Issue 37 Spring 2019

Click on front page image to download .pdf

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

“The Last Wolf” by Bob Pegg.

Cover photograph: Salmon netting at Rosemarkie, summer 1988, by Stephanie Macdonald


I’m always amazed at the ways that art can make connections between disparate objects, ideas, places and sensations, then shape new meaning from them. How a poet can distil a concentrated drop of experience from a single observation and a small mix of words. How one sentence within a story can make you sense that something - but you don’t know what - is going to shift in the tale, but not yet. Or how an essayist can begin in one place, then wander, pleasingly, to somewhere unexpected.

Work that does all that is held in abundance within the pages of this issue. But it’s also been good to make links across very different forms. Ian Stephen’s overview of the Lewis painter, Donald Smith, does this. You can see Donald’s work at An Lanntair this summer, and later in Aberdeen.

The same applies to the piece by veteran songwriter, storyteller and musician, Bob Pegg. There’s a song file online at our website to illustrate this article, together with audio of some of the poets from this issue reading their work.

Finally, it’s good to welcome a new publication to the northern arts scene: Art North, edited in Tongue. The scope of its visual arts coverage extends across the changing hemisphere, as I described in Northwords Now 35, to range across what the editor describes as the ‘Far North’. Here’s to new connections.

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.

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 Whiteley

(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).

Sherry Morris

(Director since 2019)

Sherry is originally from America's Heartland, Missouri, but moved to London in 2000. In 2017 she moved to a farm in the Scottish Highlands where she pets cows, watches clouds and scribbles stories. She writes monologues, short stories and flash fiction which have won prizes, placed on shortlists and longlists, and have been performed in London and Scotland. Her first published short story was about her Peace Corps experience in Ukraine. She helps organise Dingwall's annual Word on the Street festival and provided administrative support on the anthology Best Microfiction 2019, edited by Meg Pokrass and Gary Finke. She tweets @Uksherka and her writing can be found on

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 and Kristin Pedroja, a director from 2010 to 2017.


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.

 2017 – 2018 Accounts
 2016 – 2017 Accounts
 2015 – 2016 Accounts
 2014 – 2015 Accounts
 2013 – 2014 Accounts
 2012 – 2013 Accounts

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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 10,000 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 October 2019. The deadline for submissions is 2nd August 2019. If accepted for publication, you will hear about your submission by 30th September 2019. Please do not submit elsewhere before this, but feel free to do so 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). If submitting several poems or prose pieces, please include all poetry in one file and all prose in one file, rather than splitting the work across several files. 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. Stories over 3,000 words cannot be considered. 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)

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What kind of work is it? *  Prose      Poetry
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