It’s either a Caledonian McSweeneys or a Scottish Laurence Sterne. I’m the author of The Book of Lost Books and Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented A Nation, as well as a literary editor, cultural critic and book reviewer. I’ve published essays on Edwin Morgan, Alasdair Gray, the lack of Scottish decadence, Kenneth White and contemporary Scottish writing, for the European Year of Culture and the International Journal of Scottish Literature. I’m a regular broadcaster on radio and festival chair, have written introductions to Buchan’s Midwinter and Scott’s Highland Widow, and edited a collection of new Scottish writing, Headshook. As part of a pilot scheme, I’ve become Reader in Residence for the Edinburgh Napier MA in Creative Writing.


6 responses to “About

  1. And it’s very good to see you here in the blogosphere! It had to happen one day. We’ll get you on Twitter yet. Or, don’t tell me…?

  2. Pingback: Have you met…? « Writing the Long Way Around

  3. So glad to have found this blog….why, I’m not entirely sure but sense it is something I will return to for critical refreshment, and good craic – like having a drink in Sandy Bell’s.
    Thank you ( esp for piece Feb 26th 10 on Critics)

  4. Alan Montgomery

    Dear McShandy,

    Thanks for the mention regarding my three minutes at “Forge of the Wordsmiths” in Glasgow last month. That was my maiden voyage and I’m glad you liked it. I certainly did. They’ve allowed me into their next one in Edinburgh this Saturday for more of the same, although I’m keen to do something else, albeit in a similar vein. I will have to advise them as to the spice of life and so on.

    Anyway, thanks again for the above (above mine, I mean, I wrote mine).


    Alan Montgomery

  5. Alan Montgomery

    Dear Stuart,

    Hello, it’s Alan Montgomery here. We met in Edinburgh, end of July, at the FOTW Garden Party. I’d just read a thing on a banal planet-jumper and you were most encouraging during our exchange.

    The following month I read again. Back in the Flying Duck. By all means YouTube it: DEATH OF AN ARTIST GLASGOW. The Glasgow bit is crucial, otherwise it’s to be found halfway down page three million and six. It went well again but retrospectively the performance was a bit flat in places. More oomph into the Anglified posh-luvvie Scots bit next time. But all great fun.

    In any event, I thought I’d write to you because I have been working on a novel, as I may have mentioned. It’s a comic novel dealing with dark/normal things in a way that may not have been done before. To be honest, however, due to a whole host of factors, my output has been scarce in respect to the novel, while the other shorter pieces are churned out like piglets at the drop of a hat. I have one complete chapter (pushing 5000 words) and for a couple of reasons I’ve now decided to commit to this book as I’m finding the guilt and shame of neglect weightier than I’m prepared to accept. I actually really want to write it now, that’s the difference.

    When we spoke in July, you kindly suggested that we could meet up if I was through that way (I’m Glasgow-based) and speak further. Well, I’d really like that if the offer’s still open. I’d be intrigued to hear more from you about a scene that I still know so little about.

    If appropriate, I’d be quite willing to send you the first chapter to see what you thought. Of course my mum and mates love it but, well, you know . . .

    So, would you still like to arrange that depending on things your end? Feel free to email me if that seems like a feasible suggestion.

    Many thanks,


  6. Alan Montgomery

    What-ho, McShandy!

    Alan Montgomery here, you saw me read last year at The Flying Duck and again at Forge of the Wordsmiths in Edinburgh shortly after that. We had a chat and you were complimentary about my stuff, for which I was grateful.

    Anyway, a heads up about something you may already know about. This Sunday, I’m reading at Monsters, Ink – Illicit Ink’s third spoken word event in The Cabaret Voltaire’s Speakeasy. Free entry. 8pm-10.30.

    I’ve just finished writing my piece and am seriously excited about it. I don’t know if you’d like to come along but it would be great if you did. A promising group. I read for them in July, and it went well, but this time I want to really smash it.

    Just thought I’d let you know.



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