Kilmarnock Voices - Kilmarnock has the Write Factor

"Kilmarnock Voices" showcase writers' event, hosted by East Ayrshire Leisure took place on Thursday 10th September featuring Frank Beattie, Margaret Montgomery and David Ross, three very different and distinct authorial voices, who shared their writing with an enthusiastic audience in the Dick Institute Library. Kilmarnock is extremely fortunate to have a wealth of creative people with local connections.

Each of the writers spoke about their first novels; read some extracts and took part in a Q&A session.

Frank Beattie

Frank Beattie

Frank Beattie, a well-known face, is a retired and much-respected local journalist who has written several very popular books on local history. He writes a popular, weekly local history feature for the Kilmarnock Standard (Memories) and has a particular interest in railway and industrial heritage. January of this year saw the publication on Kindle of Frank's intriguing novel - "The Dandelion in The Glass" and it was this piece of fiction that was the focus of the night. 

Margaret Montgomery

Margaret Montgomery

The second guest was Margaret Montgomery, who also has a journalistic background. Margaret was a staff writer and sub-editor on a number of magazines and newspapers; Scottish Field, The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday etc and is now teaching at the University of Edinburgh, having gained an M.Litt in creative writing from The University of St. Andrews. Margaret has written poetry and short stories, but it is her remarkable, highly-acclaimed, deceptively titled debut novel “Beauty Tips for Girls", set in Ayrshire which she concentrated on.

David Ross

David Ross

The final guest writer of the evening was David Ross, also a debut novelist, whose novel "The Last Days of Disco" has received universal praise. Published by Orenda books in March this year, David's novel uses Kilmarnock as its vivid backdrop. David is a former James Hamilton student; a graduate of the McIntosh School of Architecture; has been a Director of hugely successful Keppie Design since 2001 and is a designated East Ayrshire Council business leader, promoting business and enterprise.