and Outlying Islands.   Film and Television work include
Casualty, Fast Romance and Taggart.

Jordan’s stage work includes Black Watch and Gagarin Way.  TV work
includes Rab C Nesbitt and Legit.

Directed by John Carnegie. Scenery and Costumes designed by Gregory

See below for  tour dates and venues.

‘The winds batter a remote cottage in the Borders.  Emma enters this
‘animals’ lair’ for her long planned encounter with its owner, Robert.
Years before, the worlds of Robert’s father and Emma’s mother collided
in a way that would affect their children’s lives forever.  Today, that
situation is going to be resolved.’

Tense, passionate, edge-of-the-seat theatre, Tom Murray’s involving
drama was joint winner of the inaugural Rowan Tree Playwrighting


Bowhill Theatre, by Selkirk

Friday 30 September   & Saturday 1 October  8.00pm

Tickets: 01750 22204 & online at

Tower Mill, Heart of Hawick

Tuesday 4 October 7.30pm

Box Office: 01450 360 688 & online

Macfie Village Hall, Heriot

Wednesday 5 October 7.30pm

Tickets on the door & online at

Coldingham Village Hall

Thursday 6 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Coldingham PO 01890 771831

The Wynd, Melrose

Friday 7 October 8.00pm

Tickets: 08432 898 555 online

Eastgate Theatre, Peebles

Saturday 8 October 7.30pm

Box Office: 01750 725777 & online

Village Hall, Smailholm

Sunday 9 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Smailholm Pottery 01573 460 666 & online at

Biggar Corn Exchange

Wednesday 12 October 7.30pm

or on the door

Carlops Community Hall

Thursday 13 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Carlops PO or on the door & online at

Coldstream Community Centre

Friday 14 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Clark’s Newsagents, Coldstream
or on the door & online at

Wauchope Hall, Town Yetholm

Sat 15 October 7.30pm

Tickets:Yetholm Village Shop 01573 420366 & online at

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