Ah Dinnae Ken & Super Thursday Book Sale

ADK1Super Thursday is one of the biggest events of the publishing year, when everyone scrambles to launch their new offerings for the festive season. With well over 200 new books being released in the final quarter before Christmas, Merchiston Publishing is pleased to announce its own freshly-pressed offering!


Ah Dinnae Ken – Stories of Scottish Identity is a project run and completed by the 2013/14 graduates of Edinburgh Napier’s MSc Publishing course. Featuring a foreward by Stuart Cosgrove and stories by Julia Donaldson, Matthew Fitt and J. A. Henderson amongst others, this collection of shorts is finally in glorious print and available from Merchiston Publishing.


For Super Thursday only, the following Merchiston Publishing books are on sale for £3 when you buy them from our stalls at Merchiston Campus.

  • Olalla – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Peter and Wendy – J.M. Barrie
  • Travel Light – Naomi Mitchison
  • Sunset Song – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
  • Imagined Corners – Willa Muir
  • The New Road – Neil Munro
  • Detective McLevy’s Casebook – James McLevy

You’ll be able to find our goodies in the Triangle Restaurant from 9am–4pm and at the Service Desk in the Library 9am–9pm, so why not come visit us and take away a piece of Scottish identity with you…


Bookie Updates: Cupcakes & Freedom…For now

cupcakesAs we mentioned in our previous post – today is our final submission day for all the details and business plan for both of our book proposals, Ah Dinnae Ken and The Day Boy and The Night Girl. To say that we have been getting happier as the day has progressed would be a bit of an understatement. We can practically smell our freedom… or that could be the sugar? Cupcakes were therefore decided to be a celebratory requirement. 🙂

However, the longer I spend with this group of crazy publishing students, the more I wonder, ‘How did we ever manage to get anything done?’ 😀

eating cupcakes
Working hard or hardly working, girls…?

We love Joanna our Editorial Manager but sometimes we get a little worried that she works too hard… It’s clear that she is also having an effect on the rest of the editorial team. That today represents the end of the module seems to have gone to their heads a little! Meanwhile, Kate is busily finishing up our final submission. “We don’t finish until 5 o’clock girls!”

Joanna has also been spontaneously breaking out in song and dance –  she is our very own Maria! Now why I didn’t have my camera out I don’t know but it went something like:

Joanna at door“We have new covers!! We have newww coverrrrssss!
For Day Boy Night Girl!”

It doesn’t come across quite as magically as it did in real life. But we hope you are having as good a day as us. Cupcakes all round!!!



Bookie Updates: Submission Day!!

The whole team is busily beavering away, finishing up for the submission of both of our book projects for our final assessment – which will ultimately decide whether our books will be sent to our chosen printer, Bell and Bain!! We are all so excited for finally reaching this point, regardless of all the stressful days and numerous obstacles which have come our way – we are so close we can almost see the books!! When we look back on what we have managed to achieve: editing, financing, producing, negotiating rights and marketing TWO books in just 13 weeks – I can speak for all of us in saying how proud we are of ourselves and every member of our little Wednesday Team!!!


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In recent weeks we have been able to finalise so many things, from confirming the support of Cordelia Fine and Helen Sutherland who are providing a foreword and an author biography for one of our projects (GO Rights Team!), The Day Boy and The Night Girl – for more details check out our Project page: The Day Boy and The Night Girl – through to the production of the covers for both books, which are looking amazing. A  big well done to our awesome production team!!

Collectively we have done so much to pull together and we have been able to achieve so much!! The Publishing Degree Show is coming up very soon and is open to the public from Friday 23rd of May until the 1st of June. You are all welcome to come along and see this year’s projects. There are also opportunities for you to get involved and vote for our selected covers for Ah Dinnae Ken. There will be four to choose from and we would love to hear what you think about them and vote for the winner.

This is a sample of one of the covers that will be on show for Ah Dinnae Ken:

Rachel ADK V2

And one for The Day Boy and The Night Girl:


We are also continuing to approach independent bookshops across Edinburgh and even researching retailers further afield; however, our sales are strongly dependent on your interest. Therefore, if you are really interested in getting a copy of our illustrated edition we would love to hear from you, and hear which bookshops are convenient for you and which you would be interested in purchasing from.

If we can find reassure bookshops of the interest that exists, we can create more sales and make them more accessible to you. Please send us a comment or a Facebook message if there is anywhere you are particularly interested in. Any bookshops interested in buying a number of copies please feel free to contact us also.


Bookie Updates: Interview with Ah Dinnae Ken contributor Cathy MacPhail

With only 9 Days left on our Ah Dinnae Ken Sponsume Campaign we wanted to tempt you further into supporting our campaign with a little interview with one of our contributors: Cathy MacPhail.  All of our authors and contributors are amazing with original and thought provoking stories which deserve to be published especially during this time of increased political pressure on young adults in Scotland and the increased awareness and promotion of Scotland’s cultural heritage and growing diversity.

Here is an extract from the funny and diligent interview carried out by our very own Camille Burns (CB) and Jonathon McIntosh (JM) with the lovely Cathy MacPhail (CM).

And if it does interest you and inspire you to sponsor our campaign please go to: http://www.sponsume.com/project/ah-dinnae-ken-stories-scottish-identity

For more information and our sponsorship video and all the donation links.

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JM: How did you start getting into your writing career. Were you just practicing on your own, or did you go to creative writing groups?

CM: No I always, I was always writing, but without any confidence and it was going to, actually, to the local writer’s group, where they started giving me the confidence that actually I was quite good. And they urged me to start sending stories away. And I always tell the story the very first story I had accepted I had written when I was 17 and didn’t have the courage to send it away. So really it was going to the writers club that gave me the confidence that I might be able to be a writer.


But also then, from that, you then started going to writer’s conferences and seminars, listening to writers and learning all the time how to improve your writing. And moving into other avenues, you know? You think ‘Oh, I’ll get a short story published, and that’s all, I’m quite happy! Oh, maybe I’ll get two short stories published…oh wait a wee minute, maybe I could get three! Maybe I could write a novel?’


I was one of those people that when I went to a seminar or a conference and I went in to listen to a speaker I came out sure that was the writing I was gonna do. Science fiction? That’s me! Historical fiction? That’s me! So I tended to try a lot of different kinds of writing, which, in the end, was a really good thing cause I think it improved my writing, improved the way I wrote and, you know, how, it was how I learned to write, really.


JM: Do you feel that, obviously you’re writing to a children’s / young adult audience, do you feel like their needs have changed over the years? Do you feel like their reception to your work has changed, or their reading habits have changed?  

CM: Um, what I think is you know people always say ‘children don’t really read’ but actually if they get the books in school, and the teachers are brilliant at bringing books into school, introducing them to writers, I find children can be really enthusiastic. You know, I went to Hunter Primary yesterday and the kids were all waiting behind the gates, in a big long line, and as soon as I parked the car they were going ‘She’s here! She’s here!’ They were so excited. ‘We’ve just finished Dark Waters, we’ve just been reading this, we’re just really excited.’ And I’ve seen that same excitement away back, you know, years ago when I’d go to visit a school.


JM: Aye

CM: So, no I don’t think children’s…

JM: It hasn’t really changed?

CM: No, I don’t think so. You know, I got a lovely email last night from a parent of two children that I spoke to yesterday, thanking me for they came home so enthusiastic, and her son especially, had never liked reading. And now he’s reading all the time, he’s reading my books, but he’s reading all the time and he just loves it so much. So what you hope is that that is maybe going to keep on, he’s gonnae try other writers, he’s gonnae grow up with that. And that’s all you can hope for, isn’t it?


CB: So how does that make you feel, to be the person who has allowed him to start reading?

JM: It must be such a good feeling.


CM: Do you know, I put it on Facebook cause I thought it was so nice, that she had emailed me. In fact, no it wasnae the woman’s email I put on Facebook it was the reception I’d had at the school. And I actually said, ‘I love this job’. Because it really does make me feel that you’re doing something really worthwhile. You know? So, it’s a wonderful feeling…

CM: Aye, well there you are you had read Tribes (To Jonny). I’m still going to schools and children are asking about Tribes!


JM: That was, like, 10 years ago!

CM: I know! Run, Zan, Run came out in 1994

CB: That was the one I read when I was in school!

CM: 1994 that came out. I went yesterday to Hunter Primary and they had a whole wall of work the children had done on Run, Zan, Run. There’s not a mobile phone in sight in the whole book.

JM: That’s it, aye.

CB: Yeah.

CM: If I wrote it now it would be totally different. So, that’s what I mean, I love the fact that, especially with children’s books, that they seem to go through generations. It’s not a case of, ‘Oh, that’s an old book’.


JM: So what interested you about our project, when you first got the initial email from Camille?

CM: Well I think the first thing was because you said you were a student and you had this project. I thought it was an interesting project but I think especially because you were a student and you sounded so enthusiastic. And I suppose I wanted to help you, and when you said it was about Scottishness, although it is, as I say, kinda ‘Bloody hell, what is that about?’ I still think it was a very worthy idea, so that was really how I became interested in it. And since then I’ve been thinking, ‘Scottishness, what is that?’ and then, as I say, I came up with this story and I thought, ‘That would be good. Nice touch of the dark.’


JM: So I think this is the hardest question you’re going to get and I know you’ve been dreading it, so if you had to define Scottish identity, and I can see you’re struggling, it is, I think it’s hard. How would you define it in a sentence?

CM: Define Scottish identity…


JM: To you. I know it’s a toughie though.

CM: Um. It wouldnae be in a sentence but I think there’s, you know, I suppose Scottish identity has been a lot like my writing career. That I didn’t have the courage to believe I could be a writer and then even when I became a writer I didnae have the courage to think, actually believe, I was any good. It took me such a long time to actually think, ‘I am good. I can write. People like my books’ and in a way I think that’s kinda like the way I think of Scottish identity. That, you know, I can remember people, and you still hear them saying it ‘Oh typical Scotland, we’ll no win’, ‘Oh typical Scotland, we’re rubbish’ and then it takes a long time for that feeling of not being quite good enough to grow into that feeling ‘Yes we are good enough’ and then to become the feeling ‘We are pretty good’. So I don’t know whether that answers…


I think that we tend to look at all the negative things instead of the positive things you know? We tend to go ‘Och we’re no good, we’re rubbish at football.’‘Aw our team’s never win’ … ‘Oh look at all the blinking dumps we’ve got. It’s Greenock. Greenock’s a dump.’


Look over there [points to the Clyde waterfront], look at the views we’ve got. Greenock’s no a dump! And I think that’s a kinda Scottish thing, you know? It’s like never looking at all the wonderful things. The best whiskey in the world! I don’t drink whiskey, but I buy it simply because I want to, you know. We’ve got best gin in the world!


CB: You just need to take a look at our history as a country, weve had amazing people.

CM: Amazing. Look at the explorers, the scientists, the doctors… So yeah, there’s an awful lot of really interesting people have come from Greenock. They’ve left Greenock, right enough.


But then I think that’s a Scottish thing as well, that we should be proud of. It’s not a case of, ‘Oh everybody leaves this place’. I always wanted my children to leave, I always wanted my children to spread their wings and go elsewhere. So I haven’t a clue how to put that into a sentence!



Bookie Updates: SPONSORS!!

A number of exciting things have been happening this week, especially as the whole team is already excitedly getting ready for London Book Fair which is only 11 days away now!!

We have been on the hunt for sponsors to help further our promotional campaign for both our Scottish books Ah Dinnae Ken and The Day Boy and the Night Girl.

Thanks to Giulia we have gained support from two of Scotland’s most iconic brands, and it came in the best format ever…Food!! 🙂

We received a lovely surprise this morning when a gigantic box full of Walkers Shortbread turned up at the Edinburgh Napier front desk addressed to us! 🙂


Nothing helps make the hump day better than food.

But this was only the start of our day – our next surprise arrived soon after when we received a lovely email from the amazing people at Tunnock’s.

Come find us at our stand at H350 at the London Book Fair to grab some Scottish goodies!


rrX25BjtHIQFbrpdvleacOKeSfxrstHStcwONLkXaNyMIYewq7BZjFnNRbWe5A9Mig=w1664-h733We will keep you up to date on any more goodies we will be giving away – visit us at the London Book Fair or on our facebook pages:



and follow us on Twitter: @EdNapierPublish using the hashtag #AhDinnaeKen & #crowdfunding to get involved with the AhDinnaeKen “What is Scottish Identity?” campaign, or #LetBooksbeBooks to get involved in the campaign to remove gender limitations from children’s books.

Bookie Updates: Ah Dinnae Ken and Crowdfunding

Following our decision to join the Let Books be Books  for our childrens project,  The Day Boy and The Night Girl  we also wanted to update you further on our YA project Ah Dinnae Ken.

Now things have also been progressing rapidly for our other project, Ah Dinnae KenRight now we are halfway through our crowdfunding campaign to support the print and distribution of Ah Dinnae Ken.

And we wanted to take this time to share our message and our belief in this project in the hope that you would be interested in supporting and becoming involved in our project.

So here is a little summary about who we are and why we are doing this. And a little sneak peek at the supporters we’ve gotten so far!

Sponsume Link: http://www.sponsume.com/project/ah-dinnae-ken-stories-scottish-identity


Hello there! We are a team postgraduate publishing students at Edinburgh Napier University who are currently working on a live book project for Merchiston Publishing, in-house publishing arm of Edinburgh Napier University and the Scottish Centre for the Book. Merchiston Publishing is a not-for-profit publishing house which distributes copies of its books freely, and is supported by the generous donations of organizations such as the Edward Clark Trust.  See more at: http://www.sponsume.com/project/ah-dinnae-ken-stories-scottish-identity#sthash.KPdFi4VS.dpuf

What does it mean to be Scottish? Can Scottishness be defined, and is there really a difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK? Some of today’s leading Scottish authors for young adult literature – Cathy MacPhail, Claire McFall, Cathy Forde, Diana Hendry, J.A. Henderson, and others – address these questions and more, in this thought-provoking collection of stories about national identity. Each story is unique, some are amusing, others moving, but together they show how different people, ideas, and even dialects make up the Scotland we know and love today. The book also features a foreword by Scottish journalist and broadcaster, Stuart Cosgrove. See more at: http://www.sponsume.com/project/ah-dinnae-ken-stories-scottish-identity#sthash.KPdFi4VS.dpuf


We really believe in this project and we want to copies of the book to as many schools as we possibly can. So please take a minute to check out our link and watch our little video featuring Kenny the Book who just wants to be shared in schools.

Thank you x

Bookie Updates: Ah Dinnae Ken

Just wanted to share a quick post because we have had another exciting development today for our live project, Ah Dinnae Ken.

Recently thanks to one of our marketing team members, Jonny McIntosh! He was able to arrange a interview with STV to promote our newest project Ah Dinnae Ken as well as raise awareness for our topic of debate, Scottish National Identity, among teenagers.

The article will be available on their website of : STV Ah Dinnae Ken Article . It is also available on the new and free STV mobile app, under Edinburgh Napier University.

We would love to hear what you think of this article and your input is always welcome in regards to our projects.

We are continually updating our facebook page as well as our twitter feed @EdNapierPublish using the #AhDinnaeKen. Get in touch with us!