English and Scottish Literature

From Arthur's Seat – encouraging diverse voices

Vidisha Ghosh and Olivia Thomakos, Editors-in-Chief of Volume Seven of our Creative Writing anthology, tell us about guiding a student publishing team and embracing the unpredictability of the creative process.

From Arthur's Seat is an annual anthology of new poetry and prose by students from the MSc Creative Writing at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

Olivia, Poetry Editor-in-Chief, and Vidisha, Prose Editor-in-Chief siting on stairs
Olivia, Poetry Editor-in-Chief, and Vidisha, Prose Editor-in-Chief

Published through IngramSpark and available to buy online through Amazon, the seventh volume of From Arthur’s Seat brings ‘a class of international voices and fresh, exciting perspectives into one place’.

The collection includes pieces of short prose and poetry and has been edited, designed, and produced completely by Creative Writing students from the class of 2021-22.

In advance of the launch of Volume Seven, we caught up with Poetry Editor-in-Chief, Olivia, and Prose Editor-in-Chief, Vidisha, to talk about what it means to publish a book and build lasting connections in the process.   

Celebrating our spirit

For both Olivia and Vidisha, Volume Seven of From Arthur’s Seat is a testament to the writing spirit of this year’s MSc Creative Writing cohort.

Reflecting on what attracted her to the project, Olivia says, “I was interested in creating something tangible to look back on and excited by the idea of working with the Creative Writing cohort to produce it.”

Vidisha chimes in, “It’s a wonderful platform to encourage diverse voices. I loved the idea of the anthology as a collaborative and safe space for creative writers, both experienced and relatively fresh, to come together and create something to celebrate our spirit.”

A taste of the publishing world

Over the last six months, Olivia and Vidisha have found themselves wearing many hats and working closely together to produce the finished anthology. They highlight how it's been an excellent opportunity to understand the logistics behind creating a book. 

“It has been special working with Vidisha … I have learned on a deeper level all the work it takes to produce a collection and the moving parts that are involved,” Olivia tells us.  

Vidisha says, “Working on something so dynamic gives you such an interesting perspective on learning to balance granular decision-making and the bigger picture.”

“The journey from emails to the launch teaches you how to embrace and learn from the unpredictability of the creative process and work as a team who has each other’s backs.“

Building a community of writers

Working with From Arthur's Seat is a great starting point for anyone who wants to pursue a career in publishing or dreams of publishing their own collection. But, as Vidisha notes, being involved in the anthology is “much more than just an addition to your CV.”

She continues, “I think the true joy of working for From Arthur’s Seat is getting to know your talented peers, brainstorming with them and all the fun that comes with braving the chaos together. It brought us closer, and it has been so special working alongside Olivia.”

Expressing gratitude to her course mates, professors and LLC’s Writer-in-Residence, Ryan Van Winkle, for their support, Olivia rounds off our interview, “I hope to stay in touch with the writers I have met through this programme and continue to improve my writing with their feedback.”

Buy From Arthur's Seat Volume Seven  

Front cover of From Arthur's Seat Volume Seven

The anthology can be purchased in Edinburgh bookshops Typewronger, Golden Hare Books and Lighthouse Bookshop or online through Amazon.

Buy Volume Seven on Amazon

Find out more about Volume Seven, and previous volumes, on the From Arthur's Seat website

Are you interested in Creative Writing at LLC?

Based in the first UNESCO World City of Literature, our one-year, full-time taught masters programme is tailored towards your practice in either fiction or poetry. Highlights include our annual industry event, The Business, and lots of opportunities to share your work, including From Arthur’s Seat and a range of writing awards.

Find out more and apply on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder