Workshop: Be a competition judge for an afternoon!

Saturday September 14 2.30-4.30pm Multicultural Centre Rose Street Glasgow G3 6RE

Be a competition judge for an afternoon! Experienced poetry competition judge A C Clarke (has judged Grey Hen, Segora, SAW, Autumn Voices, Ver poemcard, Tyne and Esk Writers, Perth Writers competitions) will give some pointers on what judges are looking for and give participants the opportunity to rank poems in a ‘mini-competition’. Contact

Maximum numbers 15. Priority booking for FWS members until the end of August: non-members will be put on a reserve list until after 31 August.  Still plenty of places! FREE but donation of £2 suggested.

Accepted authors for the FWS 2019 Anthology

Below is the list of authors notified that they will be appearing in the FWS 2019 Anthology, which will be launched on November 2nd. There will be 31 authors, with 51 pieces in this exciting new work. Congratulations to all!

Accepted Authors

Derek Brown 
Fran Baillie   
David McVey
Neil Beaton 
David Betteridge 
Andy Allan 
Jane Lamb
Leela Soma 
A.C. Clarke 
Lynn Valentine
Ann MacKinnon 
Sue Proudlove 
Greg Michaelson
Jean Taylor
Aileen Paterson 
M-T Taylor
Jo Gilbert 
Seth Crook 
Meg Gannon 
Derek Crook 
Morag Anderson
Emma Baker 
Hamish Scott
Alun Robert 
Mary Nixon
Paula Nicolson
Sheila Millar
Tom Gillespie
Swara Shukla 
Sharon Boyle
Alan Gillespie

FWS AGM: Tuesday 18 June 6.30pm

FWS AGM Tuesday 18 June 6.30pm Multicultural Centre Rose Street Glasgow G3 6RE
Annual FWS AGM.
This is your chance to make your voice heard and influence the future direction of the Federation by coming along to vote. Do think seriously about joining the committee or standing for a post. We are always in need of new members with fresh energies and ideas and this year we are particularly in need of an Events Co-ordinator – someone to co-ordinate arrangements for events (see list of current members of the Committee). The co-ordinator is not expected to attend every event but simply to ensure that all arrangements are in place. If you have a flair for organising this could be you!
The AGM will be followed at 7.30pm by the Competition Awards Ceremony.

Comedy workshop – May 11th,Glasgow

When: Saturday 11 May 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Where: Garnethill Multicultural Centre 21 Rose Street Glasgow G3 6RE

Comedy workshop with Ian Macpherson who performed his one-man show, The Everlasting Book Launch at Edinburgh Festival@Assembly Rooms.The Book of Blaise is his most recent publication. ‘One of the most creative and intelligent comedians I’ve ever seen’ The Guardian.

Wondering how to make your readers laugh out loud while also exciting them with unexpected twists? In this workshop Ian Macpherson will set simple tasks to help you create comic scenes and sharpen up those set pieces that improve every piece of comic writing. As well as winning the first London Time Out award for standupIan has had many stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and his first novel featured on Book at Bedtime.

16 places available. FREE but donation (£2 suggested) towards room hire appreciated. To book a place on this workshop please email:

Featured Writer: Howard Singerman

We are delighted to welcome Howard Singermanas our Featured Writer and Committee Member this month. Howard is the FWS Committee Minutes Secretary. He has a legal background and extensive experience with charity work and his views on how the work of the FWS might be furthered by joining Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIO) point us towards a new way of consolidating our organisation. Howard is the son of a Holocaust survivor and active in the Gathering the Voices Association, which was founded by Angela Shapiro and Howard’s wife Claire. You can read Howard’s poignant and thought-provoking poem for his mother, Bashert, below.

Howard Singerman is a retired lawyer who has written over 250 poems since January 2015. He is a member of the Gathering the Voices Associationand helped create their website, which contains interviews with over 50 Holocaust refugees who settled in Scotland, including Howard’s late mother, Susan Singerman, a survivor of Auschwitz. Howard regularly gives talks in schools and elsewhere about his mother’s life, and reads some of his poems about the Holocaust and his family. He intends to publish a collection of some of his poems in the near future.

Howard writes of his role in the FWS and on the Committee:

I am the new boy on the committee, having joined at the March 2018 AGM. Moments before the AGM started I was asked if I would become Minutes Secretary. I agreed and the rest is history. I must thank Jenifer Harley for her continuing help and support.

I am just starting to learn about FWS and all the work it does, but I must say that I have been very impressed by the knowledge, energy and commitment of my fellow committee members. As I learn more, I hope to be able to make a bigger contribution, subject to my commitments re family, writing and publishing my own poetry and giving talks about the Holocaust for the Gathering the Voices Association (GtV).

One area I can contribute at present is to make available to FWS my knowledge and experience as a former solicitor. In particular since my retiral I have turned the Gathering the Voices Association and the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council into Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIO).

A SCIO is a new form of Scottish charity, which is much easier to set up and run than previous forms. It gives the benefits of limited liability without the administrative burdens of being a limited company. In FWS’s present form as an unincorporated association, its committee members run the risk of being sued as individuals. That risk would not exist if FWS became a SCIO. Another benefit is that some funding bodies will only give grants to charities, so becoming a charity could assist fundraising.

If a decision was taken to become a SCIO, I would be happy to guide FWS through the application process.

I will prepare a detailed paper setting out the pros and cons of FWS becoming a SCIO shortly.

I have done a lot of work in schools with GtV, including taking classes re writing Holocaust poetry and the poetry of resistance and encouraging pupils to write. Perhaps FWS and GtV can do some joint work in schools along these lines in the future.


For my mother, Susan Singerman, died Glasgow, 17thJanuary, 2011

They say our fates are written, in the Books of Life and Death,
Dear mother, your fate was written, to go through Hell and worse.
Sent to Auschwitz, chosen to live by the Angel of Death[2],
You survived it all, while your family perished.

That’s destiny, that’s fate,
It’s bashert, bashert, bashert.

For out of the deepest darkness, there can come light,
Out of pain and suffering, can come truth and right.
This you knew, dear mother, and you spoke it plain and clear,
You denied the lies, and told the truth, for everyone to hear.

That’s destiny, that’s fate,
It’s bashert, bashert, bashert.

So you told your story, and you told it well,
And the many who heard you, their tears would fall.
But that’s not what you wanted, you wished no hurt or harm,
All you ever wanted, was that the truth be known.

That’s destiny, that’s fate,
It’s bashert, bashert, bashert.

And now I’m left here lonely, now that you are gone,
Left with a broken legacy, and full of guilt and thorns.
I’m left here to carry on, though I don’t know what I’m doing,
I who was never there, what can I tell the children?

That’s destiny, that’s fate,
It’s bashert, bashert, bashert.

That’s my fate and destiny, that’s what I must do,
Tell the truth and hope it helps, wherever I may go,
For death and evil still abound, the world’s still full of lies,
You only have one life to live, just do your best, dear mother says.

That’s destiny, that’s fate,
It’s bashert, bashert, bashert.
That’s fate, that’s destiny,
It’s bashert, bashert, bashert.
Bashert, bashert, bashert.

© Howard Singerman 2019
[1]  A Yiddish word meaning preordained or fated.
[2]  Dr Josef Mengele, who carried out selections for the gas chambers at Auschwitz, was known as the Angel of Death.

Tinsel Tales 2018: Dec 20th. Book Now!

Now is the moment to book your slot for the ever-popular FWS Tinsel Tales event, just before Christmas.

It will take place in the GoMA Library, Glasgow, 2.30-6, Thursday December 20th.

This event will culminate in the inauguration of the Makar for 2019 and the very first FWS Scriever.

To book your five minute slot (either prose or poetry is fine) please email . Booking is important! This is a very popular event and being squeezed in at the last moment, or on the day, isn’t too likely.

FWS National Poetry Day Event

Thursday 4 October 2.30-6pm GoMA Library Queen Street Glasgow

Our usual FWS open mic event on National Poetry Day. Poems or short fiction on the theme of change (interpret as widely as you like and it isn’t compulsory).

To book your 5-minute slot contact Marie-Therese Taylor at

Any queries to Anne Clarke at

Sudden Fame! Sunday 25 March 2018 6-8pm

The Federation of Writers (Scotland) presents ‘Sudden Fame‘  on Sunday 25th March in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, between 6pm and 8pm.
This is a spoken word event where members of the Federation of Writers, the public and members of writers’ groups, are provided with an opportunity to perform a selection of their work within 5 minute slots.

This event is now fully booked with twelve people on the waiting list. All queries to


The glitter of Tinsel Tales!

On the afternoon of the 21st December 2017 Federation members gathered at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow for Tinsel Tales, the FWS annual pre-Christmas readings. Introducing the readings – which were many and diverse – were Gayle Smith, Marie-Therese Taylor and Rose Ann Fraser Ritchie.

Attendees – including no less than nine former Makers (see attached pic!) – also witnessed Anne Connolly’s MC-ing of the handover from Andy Jackson, Makar of 2017, to Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Makar of 2018.  The event culminated with a powerful reading from the long poem ‘Pilgrim’ by Marjorie Lotfi Gill, around the journey of her father from Iran to the US. Her theme of Belonging is one for members in 2018 and is likely to feature in her Makar programme for the coming year.

Tinsel Tales 21st Dec GOMA Library

Tinsel Tales Thursday 21 December 2.30-6pm GoMA Library Glasgow

It’s not too early to book your slot for our ever-popular Tinsel Tales event, just before Christmas. This event will culminate in the inauguration of the Makar for 2018 (whose identity will be announced in November). To book your five minute slot (either prose or poetry is fine) please email