Author details

PJ Bristow


I'm Paul Bristow; I write mostly children's fiction, folk tales and comics, sometimes all at once. I live in Greenock, Scotland.

I’ve been writing since I was wee, my Gran used to loan me her old typewriter to use. I can still remember the smell of the ink ribbon and the clack of the keys.

I quickly became interested in writing and performing my own scripts, and performed as a teenage stand-up comedian at several events during Glasgow’s 1990 City of Culture Events, which in turn led to me being filmed for a children’s BBC Documentary. I messed about with stand-up comedy until I was in my late twenties and realised how terrifying it was.

Recently, I’ve also enjoyed being a celebrant for non-religious ceremonies for friends and family, in which folktales and family folklore become the focus of the celebration.

About writer's work

My first children's book, The Superpower Project was shortlisted for the Floris Books Kelpies prize 2014.

I'm a big fan of local heritage and have campaigned for community use of local buildings, including the iconic Greenock Sugar Sheds. I'm lucky enough that as part of my day job for Inverclyde Community Development Trust, I get to manage the oldest building in town, The Dutch Gable House, which I'm reliably informed is properly haunted…though I’m there quite a lot and I’ve yet to see a ghost…

I am currently developing a social enterprise, Magic Torch Comics, which encourages the use of graphic novels and comics in classroom and community activities – I’ve been lucky enough to work on several community based comics and graphic novels over the last few years.

Superheroes, comics, heritage and pirates are my favourite recurring themes…

Websites featuring the author

Superpower ProjectAuthor's BlogMagic Torch ComicsTwitterFacebook

Current events and projects

I'm available to do readings and talks on my books and the writing experience.  I also enjoy working with Primary classes on creative responses to books.

I work regularly with Primary Schools to help classes create comics based on their own characters, with projects exploring everything from issues around bullying to Gaelic language superheroes.

I am currently writing a graphic novel based on the life and legend of Scottish pirate Captain William Kidd.


Other work

As part of heritage group Magic Torch, I've written folktales, comics and ghost stories which celebrate the more unusual history of the West of Scotland and beyond. These include Wee Nasties, an illustrated book for 4-8 year olds, intended to introduce younger readers to local myths, and Tales of the Oak, a vintage horror comic for older readers.

These projects were supported by Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland and the books are available to read for free online.


Achi Baba - Gallipoli 1915  (14+)

ISBN 978-0-9539065-5-0

Graphic Novel (artist Andy Lee)

Magic Torch Comics

July 2015


Wee Nasties (3+)

Childrens Picture book (artist Mhairi M Robertson)

Magic Torch

May 2013


Tales of the Oak (12+)

ISBN 978-0-9539065-3-6

Graphic Novel (artist Andy Lee)

September 2013

Magic Torch Comics


Physical copies are available from


Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

5-8, 9-12, Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network