I have been thinking quite a lot recently about writing and how we support it. I know that we all buy lots of books and that helps – as does going to festivals, book launches etc. But what if you are a poet, or a new writer looking for a publisher? How do we support these folks when we lack the resources to become philanthropists?

Well, one way is to support a new writing magazine. And the one I want to discuss today is Gutter, a magazine of new Scottish writing.

Gutter is an award-winning, high quality, printed journal for fiction and poetry from writers born or living in Scotland and featuring literature from around the world. The editors believe there is a need for an energetic, ambitious magazine dedicated exclusively to the best in new Scottish creative writing. Gutter exists because the team behind it (and it is a worker’s co-op) believe in the power of writing to surprise, to challenge, to move and to enliven.

We nearly lost this magazine when Freight Books went into liquidation, but although it’s been a tough few months Gutter will be continuing as an independent co-operative company. This is such good news, because it provides one of a very few outlets for new Scottish writing and good quality ideas.

The current issue, No 17, just happens to be a Crime and Punishment issue with work from Lin Anderson, Louise Welsh, Claire MacLeary, Jackie Kay and numerous others. Prose, poetry and book reviews populate the pages in a paean of praise to good writing.

From concrete poetry to a poem about Scotrail and poetry that recognises the devastation, loss and conflict that was the First World War, Gutter is a cheeky wee number whose heart is in just the right place.

Gutter isn’t cheap at £8 an issue, but it comes substantially cheaper if you subscribe for a year or two – there are 2 issues a year.

So, go on, buy a subscription; gift one to a friend and do something lovely for new Scottish writing. I promise you, you won’t be sorry.


Published by marypicken

Passionate book reader. Love all kind of books from 19th century novels to crime thrillers. My blog is predominantly crime, psychological thrillers and police procedurals with a good helping of literary fiction thrown in.

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