Friday July 19th

Donald S Murray – Emotion and Setting: A Workshop

In the writing exercise participants should bring to this workshop, participants can use any form – poetry, prose, drama or non-fiction. Invent a character who visits a local or distant landmark, whether historical or contemporary. The location should have the power to generate a horde of emotions, ranging from grief to amusement, or a sense of the loss of a time in which their life underwent a dramatic change. The writing should also involve all an individual’s senses, including hearing, sight, a sense of smell or touch. Writers can use distant locations or those close to hand to inspire them. On the day, we will hear and work further on participants’ contributions.

9.30-12.30  The Mill on the Fleet, Faed Gallery  £15.00

Donald S Murray – The Salt and the Flame

Around a hundred years ago, thousands of individuals left Scotland to go to the United States and Canada, travelling for many reasons, including the effects, both psychological and economic, of the First World War. Among the vessels that took them were the Metagama and Marloch which carried hundreds from the Western Isles across the Atlantic to places like Montreal and St John New Brunswick. Donald’s new novel is largely about the aftermath of these changes in people’s lives, how some both adjusted and failed to adapt to this transition in their existence, especially the realities of industrial life and the many different cultures and identities they encountered in their New World. 

‘Tender, wise and beautiful.’ Antonia Senior, The Times Book of the Month.

2.00-3.00  The Mill on the Fleet, Faed Gallery  £5.00
Supported by Live Literature Scotland

Pauline Prior Pitt – Beyond the Bite

Pauline’s poems, alternately funny and poignant, beautifully reflect the preoccupations of women; their juggling lives, relationships between men and women, family life, the domestic scene, gynaecology, political issues, dresses, the ageing process, and love and death.  A longtime inhabitant of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, her island poems evocatively and powerfully transport you to the sea and shores close to her island home. Pauline has published ten poetry collections and four poetry pamphlets. Her pamphlet, North Uist Sea Poems, won the 2006 Callum Macdonald Award. She will introduce her latest collection, as well as read a selection of old favourites from some of her other collections. 

Pitt was the hit! Swindon Festival of Literature.

4.00-5.00  The Mill on the Fleet, Faed Gallery   £5.00
Supported by Live Literature Scotland

Chris Stokel-Walker – How AI Ate the World

In this popular, up-to date book, sub-titled A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence & its Long Future, Chris charts AI’s rise from its Cold War origins to its explosive growth in the 2020s, Meeting Silicon Valley innovators making rapid advances in ‘large language models’ of machine learning, and the insiders at Google and OpenAI who built Gemini and ChatGPT and have extraordinary ambitions for their technology, he explores AI’s dark side by talking to workers who have lost their jobs to bots and engages with futurologists worried that a man-made super-intelligence could threaten humankind.

Chris Stokel-Walker is a freelance English journalist, specialising in technology. He regularly contributes to the BBC, Washington Post, New York Times, WIRED, Economist, Guardian, New Scientist and Newsweek, and appears on the BBC, Sky News, CNN, Al Jazeera, Times Radio and other TV channels and radio stations. Chris is author of YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars, TikTok Boom: China’s Dynamite App and the Superpower Race for Social Media, the first popular book on TikTok, and, The History of the Internet in Byte-Sized Chunks.

8.00-9.00  The Mill on the Fleet, Faed Gallery   £10.00