Visiting authors: Martin Stewart and Alan Bissett

We were delighted to host two author visits on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th December in the Library with authors Alan Bissett and Martin Stewart.


Almost 100 S3 pupils were treated to readings, question and answer sessions and Alan’s take on everything from favourite books to films to River City, which he writes for, and how he used memories of his childhood friends to create characters for his first novel. Martin, speaking to S2, explained his writing process, the difficulties of getting published, how to write with a bored dog and his inspiration from photographs. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the visits and learned a lot about writing for a living – perhaps we will see some more published authors from Our Lady’s in the future!


Thanks to both authors for giving up their valuable time, to Scottish Book Trust for co-funding the event and to Mrs Macfadyen for organising the visits.

Eoin Colfer

1st year had an entertaining time at the Motherwell Civic Centre on Wednesday when they were part of an audience with Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series.

Eoin read from his new book, WARP, and  grabbed the audience’s attention, but even more entertaining were the actors dramatising scenes from the book. Members of the audience were made part of the act, and subjected to some amazing magic tricks.A lively question and answer session was followed by an opportunity to buy the book and have it signed by Eoin in person.

Many thanks to Waterstones for inviting Our Lady’s and organising the event with North Lanarkshire.

Viking Gold

Author, V Campbell, spoke to 1st year pupils and the Creative Writing Club this week about her first published novel, Viking Gold.

Ms Campbell discussed the writing process, editing, and how long it had taken her to complete her  work, before demonstrating some replica Viking weapons and armour, and sharing some rather gruesome stories.

Pupils were keen to ask questions about characters and inspiration, as well as the book cover and life as a writer. Click here for more information.

Julia Donaldson – Running on the Cracks

Report by Mrs Jeffrey’s S1 English class

Julia Donaldson came to our school to talk about her new book. We acted out some scenes from her new book and she explained to us how and when her career started. Before she was an author she was a children’s story writer for BBC Scotland. She got a phone call asking if she would like to turn one of her nursery songs into a children’s book. Thats how she became an author!

In her book it tells you about a young girl who was half-Chinese and a boy called Finlay who is a paperboy and also works at the Barras. The girl’s mother and father have died in a plane crash and she tries to look for her grandparents who live in Scotland. She has no where to stay, and has no money so she steals doughnuts for the doughnut stand where Finlay works. Finlay sees her face in the papers and recognizes her face when he’s on his paper run.

Will he turn her in? Not telling.

Oisin McGann

3rd year pupils enjoyed a visit last Friday  from Irish author, Oisin McGann.  Oisin soon had the audience giggling helplessly as he explained how teenagers lose the ability to put their arms up and can only raise them to their shoulders.

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He then explained how he is inspired by everyday things:  hair sticking up at the back of your head, or an unusual face. He seems to have left OLHS with plenty of inspiration!

He left us with a fantastic illustration from his latest book, Strangled Silence (which also has cool black pages).

Many thanks to Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour for bringing Oisin to OLHS .

Oisin McGann

3rd year pupils have a special event on Friday afternoon when Irish author, Oisin McGann, arrives at OLHS to talk about writing and his latest book.

Mr McGann will talk to 3rd years in the school theatre, with time for questions afterwards. You can also buy a copy of one of his books and have it signed, if you want to. There is absolutely no obligation to buy.

If you already own one of Oisin’s books, feel free to bring it along and get it signed as well.

Oisin McGann’s website is here, and includes information about his novels, interviews, articles and writing tips.

Please see Mrs Macfadyen if would like more information.

Berlie Doherty

Berlie Doherty talking to 3rd year pupils in the LRC

Berlie Doherty talking to 3rd year pupils in the LRC

Berlie Doherty came to Our Lady’s on Wednesday morning to enthrall our 3rd years with stories of her month in Tanzania, her novels and how much she loves to write.

Some of the scenes she saw in Africa have become the basis of her latest novel, Abela: the girl who saw lions, which is shortlisted for the Catalyst Teenage Book Awards (which are being held on Thursday morning). The story revolves around a child whose family have died from AIDS.

We also shared with Berlie our links with Kamwokya, and how the pupils are fundraising to help build a cafeteria and set up and maintain a broadband connection.