Elsewhere: Commissioned Writing

We commissioned fifty authors to write short stories or essays on the theme of ‘Elsewhere’. Leading writers for adults and children from across the world took part and their wonderfully engaging and varied writing is available for you to read and download here. Many of the authors have also recorded podcasts of their work which you can find in our audio gallery and on iTunes.

Supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

On the shoulders of others
On the shoulders of others by Theresa Breslin

When the tour buses halted at the cotton fields beyond Samarkand it was Ramil who was always first to break off working…

Because it’s a Wednesday
Because it’s a Wednesday by A L Kennedy

A whole new meaning given to 'Elsewhere' by the Costa prize-winner…

A Flash of Blue Light
A Flash of Blue Light by Michel Faber

“I was abducted by aliens,” the woman with the foreign accent told the policeman at the desk…

The things I brought with me when I knew we were leaving home forever
The things I brought with me when I knew we were leaving home forever by Jenny Valentine

My grandmother was the thinnest woman I ever knew. Her ankles stuck like reeds from the dark, weighted pools of her shoes…

South by Gillian Philip

Ice lies in a thin slick across the bay, but he’s in the water anyway. The boy always is. Just like his grandmother…

Kindred by Jackie Kay

Being dead is not at all like I imagined when I was a kid. I imagined the dead would be pale and quiet, and that if they walked at all, they’d walk like zombies…

Archipelago by Marcus Sedgwick

Becca shrieks. Just once, and then is still. Everyone looks at her to see what is wrong; her eyes are wide and she is pointing at Niall, or rather, just over his shoulder…

The Ballad of Jemmy Button
The Ballad of Jemmy Button by Julia Donaldson

Around Cape Horn the wind howls cold; the glaciers meet the sea. A captain came with button box to bid for natives three…

Marilyn's Hands
Marilyn's Hands by Gill Arbuthnott

Marilyn lay in some clinic, pierced by tubes, wrapped in sterile air, quiescent. Waiting to pass on her identity. Waiting to pass on her face…

The Unclaimed Girl
The Unclaimed Girl by Barry Hutchison

Imelda Brown stood on the platform, wondering what the hell was going on. She had just stepped off a train, which was confusing, as she had no memory of stepping on one…