Blog of the month: Brian Hamill

Blog of the Month We are delighted to welcome Brian Hamill as this month’s blogger of the month. Brian, who will be familiar to many members as the submissions editor of thi wurd books, has started up a new community blog to allow writers to showcase their work. Read on.

Works In Progress Community Blog /// Fiction and Essays

The Common Breath is a new publishing imprint based in Glasgow, and managed by Brian Hamill. The original intention for the website was to be an online repository of Brian’s own writing, fiction and non-fiction, published and unpublished, but after several years of bringing the writing of others to print through his previous position as Submissions Editor for thi wurd books, Brian wished to continue this work. Therefore, the Works In Progress literary community blog was created as part of

Inspired by the 1999 release of a Tim Buckley album of the same title which contains some of the singer’s different takes and experiments in studio in 1968/69, the Works In Progress blog is a place for writers to have their work published online in a matter of days if accepted, and where they have the ability to submit new drafts and update their work, or remove it after a period. There are no limits on length, style, content, etc. There will be print publication opportunities in the very near future also. All FWS members are invited to read the blog content and to submit their work. Please follow @thecommonbreath to make contact.

Blog of the Month: Steve Smart

We are delighted to welcome Steve Smart to this month’s blogspot. Steve’s account of how and why he set up his blog was so fascinating – and I felt would speak to so many readers – that I have included a much longer excerpt from it than usual. I particularly warm to the idea of leaving a trail of ‘digital breadcrumbs’ for retracing ones steps!

Steve Smart – about the blog: ‘Subjects, objects, verbs’ at

I’ve always made things, different kinds of things: images, sculptures, videos, software. About six years ago, having dabbled for years, I began to try to write poetry more seriously. Writing is part of the same journey, a work in progress. It would be grand to say that this compulsion had a specific purpose, but I don’t think that would be honest. I’m not possessed of a mission, or of specific goals that I know of. However, along with other technologies, blogging has provided an encouraging place to develop some field notes en route.

Recently I picked up Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines for the first time in 30 years. There is something about Chatwin’s explorations around aboriginal culture, about what it means to move through, and to sing the story of the line travelled, that resonates deeply.

I hope the blog can echo the songline of part of my creative journey.  My hope is that visitors find my posts by turn entertaining, a pleasure, a sadness, or a smile, thought provoking, and often slightly offbeat. My aspirations remain modest. To have been a good companion would be more than enough.

Lastly, I do have some odd and quite specific memory issues – something of a bind for a would-be poet(!) Perhaps ‘Subjects, objects, verbs’ will also be a conduit, an unpredictable vacuum tube network (I do like these) for piping memos through to ‘future me’. Looked at from another perspective, if I end up stravaiging cross-country over an uncertain past, I hope that leaving a few digital breadcrumbs might one day help me find my way back.

Blog of the Month: Gordon Gibson

We are delighted to welcome Gordon Gibson to this month’s blogspot. Gordon writes:

In 2010, because of physical disability, Gordon Gibson gave up his full-time occupation, and instead took to writing poetry and short fiction. In late 2018, he began a blog in order to showcase his published work and to discuss some of the issues that have arisen for him as a late-comer to writing for publication. You can read Gordon’s blog at


Blog of the month: Tom Welsh

We are delighted to welcome new member Tom Welshto this month’s blogspot. Tom writes: ‘My siteCalmDownTom hosts news and updates on my short story writing, my fantasy trilogy “Metiks Fade”, and my day-to-day life as an author. I also post articles about the writing processand the publishing industry.

I set up my blog over seven years ago. At first it hosted my writing on videogames, but when I decided to try my hand at fiction writing, I redesigned it. I host the blog myself, and it is built on WordPress and a theme I purchased. I chose a theme which was suitable for author promotion and engaging with the writers’ community and my fans. I keep the blog updated with content as often as I can, combining original writing with community contributions, including great photos of my book taken by my fans that I find on social media like Instagram.

You can read Tom’s blog at

Blog of the Month: Margaret Halliday

We are delighted to welcome Margaret Halliday to this month’s blogspot.

Margaret writes:

‘I began my blog, A Traveller’s Tales, in July 2017, mainly to promote my books, two of which describe my travels in India, New Zealand and Scotland. Now I am disabled with MS so I also talk about the problems of travelling with walking difficulties. I sometimes write articles, for example about my writing, travelling and living with MS, which was published in the online magazine, Disability Horizons. Another post, Top Ten Tips for Travelling with MS,was published on The Bimblers travel blog. I encourage other bloggers to guest blog on my site and Karen Howells wrote about her return to Budapest, many years after she had visited me there, when I was teaching at the British Council. I write about local trips too and at present am giving previews of my  novel, The Belly Dancer, set in Turkey.’

You can read Margaret’s blog at https//  Her novel has just been published

Blog of the month: Caroline Johnstone

We are delighted to welcome Caroline Johnstoneto this month’s blogspot. Carolinewrites:

Since 2005, I’ve given each year a theme. 2010 was the year of finding my voice. I joined Toastmasters and started to write more than letters, by starting a blog. I wrote one short piece that year!

But after that, I began to share more of what inspired me, and what I was beginning to teach and coach – that we need to dare to be happier.

Apart from one poem in 2009, I had forgotten how much writing made ME happier, so in 2015, I decided I would write a poem a day.

I think I lasted till mid February! I (I subsequently deleted them as I hadn’t realised this counted as “published.”)

Then last Christmas, my friend gave me a 365 journal, challenging me to write a poem a day – and to make sure I felt good about that. No perfectionism, no need for war and peace; just a poem, a response to that day (events or what was in my head).

It’s been fun. I hope you enjoy some of what I’ve written – and wouldn’t it be fun to write something as an answer/challenge to what I’ve written?! 

They start here 🙂

Why not visit Caroline’s blog and take up her challenge? Or challenge yourself in the same way?



Blog of the Month – November

We are delighted to welcome Comely Bank Publishing to our blog of the month feature. Gordon Lawrie, the founder and managing director of Comely Bank writes: ‘We’re a small self-publishing collective (most of our group are FWS members by the way) and there’s a Writers’ Diary section that anyone is welcome to submit to, or to comment on what’s there already – for example our recent piece Four Ways to Beat Writers’ Block. That can be found HERE.

FWS writers are free to comment on what’s there already, and if they have something they think would be a good post on self-publishing, or on writing in general, we’d be delighted to hear from them.

Blog of the month – October

This months blog is from Sue Reid, author of two novels and a creative memoir. Sue writes: “I’m an author. My most recent title is Writing On The Road: Campervan Love and the Joy of Solitude, a work of non-fiction. I also wrote Mavis’s Shoe, a novel about the Clydebank Blitz during WW2, and its sequel, Rue End Street. I ghost-write and edit for other people too and run workshops. I used to be a counsellor and before that I worked with homeless people. I use a small campervan as an office and creative space, usually in remote locations, whenever I can.”