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Cultural Commission: Zoe Strachan

Zoë Strachan is the author of three novels: Ever Fallen in Love, Spin Cycle and Negative Space. Her short stories have been included in numerous journals and anthologies, and her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3. Her recent works for theatre include Panic Patterns (with Louise Welsh) for Glasgay! Festival and Old Girls.

In 2012, her opera The Lady from the Sea (with Craig Armstrong) was part of Edinburgh International Festival and won a Herald Angel Award. She has taught on the Creative Writing Programme at the University of Glasgow since 2003.  


In Feb 2014, we were able to award two LGBT History Month Cultural Commissions with funding provided by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. Zoe was one of the successful applicants who commissioned 30 pieces of original, previously unpublished prose and poetry by established and emerging Scottish authors who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

The book titled Out There published by Freight Books, includes the likes of Ali Smith, Louise Welsh, Jackie Kay, Ronald Frame, Toni Davidson and many others. It is provocative, thoughtful, moving and as fully-charged with energy as one would expect from Scotland's celebrated community of LGBT artists. Edited by award-winning novelist Zoe Strachan.

Out There is the first anthology of Scottish LGBT writing in twelve years, and only the third in existence. It poses key questions not just about LGBT writing in Scotland today, but also about the social and sexual landscape of our nation as a whole.

"For many years I have wanted to edit a new collection of LGBT writing from Scotland. Thanks to a Cultural Commission from LGBT History Month Scotland, I’ve now been able to do so. I approached writers I knew and admired, and invited open submissions. The response was hugely encouraging: established authors supported the project, and I received a large number of submissions from new writers who identified as LGBT and Scottish. Editors often use phrases like ‘the standard of submissions was very high’ as a euphemism, but I can say quite honestly that every single story, poem and memoir I received was worth reading. It was a pleasure and a privilege to hear so many LGBT voices, with so many stories to tell."

Zoe Strachan

"The work in this collection from both established and emerging writers is as moving as it is brilliantly written, and the opportunity to have them all in one place is irresistible."

The List

"This sophisticated and mature volume does a great deal more than simply tackle the heterosexual viewpoint that dominates most Scottish literary work, especially in very male-dominated stories. The short stories, poems and non-fiction collected here all put lesbian women and gay men at the centre of society and the centre of the story. But they do so in such a casual and easeful way that it almost feels as though the centre of society and the centre of the story are a place they have always occupied."

Sunday Herald




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