Thursday, 21 May 2015
‘Weegie’ is a term of endearment used by the people of Edinburgh for their neighbours in their sister town of Glasgow. ‘Weegie’ is short for ‘Glaswegian’ and Weegie Wednesday is Glasgow’s response to the Edinburgh Literary Salon: Glasgow’s literary salon.
But we prefer to call it a social and networking event. Perhaps because Edinburgh Literary Salon sounds a bit posh and therefore exclusive, (though actually I've been and it's very friendly) Weegie Wednesday, in the style of all good sibling rivalries, emphasises the egalitarian nature of its events. Our focus is on friendship, facilitation and welcome.
We are writers of all kinds including fiction, non-fiction, journalism, sci-fi, graphic novels, screen, stage, poetry and more, but we are also publishers, agents, booksellers, editors, translators and so on. In fact anyone with an interest in publishing and writing would enjoy these evenings. Given that we all have to be multi-tasking polymaths these days, this is handy.
We aim to greet newcomers as they arrive and station at least one committee member on the lookout for the first hour or so. This is to enable people to come alone if they have no literary friends. We also make sure no-one is left by themselves and try to introduce people to one another, especially if they have a particular purpose in being there.
We have either one speaker who talks for 15 minutes or two for 10 each. These are not opportunities for anyone to sell a product, but are about our experiences in our various fields. Previous speakers have included Bernard Mac Laverty, Ian Rankine, Fiona Brownlee, Nicola Morgan, Lesley MacDowell, David Greig and more. Next up, in June 2015, are Rally and Broad.
But the main focus is the socialising. This is the one night of the month when I feel completely sane and meet other writers who live strange lives similar to my own, or I make sense of the mysteries of the publishing world. I feel supported and heard, plus I had the added luck of finding my publisher right there at Weegies. This is so often how deals are done, in person, because you can get a proper feel for how you will work together. Many others have been similarly fortunate at Weegies.
We are so inclusive we even have members who travel through from Stirling, Kilmarnock and beyond. There is even a contingent from Edinburgh who travel through every month and which includes my brother the non-fiction writer Colin Salter. People from as far away as Inverness and Aberdeen have visited us to see how it’s done, and gone on to set up similar events in their areas.
There will soon be a new, more interactive website for Weegie Wednesday, but in the meantime go to www.weegiewednesday.org where you can read our manifesto, officially join or just get more information. Or turn up at the Terrace Bar in the CCA 350 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow G2 3JD after 7.30pm on June 17th and ask for me.
A quote from happy attendee: 'The atmosphere is incredible, the people are great and it’s fantastic to have such a great venue full of similarly-minded people.'