Click on front page image to download .pdf

You can also download issues from the past five years in the Previous Issues section below

Cover art: ‘The Last Days of Winter’, mixed media by Beth Robertson Fiddes. Courtesy of the artist and Kilmorack Gallery


This summer, I had the pleasure of travelling along much of Norway’s mighty Sognefjord and meeting many Norwegians in places near and north of it. One of the many striking aspects of this area, obvious drama of mountains, glaciers and seascapes apart, is regional pride in both culture and language.

Western Norway, beyond Bergen, is a national stronghold of a distinctive form of written Norwegian called ‘Nynorsk’ (new Norwegian). Closer to Old Norse than the language written by most people in the rest of the country, this is based largely on the work of one man, Ivar Aasen, in the mid-1800s. This student of language, playwright and poet travelled widely and created a fusion of dialects that led later to Nynorsk.

That alone is fairly mind boggling - almost as if MacDiarmid’s ‘synthetic Scots’ was now the official, and widely used, language of a chunk of Scotland. But the real pleasure of Nynorsk, for me, is in seeing and hearing how a distinctive variant of a language (largely understood across the whole country) can enrich both contemporary communication and sense of place.

That’s part of the reason why Northwords Now, in addition to being an important medium for new Gaelic writing, also celebrates diversity of Scottish speech in its many forms, including in this issue. Roll those words on the tongue, and enjoy.

Kenny Taylor - Editor

Kenny Taylor, Editor

About Us

Northwords Now has been published in various formats and intends to give a voice to new writing from the Highlands. The idea of north suggests to many people isolation, the margins, far from the centre of things political and cultural – but it depends on where you think the centre is.

From up here, Glasgow is remote and London even more so. And there are distinctive, passionate voices in this North – in Gaelic, Scots and English. So we publish poetry & fiction, articles & essays, reviews in all these voices, and more, and hope to stimulate, intrigue and act as a focal point of cultural discussion in the Highlands.

Oh and did we mention that this is all FREE?

Board of Directors

Adrian Clark

(Director since 2008; Chair since 2009)

Worked and travelled in Africa for ten years (development and journalism) before starting new life in the Highlands (community, arts and cultural development). Became involved with Northwords while working as a Highland Council cultural officer. When made redundant embarked on full time study (BA Scottish Cultural Studies) and became closely involved with Evanton Community Wood, currently my principal activity. Gaelic learner.

Kristin Pedroja

(Director since 2010)

Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Kristin is a writer and editor with clients in the UK, US, Australia, and throughout Europe. She founded the Highland Literary Salon in 2009 and served as coordinator and host until 2011, and hosted the Writers Victoria Salon in Melbourne, Australia from 2011-2014. Her debut novel made the longlist of the 2013 Mslexia Women's Novel Competition and won the fall 2015 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Rising Star Award for unpublished manuscripts. Kristin has lived and worked in seven countries and became a British citizen in 2011 in Edinburgh.

Valerie Beattie

(Director since 2008)

Valerie Beattie came to Scotland to study at Edinburgh University and moved to the Scottish Highlands to work with the University of the Highlands and Islands. During her time here she developed the university's first undergraduate Literature degree and has been managing the Cultural and Creative Industries curriculum in Inverness College UHI for the past 5 years. Passionate about literature and the arts, she had a book draft accepted for publication…just waiting for the time to write it now.

Peter Whitely

(Director since 2017)

Peter is a retired secondary school teacher who was born in Yorkshire, moved to Glasgow in 1963 and to the Highlands in 1985. He has written numerous plays for both adult and youth theatre groups and had plays performed by both professional and community theatre companies. Peter has also had poetry published in various publications and anthologies, including the very first edition of Northwords. He now teaches a weekly Creative Writing course at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.

Lesley Harrison

(Director since 2017)

Lesley lives on the Angus coast. In her poetry and prose she explores our instinctive responses to our 'home' environment - physical, material, linguistic, psychological. Recent projects include working with scientists and visual artists to produce a multimedia 'deep map' of the Icelandic fishing village of Skagaströnd. Her most recent pamphlet is Blue Pearl (New Directions, 2017).

Recent Directors


We are grateful to Ann Yule (a founder director of Northwords Now) and Stewart Lackie, directors until 2015, and Anne Macleod, a director from 2015 to 2018.


Our accounts can be found below. To view these, you will need the free Adobe Reader package. If you do not have this, simply click on the “Get Adobe Reader” button to the right to go to the Adobe site and download it.

 2016 – 2017 Accounts
 2015 – 2016 Accounts
 2014 – 2015 Accounts
 2013 – 2014 Accounts
 2012 – 2013 Accounts

Get Adobe Reader - Free!

Advertising in Northwords Now

Northwords Now is a literary magazine, published in newsprint and online, FREE at point of pick-up, with a print run of 9,500 copies per issue.

It is circulated throughout the Highlands, Western and Northern Isles, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, public libraries, bookshops, arts centres and galleries, cinemas, colleges, community centres, newsagents and an increasing number of independent outlets in Dundee, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Glasgow, Borders and Dumfries/Galloway and Fife, including St. Andrews – essentially all parts of Scotland from Dumfries to Stornoway to Lerwick to Aberdeen.

If you wish to discuss placing an order for Northwords Now, or any other aspect of distribution, please contact 01349 830517.

Northwords Now is a freely distributed 32-page tabloid newsprint and online publication in black and white with colour on specified pages, published twice yearly, with an additional Gaelic supplement in the spring edition.

Eighth of a page

£36 black & white
£48 colour

Quarter page

£73 black & white
£95 colour

Half page

£140 black & white
£180 colour

Full inside

front/back cover
£240 black & white
£350 colour

Full back page

£450 black & white
£560 colour

Where to find a FREE Northwords Now

Northwords thanks all the locations below for their support in distributing Northwords Now. Especial thanks go to all the librarians who put us on display.


WEA, 57 Church St, Inverness
Highland Wholefoods, Inverness
Bogbain Farm, Inverness
VisitScotland, N.Kessock
Waterstone’s, Eastgate Centre
Eden Court Theatre
Leakeys Bookshop, Church St
Inverness College, Longman Road & Midmills
Hootananny, Church St
Visit Scotland, Castle Wynd
Inverness Museum & Art Gallery
Waterstone’s, Eastgate Centre
Inchmore Gallery
The Goschen Pottery, Bunloit, Drumnadrochit Inverness-shire IV63 6XH

Highland Area

Highland Libraries & Community Centres
Dornoch Bookshop
The Nairn Bookshop, High St, Nairn
Findhorn Foundation, by Forres
Moray Libraries
North Highland College, Thurso
The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
Ullapool Bookshop, Quay St.
Achins Bookshop, Lochinver
Village Green, Lochinver
Cornerstone, Gairloch
Solas Gallery, Gairloch
Storehouse of Foulis, Foulis Ferry
Picaresque Books, High St, Dingwall
Anderson Restaurant, Union St, Fortrose
Kilmorack Gallery
Moniack Mhor Writing Centre
Caithness Horizons, High St, Thurso
Caledonian MacBrayne ferry terminals
Moray Arts Centre, Findhorn Foundation
The Bakehouse, Findhorn Village

Islands, West & North

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Slèite, Isle of Skye
Café Arriba, Portree, Skye
Portree Learning Centre
An Lanntair, Kenneth St, Stornoway
Western Isles Libraries, Stornoway
Hebridean Jewellery & Bookshop, Stornoway
The Islands Book Trust, Isle of Lewis
Shetland Libraries
Orkney Libraries
Shetland Arts Trust, Lerwick
The Blue Shed, Torrin, Isle of Skye
Carmina Gadelica, Portree, Isle of Skye
An Buth Bheag, Skeabost, Isle of Skye
Blue Shed Café, Torrin, Isle of Skye
An Tobar, Tobermory, Mull
Ravenspoint, Kershader, Isle of Lewis
Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist
Carraig Mhor, Islay
Macintosh Bookshop, Portree


Hammerton Store, 336 Gt Western Rd, Aberdeen
Aberdeenshire Libraries
Aberdeen City Libraries
Books & Beans, Belmont St, Abdn.
The Lemon Tree, West North St, Abdn.
Blackwell’s, Old Aberdeen
Woodend Barn, Banchory
Yeadons of Banchory
Milton Studio, Milton of Crathes
Milton Art Gallery, Milton of Crathes
Newton Dee Café, Bieldside
Kelpie Studio, Port Error, Cruden Bay


Birnam Art Centre
Kings Bookshop, Callander
Dundee Contemporary Arts, Nethergate, Dundee
Kesley’s Bookshop, Haddington, East Lothian
Midlothian Council Libraries
Stirling Libraries
East Lothian Libraries
Ewart Libraries, Dumfries
Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries
Byre Theatre, St Andrews
The Forest Bookstore, Selkirk
John Muir Trust, Station Road, Pitlochry
Moffat Bookshop, 5 Well St, Moffat
Tolbooth Arts Centre, Stirling
Giraffe Café, Perth
Spindrift, The Marina, Banff
Montrose Library
Su Casa, Ayr
Giraffe Café, Perth


Blackwells Bookshop, South Bridge
Scottish Poetry Library, Crichtons Close
Oxfam Bookshop, Raeburn Place
Elephant House Café, George IV Bridge
Filmhouse, Lothian Road
The Forest, Bristo Place
Peter Green & Co, Warrender Pk Rd
The Fruitmarket Gallery, 45 Market St
MacNaughtons Bookshop, 3 -3a Haddington Place
St Margaret’s House, 151 London Road
Summerhall, 1 Summerhall
Kesley’s Bookshop, Haddington, E.Lothian


Tell it Slant, Renfrew St, Glasgow
WASPS Studio, The Briggait, Glasgow
Centre for Contemporary Arts, Sauchiehall St.
Mitchell Library, North St.
Òran Mòr, Great Western Road
The Piping Centre, McPhater St.
Caledonia Books, Gt. Western Rd
Tchai Ovna Teahouses, Otago Lane
Oxfam Books, Byres Road & Victoria Rd.
Mono, King’s Court, King St, Glasgow
Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Sq.
Glasgow Film Theatre, Videodrome, Rose St.

Submissions to Northwords Now

The next issue is planned for April 2019. The deadline for submissions is 25th January 2019. Use the online form below. If accepted for publication, you will hear about your submission by 30th March 2019, so feel free to submit elsewhere if we have not contacted you by then.

Please submit no more than three short stories or six poems, in MS Word format (not .pdf). All work must be previously unpublished in print or on-line. Copyright remains with the author. Payment is made for all successful submissions.

As we are keen that the magazine and its contents are seen by as many people as possible, you should be aware that your work will appear on our website soon after publication of each issue. If you have any reservations about this, please let us know prior to publication of your work.

We’re open to poetry of diverse kinds and we publish prose work of many different lengths, from flash fiction upwards, but usually less than 3,000 words. Please study past issues to get an idea of the length of prose pieces that we publish. A full-page story will usually have no more than 1,500 words of text, for example.

Submission of poetry collections and other books for potential review

Post to:

The Editor
Northwords Now
Easter Brae, Culbokie,
Dingwall, Ross-shire.

Online Submission

Simply complete the form below and click ‘Send Submission’. Please make separate submissions for prose and poetry. If you are submitting multiple stories or poems (no more than three short stories or six poems), please amalgamate these into a single document for each genre. Send documents in MSWord format, not as .pdfs.

*** IMPORTANT! *** PLEASE ensure that you put your name on EVERY PAGE (top or bottom, up to you) so that we can identify your submission

(Fields marked * are mandatory)

Your Full Name*
Pseudonym (if you use one)
Postal Address*
Email Address*
What kind of work is it? *  Prose      Poetry
Your document