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Author Visit – Doug Johnstone

We welcomed writer, musician and journalist Doug Johnstone to the Library on Friday 5 September, when he spoke to the Advanced Higher English pupils and to a Higher English class. Doug has written six novels and has had short stories appear in various publications and anthologies. He works as a freelance arts journalist, and is now Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

Last Friday, my sixth year class went along to the library to receive a talk from writer/singer/guitar player/physicist/journalist, Doug Johnstone. I think it is fair to say he is a man of many talents! During the talk, Doug told us about his inspiration for writing his 21st- century, Scotland – based novels. Furthermore, he talked about his experience of Higher English and how he had read and learned much from his own books, rather than the ‘classics’, which I thought was interest- ing. His interest in fast-paced writing taught me a lot about how best to write fiction. His quote of George Orwell: “Never use a long word when a short one will do” definitely made me think about my writing. I now feel less intimidated to write, even if I wasn’t using the most extravagant word selection. Doug’s trip was both insightful and worthwhile. A very good way to end a Friday afternoon.

Rachel McFarlane