Open Book Unbound

We’re excited to welcome you to Open Book Unbound  – our virtual home while restrictions remain in place. After almost six months of sharing poems and online resources each week we have moved to a new format.

We’ll send out a mini newsletter each Monday (sign up to our mailing list to make sure you never miss an issue!), with details of our virtual shared reading groups online – open to anyone and everyone.

In addition, once a month we’ll publish our bumper newsletter – full of stories, poems and other material to help keep us all reading, writing and connecting while we can’t meet together in person.  You can continue to access all of the previous Open Book Unbound content (newsletters, podcasts, new writing and more) here on our website.

Thanks as ever for all your support – we’re delighted by the feedback we’ve had on Open Book Unbound and particularly happy that we’ve been able to reach so many people, based worldwide, in what has been a difficult time for everyone in different ways.  

We’re excited about the opportunities that this new format brings and hope there will be much for us all to continue to share and enjoy in the weeks ahead.

Claire & Marjorie
Open Book Unbound

Join us for an Open Book Unbound group on Zoom

We’re now hosting weekly virtual groups using Zoom, open to anyone and everyone. Dates for our upcoming sessions are below.

IMPORTANT – the Zoom link joining details can be found in the Eventbrite booking confirmation email – scroll down to the Additional Information section to find the link to use on the day.

Dates for our current groups are below, but watch this space for additional groups.

Mondays 10 – 11am weekly

Shared Reading with the National Library of Scotland

Book your place

Tuesdays 10 -11am fortnightly

Craigmillar Library Shared Reading Group

Book your place

Tuesdays 11:30am – 1pm monthly

Paisley Library Creative Writing Group

Book your place

Wednesdays 11.30am – 12.30pm fortnightly 

Paisley Library Shared Reading Group

Book your place

Wednesdays 2-4pm monthly

Dundee Creative Writing Group

Book your place

Wednesdays 5:30-6:30pm monthly

Stranraer Shared Reading Group

Book your place

Wednesdays 5:30-7pm monthly

Stranraer Creative Writing Group

Book your place

Thursdays 2-3:30pm monthly

Off the Beaten Track Creative Writing Group

Book your place

Thursdays 2-3pm monthly

Off the Beaten Track Shared Reading Group

Book your place

Thursdays 6-7pm weekly

Open Shared Reading Group

Book your place

Fridays 11:30-1pm monthly

Open Creative Writing Group

Book your place

Saturdays 11am – 12pm monthly

Shared Reading in Scots

Book your place

If you would like to take part in any of these sessions please book via Eventbrite using the relevant link above - places will be limited.

Newsletters

Links to view our weekly Open Book Unbound newsletters are below, with a summary of what's included in each issue.

Open Book Unbound Issue 36

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
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Open Book Unbound Issue 35

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 34

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
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Open Book Unbound Issue 33

Our third Bumper issue of Open Book Unbound – the theme of this month’s edition is Future: Nature, to tie in with Book Week Scotland’s futuristic theme, but with an ecological twist. Read on for stories and poems about the power of the natural world to surprise, shock, delight, and even rebel against us.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 32

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
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Open Book Unbound Issue 31

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 30

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
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Open Book Unbound Issue 29

Our second Bumper issue of Open Book Unbound – with a focus on the idea of ‘Wrapping Up’ as we head into the autumn. Read on for stories about dark nights and warm fires, cosy jumpers and the ever-surprising delights of autumn.
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Open Book Unbound Issue 28

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
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Open Book Unbound Issue 27

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 26

Our first Bumper issue of Open Book Unbound – highlighting a selection of fantastic events taking place as part of the Wigtown Book Festival.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 25

Mini-Unbound newsletter.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 24

‘I took my troubles for a walk (A grown-up fairy tale)’ by Pauline Moore, new creative writing sessions, Open Book Unbound podcast episode 23 and more.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 23

‘Unbound’ by Ian Matheson, new creative writing sessions, Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 22 and more.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 22

‘The Bench’ by Beth Godfrey, our picks from the second week of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 21 and more.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 21

‘Orange Peel’ by Sophie Law, our picks from the first week of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 20 and more.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 20

‘The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree’ by Shokoofeh Azar, our picks from the first week of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 19 and more.
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 19

‘The Happy House’ by Lisa Williams, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Ghosts’, ‘Crocodile’ and ‘Monkey’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 18 and more..
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 18

‘Gathering Threads’ by Lisa Williams, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Caterpillar’, ‘Cherry Scones’ and ‘Tickets’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 17 and more..
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 17

‘Body in the Landscape’ by Elspeth Wilson, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Cat Party’, ‘Imaginary Friend’ and ‘Postcards’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 16 and more..
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 16

‘Confluence of Years’ by Linda Cracknell, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Underground Haircut’, ‘Not Cleaning’ and ‘Buns’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 15 and more..
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 15

‘Gazing’ by Russell Jones, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Frogspawn’, ‘Swings’ and ‘Chess’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 14 and more..
 

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Open Book Unbound Issue 14

‘Essential’ by Siân Bevan, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Cherry Scones’, ‘Dishes’ and ‘Cappuccino’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 13 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 13

‘All at Sea’ by Kate Smith, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Bookshop’, ‘Gladys’ and ‘The Sea’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 12 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 12

‘Imagine a Country’ extract by Peter Ross, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Ice Cream Man’, ‘Americano’ and ‘Agnes’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 11 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 11

‘Child of the Moon’ by Heather Parry, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Wardrobe Portal’, ‘Long Distance Hug’ and ‘Easyjet Worlds’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 10 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 10

‘Hebridean Lovesong’ and ‘The Fox in the Attic’ by James Robertson more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Zoo’, ‘Portable Sunset’ and ‘The Bad Thing’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 9 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 9

‘Gunther’ by Helen Sedgwick, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Groceries’, ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Before’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 8 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 8

‘Imagine a Country’ by Leila Aboulela, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Tesco’, ‘Hoovering’ and ‘Disguise’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 7 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 7

‘At Sea’ by Karen Lord, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Fox’, ‘Wardrobe’ and ‘Tsundoku’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 6 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 6

Scottish Book Trust Your Stories annual writing projet, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Seagull’, ‘Loch Ness Monster’ and ‘Neighbours’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 5 and more…

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Open Book Unbound Issue 5

Edwin Morgan Centenary, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Butterfly’, ‘Expedition’ and ‘Clock’), Open Book Unbound Podcast Episode 4 and more..

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Open Book Unbound Issue 4

‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Yiyun Li, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Statues’, ‘Chicken’, ‘Surprise’), National Theatre At Home, Unbound Podcast Episode 3 and more…

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Open Book Unbound Issue 3

‘Self Control’ by James Robertson, with composition by Aidan O’Rourke, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Mountain Goats’, ‘Compost’, ‘Binoculars’), At Home with the RSNO, Unbound Podcast Episode 2 and more…

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Open Book Unbound Issue 2

‘An Anti-Social Ride’ by Lee Craigie, more postcard stories from Jan Carson (‘Mugs’, ‘Birds’ and ‘Cocoon’), ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost,‘Landscape with Flying Man’ by John Glenday,  Unbound Podcast Episode 1 and more….

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Open Book Unbound Issue 1

‘Weather’ by Jenny Offill, ‘Stars’ Illustrated Postcard Story by Jan Carson, Miranda Sawyers’ True Life Stories podcasts, Explore the Science Museum, Maggie O’Farrell Virtual Book Launch party/

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Sign UP

Sign up to our mailing list to make sure you never miss an issue of our newsletter – we’ll send it straight to your inbox each week, along with updates and other information.


Podcasts

Links to listen to our weekly Open Book Unbound podcasts are below, with a summary of what's included in each.

Podcast 23
7 September 2020

In this week’s podcast, Claire and Marjorie read and discuss Pauline Moore’s story ‘I took my troubles for a walk’ and Wendell Berry’s poem ‘Go Among Trees and Sit Still’..

Podcast 22
31 August 2020

We discuss our commissioned story ‘Unbound’ by Iain Matheson and the poem ‘Daisy’ by Alice Oswald.

Podcast 21
24 August 2020

We discuss our commissioned piece ‘The Bench’ by Beth Godfrey and the poem ‘Once Upon a Time’ by Gabriel Okara.

Podcast 20
17 August 2020

In this episode we discuss our commissioned piece ‘Orange Peel’ by Sophie Law and the poems ‘A Birthday’ by Edwin Muir and ‘The Orange’ by Wendy Cope.

Podcast 19
10 August 2020

We take a break from our commissioned pieces of writing on this episode to read an abridged version of the first chapter from The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar. We also look ahead to the event with the author which our very own Marjorie Lotfi Gill will be chairing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Wednesday 19 August at 11.30.

Podcast 18
3 August 2020

In this episode we discuss our commissioned piece ‘The Happy House’ by Kathryn Koromilas and the poems ‘Little Sea House’ by Hamish MacLaren and ‘Home is so Sad’ by Philip Larkin.

Podcast 17
27 July 2020

In this episode, we discuss our commissioned piece ‘Gathering Threads’ by Lisa Williams and ‘The Knitter’ by Jackie Kay.

Podcast 16
20 July 2020

In this episode we feature our Unbound commissioned piece by Elspeth Wilson and two of the poems she chose to accompany it – ‘Early April Heatwave’ by April Thomas and ‘Summit of Corrie Etchachan’ by Nan Shepherd.

Podcast 15
13 July 2020

In this episode Claire Urquhart and Marjorie Lotfi Gill discuss our commissioned piece ‘Confluence of Years’ by Linda Cracknell and the poem ‘Crossing the Bar’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Podcast 14
6 July 2020

In this episode we continue our discussion of our commissioned pieces with ‘Gazing’ by Russell Jones and the poem ‘Unwittingly’ by John Burnside.

Podcast 13
29 June 2020

Continuing our commissioned pieces, we feature ‘Essential’ by Siân Bevan and one of her chosen poems, ‘One Art’ by Elizabeth Bishop.

Podcast 12
22 June 2020

We present the first of our commissioned pieces in this episode and feature a poem chosen by its author.

Marjorie Lotfi Gill and Claire Urquhart read and discuss the story ‘All at Sea’ by Kate Smith and the poem ‘Dolphins at Kochin’ by Tom Buchan.

Podcast 11
15 June 2020

In this episode of Open Book Unbound Marjorie Lotfi Gill and Claire Urquhart discuss the poem ‘So Much Happiness’ by Naomi Shihab Nye and the essay by Peter Ross from Imagine a Country, edited by Jo Sharp and Val McDermid.

Podcast 10
8 June 2020

In this episode we read ‘Child of the Moon’ by Heather Parry and ‘No.115 dreams’ by Jackie Kay.

Podcast 9
1 June 2020

In this episode we discuss the poems ‘Temptation’ by Nina Cassian and ‘Lightness’ by Meg Bateman, as well as the short story ‘Hebridean Lovesong’ by James Robertson.

Podcast 8
25 May 2020

Claire Urquhart and Marjorie Lotfi Gill discuss the story ‘Gunter’ by Helen Sedgwick and the poem ‘Otherwise’ by Jane Kenyon in this episode.

Podcast 7
18 May 2020

Marjorie Lotfi Gill and Claire Urqhuart discuss Leila Aboulela’s short essay from the book Imagine A Country: Ideas for a Better Future (ed. Val McDermid & Jo Sharp) and the poems ‘Coffee Ceremony’ by Anne Hay and ‘What Work Is’ by Philip Levine in this episode of Open Book Unbound.

Podcast 6
11 May 2020

We read ‘At Sea’ by Karen Lord, one of the Freedom Papers commissioned by the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and the poem ‘Dawn Revisited’ by Rita Dove.

Podcast 5
4 May 2020

Inspired by the Scottish Book Trust’s theme this year, we explore two pieces that consider the future in very different ways – “Egg”, a short story by our Writer in Lockdown Jan Carson, and the poem “Curiosity” by poet and translator Alastair Reid.

Podcast 4
27 April 2020

Claire and Marjorie read and discuss Edwin Morgan’s poems, and Liz Lochhead’s introduction to the ‘Scotland ‘ collection of Edwin Morgan Twenties.

Podcast 3
20 April 2020

Claire Urquhart and Marjorie Lotfi Gill read and discuss ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Yiyun Li, ‘Harlem’ by Langston Hughes and ‘Late Fragment’ by Raymond Carver.

Podcast 2
12 April 2020

In this episode we explore poems and stories with a musical theme. Claire Urquhart and Marjorie Lotfi Gill read and discuss the poems ‘Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House’ by Billy Collins and ‘Everyone Sang’ by Siegfried Sassoon, and we read the short story ‘Self Control’ by James Robertson. We also discuss your feedback from our first episode and give an update on the latest news from our virtual groups.

Podcast 1
2 April 2020

Our first episode features Marjorie Lotfi Gill and Claire Urquhart taking part in their very first Open Book discussion as a podcast. We discuss ‘An Anti-Social Ride’ by Lee Craigie, one of Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Freedom Papers, and the poem ‘Landscape with Flying Man’ by John Glenday.

Writer in Lockdown

We were absolutely thrilled to have Jan Carson as our Writer in Lockdown from March - September 2020 as part of our Open Book Unbound programme. initiative.

About Jan Carson

New Writing

We’re delighted to share a wonderful series of eleven pieces of new writing commissioned by Open Book for our Unbound programme.

The work, written especially for us, was the focus of our newsletter and podcast in the week in which each was published. You can view the newsletters and listen to the podcasts by selecting the relevant weeks from our archive on this page.

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