Open the Door 2018 Online Activities

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Open the Door 2018

We wanted our first literary festival to be unique; it broke down the barriers between writers and readers and generated poignant, important discussions. For 2018 we want to invite the world to Open the Door and so this year we’re hosting the festival online. We want the online world to be abuzz with conversations around what it is to be a woman writer and reader. We’ve gathered content from contemporary writers and readers and designed a programme of discussion points and questions for you to ponder. Get creative and get involved!

As well as hosting discussions around modern women’s writing, we’ll be shining the spotlight on 3 women writers from history.

Sandie Craigie (1963-2005)

Olive Fraser (1909-77)

Muriel Spark (1918-2006)

How to Get Involved

We want as many people as possible to get involved with the conversations we’ll be having on 18th May.

Below we’ve included links to our social media handles but don’t worry if you don’t have any of these accounts as we’ll make sure that most of the content we’ll be sharing will be available on our website too.

Below is a copy of the schedule for the day. To view a PDF of the schedule, click here.

Open the Door Schedule of Activities


TimeOnline Activity

Introduction to Open the Door 2018

Join us for a day of online events to discuss and celebrate women writers and readers in Scotland

11am – 12pm

Focus on Scots poet Sandie Craigie (1963-2005)

Film by GWL Volunteer Jessica Secmezsoy-Urquhart
A short film introducing the work of Sandie Craigie

Sandie Craigie Poetry Discussion
A pre-recorded conversation with pupils from St John Ogilvie High School, looking at poems by Sandie Craigie


Focus on Scottish novelist Dame Muriel Spark (1918-2006)

Film by filmmaking graduate and GWL volunteer Eirene Wallace
A film introducing the life and work of Muriel Spark see more of Eirene’s work here.

12.15pm – 1.00pm

Focus on Scottish novelist Dame Muriel Spark (1918-2006)

Spotlight on City of Glasgow College Muriel Spark Projects
Throughout the day we’ll be showcasing the work created by City of Glasgow College students on the Animation and Illustration courses. Join us as we share insights into their creative processes.

1.00pm – 1.30pm


If you’re joining us throughout the day, take this opportunity to grab some lunch and get yourself ready for prompts, discussions and a creative writing workshop in the afternoon.

1.30pm – 1.50pm

Focus on Scottish novelist Dame Muriel Spark (1918-2006)

Q&A with Colin McIlroy
Join Colin McIlroy, the Muriel Spark Project Curator at the National Library of Scotland, for an online Q&A about The International Style of Muriel Spark exhibition, her remarkable work, and the Library’s involvement in the Muriel Spark 100 celebrations. Twitter: @natlibscot

2pm – 3pm

Virtual Merchant City Women’s Heritage Walk with SLIC

Join SLIC virtually on the GWL Merchant City Women’s Heritage Walk as we uncover forgotten women’s histories and cultural markers that contributed to the Merchant City’s thriving past. We’ll go interactive on Periscope and Twitter as we incorporate the WikiShootMe tool, increasing the online visibility of this historic area live as we walk. Presented by the Scottish Library and Information Council’s Wikimedian in Residence Project. Twitter: @SLIC1991 Facebook: and Instagram @scottishlibraries.

3pm – 4pm

Creative Sparks

Join us as we work through a creative writing workshop inspired by the works of Muriel Spark.

4pm – 5pm

The Young Women’s Movement Takeover

Join YWCA Scotland and their Young Women Lead participants as they takeover the GWL accounts. Hear what young women are reading, and the importance of spaces like book clubs


Focus on Scottish poet Olive Fraser (1909-1977)

Film by GWL Volunteer Katherine Midgley
A film introducing the life and work of Olive Fraser

Olive Fraser Poetry Discussion
A pre-recorded conversation with pupils from St John Ogilvie High School, looking at poems by Olive Fraser.

5.30pm – 6.00pm

Focus on Scottish poet Olive Fraser (1909-1977)

Olive in the Archives
Join PhD student Jess Orr as she recounts her experience of looking for Olive Fraser in the archives.

6pm – 7pm


This is your chance to let us know what you’d like from Open the Door in the future and your thoughts on the landscape of women’s writing in Scotland today.