PhD Creative Practice Paper to be presented at:
International Piers Plowman Conference, London July 2023 ‘My herte can thinke’: exploring intersections between the embodied mysticism of Julian of Norwich, trauma theology and the emotions through creative practice research
Poetry Shows and PhD Creative Practice Papers to be presented at:
Historical Perspectives Seminar Series Embodied spirituality: revisioning misogyny in late medieval Britain through creative practice research by Liz Macwhirter 23.3.22
Voice PG Conference, University of Glasgow Blue; a Lament for the Sea A hybrid long verse narrative spoken amidst an immersive, abstract filmic vision of shifting waters. Performance by Liz Macwhirter on 12.6.22
Hidden Door Festival 2022 Blue; a Lament for the Sea A hybrid long verse narrative spoken amidst an immersive, abstract filmic vision of shifting waters. Performance by Liz Macwhirter on 12.6.22
Finncon ’22 Speculative Fiction Conference, Academic Strand, Helsinki Imagining a new poetics of the fantastic and resilient through a medieval dream vision poem by Liz Macwhirter 8-10.7.22
‘Passions and the Mystical’ Conference Mystical Theology Network at Titus Brandsma Institute, Netherlands ‘My herte can thinke’: exploring intersections between the embodied mysticism of Julian of Norwich, trauma theology and the emotions through creative practice research by Liz MacWhirter 1.12.22
Booking new events
Based in Scotland, I’m happy to speak online or travel anywhere to speak at festivals, schools and other events. I can be booked independently and through the Scottish Book Trust Live Literature Programme for events and residencies – author profile.
Academic / adult events: performance of Blue; a lament for the sea; creative writing talks and workshops; creative practice papers; panel events on the themes of my writing and creative practice PhD.
Blue; a Lament for the Sea. Spoken Word by Liz MacWhirter, Film by Jonathan Kearney
Blue is an immersive long verse narrative spoken amidst an abstract film of the sea.
An ancient Scottish Gaelic prophecy foretells a third flood at the end of time. It proclaimed waters will sweep over all lands, save for the sacred Isle of Iona. Words that wintered for a thousand years are unfolded in Blue, haunting the Anthropocene as the sea entangles birth with death.
“I think on those who drowned in tears, and I wonder if the seas of this world will rise in grief at so much loss.”
Young adult events: Performances of Blue; Black Snow Falling events; Creative writing workshops. Across all my young adult events, I can integrate research from my PhD regarding loss, trauma, hope and developing resilience.
Interactive ‘Story of the Book’: A visual presentation with readings followed by Q&A. I pitch my talk and slides according to pupils’ age / stage, supporting their engagement. Themes can include: early science as heresy, archetypal journeys, fantasy/ magical realism, Jung and the shadow self / does evil exist, sexism and prejudice.
Please get in touch to discuss your needs.
“Warm, engaging and enthralling speaker.” St Augustin’s High School
“An outstanding and natural speaker…thought-provoking and challenging but also articulate, warm, accessible and often very funny. Liz captivated and instantly engaged our pupils with her talk.” Trinity Academy
“I’ve never been at an event where the young people have asked so many questions.” Ian Lebeter, Wee Write Schools Programme – Aye Write! 2019
“A captivating author, who engages young people from the second she starts talking.” Boroughmuir High School
“Totally inspired by Liz MacWhirter at YayYA today! Amazing!” Chryston High School at YayYA! Festival for Young Adult fiction
Edinburgh International Book Festival 2018 – Feisty Fantasy with Alice Broadway, Coping with Change with Melvin Burgess and Steven Camden, and an Imprisoned Writers reading.
Golden Hare Books – Dramatised reading with actor Rupert Smith; Q&A.
Interesting Times Book Tour – Waterstone’s Uxbridge 2 October 2019; Waterstone’s Argyle Street, Glasgow & Blackwell’s Edinburgh November 2 & 3 2018. Featured Tracey Mathias (Night of the Party) and Rowena House (The Goose Road) and L.J. MacWhirter (Black Snow Falling).
Fountainbridge Library – Book Group (adult) 19 November 2018. “Liz was effusive, engaging and energetic, making really interesting, expansive and thought-provoking comments.” Simon Brown, librarian.
Boroughmuir High School – Presentation on Creating Stories to 100 S3 pupils studying Creative Writing 21 November 2018. Watch the video of Q&A on my facebook page.
“A captivating author, who engages young people from the second she starts talking.” Fiona Aleksandrowicz, librarian, Boroughmuir High School.
Tynecastle High School – ‘Story of the Book’ presentation to 40 S1 pupils (12 years old) 22 November 2018
St Augustin’s High School – ‘Story of the Book’ presentation to 30 S2 pupils (13 years old) 23 November 2018 “Warm, engaging, enthralling speaker. Liz treated children with respect and openness… a meaningful talk which made the audience think. It was like a proper conversation.” Mike Spells, Librarian, St Augustin’s High School.
“Magical and memorable event, catching younger and older generations. Liz managed perfectly to get the attention of younger pupils, which is usually not expected, and they followed her across the whole presentation.” Sixth form pupil assisting the librarian at St Augustin’s School, Broomhouse, Edinburgh.
Trinity Academy – ‘Story of the Book’ presentation to 40 S2 pupils (13 years old) 10 January 2019 “Liz was exceptionally well prepared. Her detailed and informative powerpoint and ‘Black Snow Falling’ display board both immediately highlighted that this was a professional author at work, and this was then consolidated with her talk in which her natural bubbliness and enthusiasm immediately drew our pupils in.
Her use of a question bag was a master touch, and not something that we had seen at Trinity before. Our pupils are notoriously shy and reserved, and this was a really good way of getting them involved in the talk without having to go through the social awkwardness of being seen to come up with questions in front of their peers.
‘Black Snow Falling’ focuses on potentially difficult and heavyweight topics – sexism, banned books, loss of hope and middle ages science – but Liz struck that delicate balance well between pushing our second years’ intelligence and not overwhelming them.”
Far From The Madding Crowd – Adult event at Further From Festival 25 January 7pm
‘We are thrilled to announce that L.J. Macwhirter, debut author of the bestselling YA title Black Snow Falling, will be discussing her work at the Further From Festival 2019. The book is an update on a classic fairy tale, with echoes of Angela Carter and Naomi Novik, with a strong historical setting in the 16th century. What’s even more exciting is that L.J. has been nominated for the Carnegie Award 2019!’
George Heriot’s School – Story of the Book presentation to the whole S2 year group 26 February 2019
“We were very happy with the presentation. The content was pitched high, which challenged the audience to engage with the writing process and therefore to reflect on their own writing. Liz was well prepared and the fact that there was an opportunity to meet her at the end, buy a copy of the book and have it signed, meant that the pupils engaged even more.” Phil Lowe, Teacher of English
Feedback from pupils:
“It was very memorable because the talk was so fun and engaging that it made us want to read the book.”
“Creative and very good imagery.”
“Interesting, Imaginative and Inspiring.”
“Intriguing and informative.”
“Creative and clever- everything a book should be.”
“An exciting, invigorating and imaginative talk about the formation of a book.”
“Her talk was intriguing just like the book.”
Notre Dame High School – Wee Write Schools Programme in Aye Write!
1 March 2019 – speaking to 120 S3 pupils
“Both events were great but the morning session in particular was fantastic. The young people were particularly engaged and asked more questions than at any author event I’ve been involved in during my 13 years as a librarian.” Ian Lebeter, Glasgow Life
Castlemilk High School – Wee Write Schools Programme in Aye Write
1 March 2019 – speaking to 40 young people from S1-S3
YayYA! Scotland’s festival for Young Adult Fiction 2019
I delivered 12 x 15-minute immersive experiences in the world of BLACK SNOW FALLING for a range of high school groups.
“Totally inspired by Liz MacWhirter at YayYA today! Amazing!” English teacher, Chryston High School
Soutar Book Festival – Emerging Authors Showcase 28 April 2019
See the Courier Magazine Feature on Black Snow Falling and the connection with the Festival’s namesake, William Soutar.
Black Snow Falling – all-day event at Bramall Hall 13 May 2019
I hosted an all-day event at this Tudor Hall which was the inspiration for Crowbury Hall, arranged by my former school Bramhall High. The day featured a presentation, creative writing tuition, a mindfulness exercise in the chapel, following by the students working on creative writing exercises in locations around the hall.
“An inspirational author who left students feeling confident and determined to fulfil their dreams.” Gwyn Wood, librarian
“It was amazing, absolutely brilliant.” Jonathan
“Amazing, a really good experience.” Lyla
“Incredibly inspirational.” Rosie
Cymera Book Festival 2019
Historical Fantasy, the opening event for the Festival with Elizabeth May & Laura Lam, chaired by Eris Young.
Listen to the Podcast by Speculative Spaces http://www.speculativespaces.com/episode-14-cymera-book-festival/
Hillpark Secondary School, Glasgow, June 2019
A Live Literature event themed around Inclusion.
“Having Liz come in and speak to all of our S2 pupils was the perfect way to begin our Book Week celebrations. Liz gave an inspirational talk about the writing process and went above and beyond by tailoring the session to fit in with our theme of inclusion.” John Wason, Librarian
March 2021 – Edinburgh Writers Club, Writing Young Adult Fiction
Dollar Academy World Book Day 3.3.22
Whole-school Assembly; Presentations to Form 1 and Form 11.
Writing Historical Fantasy Panel Event University of Glasgow 24.11.21 online.