Tag Archives: Helen McClory

ScotLitFest workshop + some reviews + an interview


The second #ScotLitFest is coming up this weekend!


There are lots of things planned for this online book festival (for the full catalogue check out their website)  – my event is an online flash fiction workshop, taking place on Facebook on Sunday between 1-2pm (BST). To sign up for a place, tweet ScotLitFest (through this link) and ask to be added. Alternatively, contact them through the ScotLitFest Facebook page. There will be writing prompts, a bit of feedback, tips for revision and a recommended reading list to help you with your writing, and I can’t wait!


In other news, there have been a few thoughtful, generous reviews of Flesh of the Peach recently – including The Writes of Woman, The Bottle Imp,  Scots Whay Hae and The F Word. For more, check out my Press tab, recently updated.


Naomi at The Writes of Woman interviewed me when I was down in London, and she had some fantastic questions for me.  Make yourself a cup of tea and have a listen. The real star may be my hands, which are animated by a force I do not understand.


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Not the Booker Nominations


have a lovely cat to counter this slightly needy post

It’s that time of year again – the Guardian’s Not The Booker Award, where readers can nominate and vote for the best book of the year. And my book is eligible for nomination!


All you have to do is to follow this link, sign in to the Guardian (it’s free) and leave the following ‘Nomination: Flesh of the Peach by Helen McClory’. You can add more if you like. The nominating process is open until the 30th of July. From then on, the longlist becomes a voting pool, and I’ll have more info on that nearer the time. Suffice to say, it’s not a complex process, but one that involves a popularity contest.

Please consider helping my book out, if you enjoyed it, or simply if you can – you don’t have to have read it, at this stage.

If you haven’t read the book yet, you can buy it here with free int. shipping,

Thank you so much for your time and your nominations  – and I’ll be posting again for the voting stage.

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An American Road Trip ‘Playlist’ of Books


Today you can read your way across America with me – over on Books for Women, Women’s Books:


NEW YORK CITY:  All aboard at Port Authority Bus Terminal. Find your seat and strap in. There are so many choices for the city that loves to read about itself, so I’ve gone for two…

Read more here!


Also you might have missed these two excellent reviews of Flesh of the Peach, in Scots Whay Hae and The Bottle Imp. My heart.


Additionally, some good things are brewing with both On the Edges of Vision, currently out of print after the shuttering of Queen’s Ferry Press, as well as for the nascent second collection (and the novella that goes along with it). Firm news when I have it to share.

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Online Flash Fiction Workshop – #ScotLitFest

Ice Cream for Health
A ghost sign in central Edinburgh

It’s just about time for the second #ScotLitFest and I’m once again thrilled to be involved: last year Kirsty Logan and I chatted about short fiction, mythology and process with chair Sasha de Buyl-Pisco – which you can watch here. This year, I’ll be leading a flash fiction workshop on Facebook, which I am excitedly grabbing prompts for right now (the one above won’t be included, but it’s quite interesting, isn’t it? I love ghost signs). It’s taking place over one hour, 1-2pm, on Sunday the 23rd of July. More info here! Come over for a sweet creative alternative to a leisurely Sunday.


Check out the catalogue of other virtual events of #ScotLitFest – wherever you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection, you can attend. And if you don’t have an internet connection – how are you reading this?


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Event: Edinburgh Writers Showcase


(a Polaroid from the NC500 trip – sands near Drumbeg)


(the cove at Smoo Cave, Durness)


A wee quick post to bring you the news that one week from today, on Thursday the 29th from 6.30pm, there’s an event at the lovely Golden Hare Books in Stockbridge, featuring Ever Dundas (Goblin), Martin MacInnes (Infinite Ground), Kaite Welsh (The Wages of Sin) and me (Flesh of the Peach – if I haven’t gone on enough about that). Tickets are just £4, available here.


A reminder if you are Edinburgh Book Festival bound this year  – I’m appearing with Meena Kandasamy on the 15th of August from 7pm and tickets to that event are on sale now.


It’s pretty thrilling – all these events. And it’s midsummer, muggy nights & dim thunder roaring over the city last night. The memory of the highlands fading to blues already like the photographs above.


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Papertrail Podcast Interview + Interview for the Caledonian Novel Award Blog


D and I have been away for the past few days, spending my birthday on the NC500, the route around Scotland’s three coasts (from above Inverness). Now we’re back, and I can share some things which appeared while I was mostly beyond the reach of navigable internet.


Firstly, here’s a written interview for the Caledonian Novel Award:


Welcome, Helen, and huge congratulations on the very recent publication of your first novel! Flesh of the Peach is an intense, candid story of a woman confronting grief, loss, and an, at times, harrowing childhood, and is set in New York, Cornwall and the American Southwest. Which parts of the novel did you find the easiest and the most difficult to write?

I think the easiest parts were the sections on how Sarah (my protagonist) would spend her money – they are flash-fiction fantasies inserted into the main body of the text, and not haunted overmuch by the more emotionally wrenching elements of the rest of the novel. The hardest parts were any of the ones I had to edit extensively, as I find editing the most arduous part of writing. So that’s every other section, really. It takes a long time to get it right, from feelings to getting characters to pick up a coffee cup.


Read more in the link above.


Next, make yourself a cup of tea for the Papertrail podcast interview, in which the host and I discuss three books I picked for examination + the line between whimsy and horror + how other works inspire my writing.



Finally – by the time this post goes live, tickets for the 2017 Edinburgh International Book Festival will have gone on sale and you can come along to see Meena Kandasamy and me in conversation with chair Lee Randall talking about our fiction on the 15th of August. Buy tickets for our event here!



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The Unsung Letter No 22

I immediately fell in love with the novella and Gurba’s narrator Desiree Garcia when I read it earlier this year. I devoured most of the book whilst waiting for a flight and during the subsequent airplane journey itself – actually the perfect place to absorb this novel which has a main character grappling with all the things going on inside her head as well as around her. 

Read more – subscribe to The Unsung Letter, a weekly missive on an underhyped book, sung to the rafters by a different writer/critic/book pusher each time. This week it’s New Zealander Andrea Quinlan.


Just a quick one this week  – I’m off to Leeds to read at Blackwells with three other debut novelists. Also – yesterday the Edinburgh International Book Festival catalogue was released: check out who is in it! Tickets go on sale next Tuesday, and a link will be here then.

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