Just a short update to share some good news: I’ve been published in New Writing Scotland 40: nobody remembers the birdman by the Association for Scottish Literature!
I’m thrilled that my short story, Shriek Song, found a home in the collection and that it can be enjoyed by readers in Scotland and beyond.
Shriek Song is the titular story from the collection I worked on during my Creative Writing Master’s. It observes a strange encounter between a girl and a banshee during a wild storm in the Irish countryside. Of course, it’s about everything I love writing about: women and the female tongue, myths and landscapes.
In fact, Shriek Song was one of the fastest and easiest short stories I’ve ever written as the idea came to me so wholly and completely. I really enjoyed reimagining a Celtic myth through a feminist lens, and hope that readers enjoy the uncanny experience of listening to the shriek of a banshee a little differently. They say if you listen closely, it’s not a cry after all…
You can find out more about New Writing Scotland and order a copy of the anthology here.
And here’s a sneak peek of the opening lines of Shriek Song:
There is a girl. She lives under a green-tinged roof in the middle of nowhere. She lives on an island that was once inhabited by giants and witches but now it is just humans and not so many of them as the girl lives far enough away from anyone else that she must walk for miles to get to the shop or to the pub.
Maybe there was once an old woman here who knew which herbs could heal a person and which ones would cause a slow and painful death. Maybe there used to be huge battles between the tribes and if you listen closely on a quiet day, you can still hear the sounds of swords swinging through the air. Maybe the land under the girl’s feet is saturated with the bones of her ancestors. She belongs to this earth and it belongs to her.
Maybe she’s just a girl who lives under a green-tinged roof in the middle of nowhere.
She’s not a girl, not really. She’s at that in-between stage where everything she does seems to catch on the world around her. She lives with her father who works long hours and drinks long nights. Every day that passes means she is one day less a girl and one day more a woman. Time has been taking from her all the things she loves.