I was born in Glasgow in 1983 and have lived there most of my life. My love of reading and writing has led to a superhero-esque existence where I work as a secondary school English teacher by day and a writer and performer by night. Written down this doesn’t seem as cool as it is in my head but these activities complement each other well and allow me to share my enthusiasm for books with the next generation. After completing a degree in English at Stirling University I undertook a PGDE and since then have worked as a teacher in Woodfarm High School and Barrhead High. I have also worked as an educational consultant for The Scots Language Centre (www.scotslanguage.com) and these experiences have helped shape my writing. I write in both English and a variety of traditional and modern day Scots. After appearing in the short story anthology The Year of Open Doors, I was offered the chance to publish my short story collection Wasted in Love. This was released in October 2011 and has received positive praise from, amongst others, Tom Leonard and Alan Bissett. I have performed my work to audiences across Scotland at various literary festivals and events including The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Stirling Write Words and The Milngavie Book Festival. As a teacher I have taught writing to groups of pupils including those studying Higher and Advanced Higher English. My experience as a teacher has helped me create tailored writing lessons that have been tried and tested on a daily basis. I can adapt my material to suit younger secondary school audiences and have taught a variety of writing skills to all ages, including adults and primary school children.
About writer's work
My writing is often about young people in Scotland and as a result appeals to both teens and adults. The stories mostly look at the everyday lives we lead. There are no explosions, no murders, but instead the prosaic is shown to be just as, if not more, important than sensationalism. The voices in the stories range from Standard English to colloquial Scots. I have other stories written in more traditional Scots and am happy to discuss the importance of our different tongues in literature. Whilst the stories are not aimed at Young Adults, the themes and characters reflect the issues faced growing up and have appealed to audiences across Scotland in schools and at book festivals.
Websites featuring the authorwww.allanwilsonbooks.comwww.twitter.com/mrallanwilsonwww.cargopublishing.comwww.wordsperminute.org.uk
Current events and projects
I am available for talks, readings, residencies or workshops and will work with any audience. My experience as a teacher ensures I can engage teenage audiences but I am equally interested in working with adults. I am keen to engage readers in the process of writing and do everything I can to keep audiences engaged. It wasn’t all that long ago I was a teenage boy myself and I’m aware how reluctant young men can be to read. My experience working in schools has provided me with strategies to engage reluctant readers and I am passionate about helping youngsters see that writing and books are as valid to them as anybody else. I work hard to keep any events I undertake engaging, interesting and fun.
When conducting workshops I adapt to the type of writing those involved want to produce. I can teach techniques like automatic writing and explain how I go about the process of turning a blank page into a story. After this it is about developing the specific requirements of each individual or group. I enjoy working interactively with audiences and involving them in discussions.
New Writing Scotland 29 Gutter Magazine The Year of Open Doors