Tag Archives: Scottish Book Trust

New Writer Awards

2 Jun



Thought I’d share this link, which includes a photo of three of the G2 Alumni (Gail Honeyman, Vicki Jarrett and Phil Murnin)

You can  find out all about applying for this year’s awards here.


10 Oct

I’m pretty sure I’m not a witch, though Mum tells me not to cross the bridge. Water runs fast below it; trees grow tall beyond it; birds fly overhead and nest there. We can find all we need here, Mum says, as she adds eye of newt to the cauldron.


This piece was inspired by the theme Bridge on the Scottish Book Trust’s 50 words section for September.

A Little Round Up

6 May

Hello, this month this blog is Blog of the Month for the Federation of Writers (Scotland), so I thought I would give a little round up of who I am and what I do, and what appears on this blog in case this is the first time you’ve been here. If you want reminders to read the blog, you can sign up to follow it via email, Facebook or Twitter, by clicking on the links.

  • I live in Glasgow with my husband and three kids who are mainly of the teenage variety.
  • I’ve been writing fiction for as long as I can remember, took it relatively seriously in my early 20s when I was very involved with the Castlemilk Writers and Cutting Teeth.
  • Got too involved in my career, and as involved as I should have been with having kids in my 30s, so writing took a back seat.
  • Gave up my career, got a job in a supermarket, did a 6 month Faber Academy Novel Writing Course, wrote a novel All the Places I’ve Ever Been , published 3 collections of short stories, won a few competitions, and was shortlisted twice for the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, in my 40s.
  • I’m in the G2 Writers group (with former members of the Faber Academy and Glasgow Uni MLitt Course)- writers I’ve worked with who have published or are just about to publish novels or poetry collections: Ethyl Smith, Vicki Jarrett, Maggie Ritchie, Gail Honeyman, Kev Scott, Maria Sinclair, JoAnne McKay Charlie Gracie
  • I regularly post new fiction here – often inspired by the writing prompts at Creative Writing Ink.
  • I also post more generally about what I’m up to in the writing field and give hints about all the things that keep me away from writing, mainly to do with care responsibilities and hospital visits (rarely mine).
  • I am currently working on my second novel – although I’ve put another ‘second novel’ on the back burner which was actually my first novel, and the one I’m writing now was my first play, so, oh, you get the idea. I’m writing something.
  • So, that’s me – if you want to know more, hang around, take a look at some of my previous posts, or have have a look at my publications.

Mis-speling – should I get annoyed?

27 Jan

So two great things happened this week – I was shortlisted for the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Award (for the second time), and I also had an article about All the Places I’ve Ever Been in my work’s in-house magazine. In both places they added an L to my name. Annoying, yes, but not just because I’m pedantic, but also because my name is linked to my blog, twitter account, and to my publications. Ive asked the SBT to change Colette to the correct spelling, but the printed magazine, I’m just going to have to live with – it was only the headline after all – the article (which I wrote) had my name spelled correctly throught!

So my poll for today – I haven’t done one of these for ages, is – Do you have a name which gets mis-spelt?

Update: the lovely people at the Scottish Book Trust acted quickly and my name is now correctly spelt. Hoorah.


#ScottishBookTrust #Newwritersaward #colettecoen #spelling


Big Success Story (just not mine)

23 Oct

Many, many congratulations to my wonderful writing buddy Gail Honeyman who has proved that dreams do come true with a bidding war for her first novel. Bookseller Article Had an amazing night celebrating her success and found it really inspiring to know that sometimes hard work really does pay off – mind you Gail has tonnes of talent too.

Feeling very pumped up after my short break in Brussels, and ready to embark (for the first time) on NaNoWriMo to challenge myself to write 50k words in November, well what else am I going to be doing during the long dark days before Christmas?

P1050593 P1050637 P1050640 P1050747 P1050786


6 Oct

T.Roll lived under a bridge. One day Billy came to cross. ‘What do you want?’ asked T.Roll. ‘To tell stupid jokes,’ said Billy. ‘You are worthy and may cross.’

Then Nanny came. ‘Yes?’ said T.Roll. ‘I’m here to highlight injustice.’ T.Roll sneered, alerted his friends and together they silenced her.

This 50 Word Fiction was inspired by the Scottish Book Trust Competition – theme – Once upon a time.

For this month’s inspiration go to Scottish Book Trust

Edging Towards the Dream

4 Jul

So, it’s been a horrible year with lots of family illness (which are likely to roll on for some time) but I noticed when I last blogged that there was a big target on the screen and I was down to one month to become a proper writer. Well, drum roll, I’ve edged a little closer to my dream of being a published novelist and am now re-editing my novel after receiving comments from a sizeable agency (I’ll say no more of that just now).

I didn’t make it passed the final cut of New Writing Scotland http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/scotlit/asls/NWS32.html but three of my fellow G2 writers did – Phil Murnin, Gail Honeyman and George Craig (although George has abandoned us now). Really delighted for them and all their successes – Phil is also in receipt of a New Writers’ Award from the Scottish Book Trust http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/writing/scottish-book-trust-training-awards/new-writers-awards  and Gail was recently shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Award http://www.lucy-cav.cam.ac.uk/fictionprize/ . Well done to both of them for that.

Recently I won a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen (or a Moleskin notebook and Shaffer pen to be more factually accurate), from the website CreativeWriting Ink. Follow the link to read my story – Pictures on a Wall. http://creativewriting.ie/pictures-wall/ Winning this story, coming on the back of my contact with the literary agency made me think that maybe I am a proper writer now. Still can’t quite believe that, and still don’t have a printed book in my sticky fingers but it is all seeming more realistic and realizable now, despite the lemons that life continues to throw at my head – anyone got a lemonade recipe?


Keep that pc away from me

16 Sep

I’ve been having a productive few days away from the pc, and now I’ve even less reason to be near the keyboard as my email is temporarily knackered. I’ve been spending hours and hours recently on the computer doing lots of things that need to be done, but none of them necessarily to do with writing, and it’s got me a bit scunnered. Still need to do another couple of hours to complete my Scottish Book Trust grant application, due in for Friday, but then I think I’m going to be doing more reading and handwriting for a couple of weeks to get my creative juices really going again.

It’s a strange thing which I’ve never quite got an answer for, whether I prefer to physically write something or to type it. I think the act of physical writing has many benefits – it just feels more natural, but when I’ve got a chunk of stuff written, I do like to add paragraphs and paragraphs when I’m typing it up (which turns into a second draft anyway).

As I say, a little change to break the patterns might be good, although the patterns I’m breaking aren’t all about wasting time – they are just about other bits of my life.

I’ve got another exciting weekend coming up in Edinburgh with the NAWE Pitch LIve event where I’m meeting Clare Hey from Simon and Schuster. I’ve got a fifteen minute individual session with her which I’m sure will be terrifying, but I’m really looking forward to. I’ve got to the stage where I’ve got to make a big leap forward, and hopefully she’ll help with that.

Also had a bit of good news last week about a story of mine progressing to the shortlist in a competition, but as my name isn’t attached to it yet, I’ll have to remain a tease for the moment – keep your fingers crossed for me.

Performance this Friday!

2 Sep

OK, so we’ve established by now that my plan to make blogging the last thing I do on a Friday isn’t quite working, as what time I actually finish varies greatly from what time I plan to finish, so here we are on Monday night!

Had a few withdrawal symptoms this weekend because there was no more Edinburgh Book Festival to go to, and I have to say that will Sky Arts showing the Hay Sessions (and some of the other festivals) are a good second, they do pale beside the real thing. I’ve still got a few to watch from the last round, but ER always seems to take priority. I think that’s a sign that I’m not as interested in the writers who languish on my planner as I was on the ones I watched straight away.

Anyway, talking of writers performing, it’s going to be me this Friday night at Tchai Ovna, 42 Otago Lane, Glasgow, G12 8PB (for those of you with sat nav and a free Friday). The performances will be from 8 – 10pm and I’m looking forward to trying out my new performance skills, since I attended a workshop with Bridget McCann a few weeks ago.

Along with a little bit of rehearsal (more this week), I also submitted to New Writing Scotland http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/scotlit/asls/NWSsubs.html which is pretty impressive as I normally hit the last post on that one. This year I’m a whole month within the deadline.

Also found out that I got a place on the Pitch Live event http://www.nawe.co.uk/DB/events/nawe-present-pitch-live-a-masterclass-for-scotlands-emerging-novelists.html in a couple of weeks – back to Edinburgh I go.

Other competition news: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/writing/love-to-write/the-50-word-fiction-competition


52 Fridays

16 Aug

I always think that New Year’s Resolutions come at the wrong time. Just think back to January the 1st – did you leap out of bed ready to face the year and all of its opportunities? More likely you’d stayed up late, drank too many sherries and were feeling like the New Year could wait.

So, instead I’m starting my year now. Not quite as crazy as it might seem as the new school year has just started (here in Scotland), so I have peace and quiet (if you don’t count the washing machine). Fridays are the only day when I don’t have any paid work, so they are the best day to get chunks of writing work done. So for the next 52 Fridays I’ll be blogging – major disasters excepted, and mapping my progress (rather than what I hope to do).

But I do need some goalposts, so here’s the wish list:

  • Major magazine publication – short story
  • An agent, sorry that should read AN AGENT!!!!!!
  • At least one competition win (last week’s was last weeks, so blank piece of paper again)
  • Finish first draft of second novel (and possibly second draft, I’m being ambitious/foolhardy now)
  • At least two Animoto videos of flash fiction
  • Edit second ebook, which I’ve been threatening to do for months (The Chocolate Refuge available at http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=colette+coen and http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=colette%20coen in case you’ve forgotten)
  • Scottish Book Trust Award – shortlisted last year, so it would be lovely to make progress on that one too
  • More readings – already got one planned on the 6th of Sept in Glasgow (details to follow)

That looks like enough to be getting on with, especially when I’ve a party to go to.

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