As befits its links to the magnetism of the whole planet, ‘north’ is a word with powerful attractions. Whether for those who feel they live distant from it, or people who consider themselves northern, there’s a sense of something wider and further; beyond immediate grasp, but worth striving to approach. Journeys can follow, in person or in mind; writing and wider art result.

That’s part of why I was both inspired and challenged by some of the ideas shared in Edinburgh last autumn, when the Scottish Government hosted a meeting of the Arctic Circle Forum. Scotland - Arctic? At first, the connection seems tenuous. But as delegates from across much of the upper part of the hemisphere - from Alaska, Canada, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Scandinavia and Scotland - shared information, the linkage began to make more sense.

For in both geopolitical and environmental terms, the northern world is changing very fast. Melting of ice means that the Northwest Passage will soon readily be navigable by large vessels for much of the year. Goods will ship faster from China to Europe by this route. Norway and Finland are already cooperating on major infrastructure projects to receive Chinese containers. In just a handful of years, Iceland has become a global communications hub. From the growing disaster of global warming, entrepreneurs across the wider north are plucking business opportunities.

It’s an uneasy combination. But like it or loathe it, this is the reality of the new north. For writers whose work draws on northern energies, that’s important, both through increased scope for international collaboration and through the tensions of changing environments, economies and cultures. The magnetism of ‘north’ has just become stronger to many people, including some who might surprise you. It’s scarier than ever, and just as inspirational.

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?

Northwords on Kindle

Now, your favourite magazine can be read on your favourite mobile devices*

Click the cover on the cover of the magazine and goto the Kindle section to view a short instructional video and then download Northwords Now to your Kindle device.

*Works on all Kindle readers, including Kindle reading apps for popular mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

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.

Anne Macleod

(Director since 2015)

Grew up in Inverness, studied medicine in Aberdeen and practised Dermatology in the North and East of Scotland. She has published two novels and two poetry collections. Her first collection, Standing by Thistles, was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award and The Dark Ship, her first novel, was nominated for Saltire and Impac awards.

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 who stood down as directors at the end of 2015.


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 newsprint magazine published in Inverness, FREE at point of pick-up with a print-run of 7,500 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 publication in black and white with colour on specified pages, published twice yearly.

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 September 2018. The deadline for submissions is 27th July 2018. You will hear about your submission by 30th September 2018. Payment is made for all successful submissions.

Submission by Post

We prefer to respond by email to submissions and will contact you asking for you to forward your work by email if it has been accepted for publication. If you want your work returned please supply a stamped addressed envelope.

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 when each issue is published. If you have any reservations about your work appearing on the internet then please let us know and we will remove it from the online edition of the magazine.

Prose submissions should include a word count.

If you wish to submit by POST (snail mail), then please send your submissions 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 please amalgamate these into a single document.

*** 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*
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What kind of work is it? *  Prose      Poetry
Your document