Open Book Unbound

We’re excited to welcome you to Open Book Unbound – our virtual home for the coming weeks while restrictions remain in place. It’s where we’ll be sharing stories, poems and online resources each week to help keep us all reading, writing and connecting while we can’t meet together in person.

We’ll be holding new weekly virtual shared reading groups online – open to anyone and everyone. There’s also a weekly Open Book Unbound Podcast which we’ll post here ready for you to download.
Each week we’ll produce a newsletter, with quick links for reading material, podcasts and more, including weekly updates from our Writer in Lockdown, Jan Carson. We’ll link to an online version of the newsletter here, or you can sign up to our mailing list to make sure you never miss an issue!

Thanks as ever for all your support – we’re excited about the opportunities that Open Book Unbound brings and hope there will be much for us all 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 (starting 6 July)

National Library of Scotland Shared Reading Group

Book your place

Tuesday 10 – 11am fortnightly

Shared Reading

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Wednesday 10 – 11am

Creative Writing

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Wednesday 2 – 3 pm

Shared Reading

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Fridays 10 – 11am

Creative Writing

Book your place

 

Additional monthly Zoom groups

Monday 29th June: 4.30 – 5.30pm

Shared Reading with The Stove, Dumfries

Book your place

Saturday 4th July: 10 – 12pm

BAME Creative Writing (for BAME participants)

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. We'll be looking at the same texts (taken from that week's newsletter) in each of the sessions.

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 16

Coming Soon

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..
 

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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…

Read Now

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..

Read Now

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…

Read Now

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…

Read Now

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….

Read Now

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/

Read Now

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 14
29 June 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
13 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're absolutely thrilled to say that Jan Carson has agreed to be our Writer in Lockdown over the next few months - part of our Open Book Unbound 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.

Each week we’ll be featuring a new piece of fiction, by a different author. The work, written especially for us, will be the focus of our newsletter, podcast and Zoom groups for that week.

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