OIR: Cathy MacPhail visits Ayr Writers’ Club

Article published on December 3, 2015.

Cathy MacPhail is an inspiring writer of fiction for young children and teenagers. An entertaining speaker it is no surprise that she has had a comedy series broadcast on Radio Scotland. Her new film is previewed this week and she has been winner and shortlisted of many awards, the best known being the Kathleen Fidler, Arts Council Children’s book. Not bad for someone who says ‘I left school at 15 with no qualifications and went straight to working in the local mill – no university or further education.”

Her down to earth attitude endears her to young people and to aspiring writers.

She plucks ideas from overheard snatches of conversation such as hearing a young man on a mobile phone say ‘OK I know this is my last chance’ to a fearsome Grannie shouting at a child in Tesco’s or a sassy young girl strutting to the top of a book signing queue.

The rapt audience at Ayr Writers club scribbled notes furiously as Cathy regaled them with suggested first lines such as ”I heard the knocking at the door and knew they had come for me’. Her cleverly constructed stories have earned her the reputation as the ‘master of the unexpected twist’.

Cathy’s first book , Run Zan Run,was inspired by bullying her daughter endured at school and her continued hard work has produced over 30 books, light hearted and fun for younger children with some darker thrillers for teenagers. Many of the stories have a crisis or problem relating to their age group.

A skilled writer indeed.


Sheila A. Grant




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