Writer’s guests to share love for literature

Two figures who have made vital contributions to Scottish public life will share their love of writing at events hosted by the University.

Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and acclaimed writer Jackie Kay will chat to Edinburgh’s Writer in Residence Michael Pedersen about their lives and careers.

The country’s longest-serving First Minister and the former Makar – or National Poet of Scotland – will join Pedersen in two separate shows.

Jackie Kay will reflect on a literary career spanning more than 30 years in an event hosted at 50 George Square on 22 November. The former Makar will share work old and new, which includes a preview of an upcoming book May Day.

A limited number of free tickets will be available at the door on the day of the show.

Nicola Sturgeon – whose memoirs will be published in 2025 – will discuss the books that sustained her during an eight-year stint as First Minister of Scotland.

Short-story writer Hannah Lavery, crime novelist Val McDermid and poet Hollie McNish will read their work at the event, which takes place on 5 December at The Queen’s Hall.

A limited number of tickets, priced £10, are available on the Queen’s Hall website.

Michael Pedersen
Writer in Residence Michael Pedersen

Wider series

Both shows are part of a series of Writer in Residence events being hosted by Michael Pedersen. Other guests included writer Irvine Welsh and broadcaster and author Gemma Cairney.

Poet and author Pedersen is the latest addition to a stellar list of names, who have been Writer in Residence at the University.

The Edinburgh-born writer was a recipient of the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship and has gained widespread acclaim for work that includes Boy Friends, The Cat Prince and Oyster.

Edinburgh’s first Writer in Residence was renowned Gaelic poet Sorley Maclean, appointed in 1975. Successors have included author and poet Jenni Fagan, poet and playwright Liz Lochhead and poet Norman MacCaig.

The role includes promoting a range of activities to encourage creative writing among students both across the University and supporting those studying for an MSc in Creative Writing.

Related links

Tickets for the Nicola Sturgeon event

More information about the Jackie Kay event

Image credits: Stack of books - Kobus Louw via Getty images; Michael Pedersen - the University of Edinburgh.