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Sara Sheridan

Writer, historian and activist

Sara Sheridan writes the popular 1950s Mirabelle Bevan Murder Mysteries as well as historical novels set 1820-1845. Fascinated by female history, she founded REEKperfume to challenge beauty industry norms and memorialize forgotten women. In 2014 she was named one of the Saltire Society’s 365 Most Influential Scottish Women past and present and is currently working on a non-fiction project about female history.

The Great Feminist Taboo

Women have always changed the world - we are ourselves, history - but those changes require action. It might be marching. It might be holding the line in a twitter debate. For me, it's finding ways to help change how women feel about themselves. The hands-down best feeling was hearing my MP wore Damn Rebel Bitches at Westminster when she had to make a speech. I watched the (mostly male) benches opposite her, braying, and I knew the Jacobite women would have been proud.
09/03/2017 16:56 GMT

A Local's Guide to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh is a festival city for the whole of August, come rain (it does) and shine (likewise) we locals struggle to negotiate our day-to-day lives through the festival crowds, but we do so with a smile.
03/08/2016 13:21 BST

Don't Let This Word Ruin Your 2016

In post-crash Britain, we need to justify our existence by cramming every moment with activity. It's almost a competitive sport. To be busy has become about being needed - about being important. I met several people over Christmas who were so busy that they didn't take all their holidays this year.
03/01/2016 20:26 GMT

Why Giving Money to the Homeless Will Change You

I walk past beggars all the time. I decided I would take out £100 - a small but not insignificant amount of money to me - and that I would give it away to 20 people at £5 a time. I wanted to see how it would make me feel - if it would change me.
24/07/2015 12:13 BST

Writers' Lament: Conditions Worsen for Those in Britain's Favourite Job

Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, wrote a blog piece recently about the disturbing practice arising at some book festivals, where authors are not paid for appearing. Her rallying cry was taken up by the Bookseller and the Society of Authors, which recently published guidelines about the level at which authors should peg event fees.
31/03/2015 16:47 BST

The Restless Quest for Satisfaction: Why the Edinburgh Festival Is Like Life

The other way to go is simply to live on your instincts. An overheard recommendation between friends in a bar or coffee shop, a chance flier shoved into your hand or catching a snippet of a show acted out on the pavement and seeking out the full version because you were stopped in your tracks by what you saw.
06/08/2014 14:02 BST

Bias at the BBC

If you think this is only a Scottish issue, you'd be wrong. On 21st of June 50000 anti-austerity marchers hit the streets of London and the BBC didn't produce a single word about it. By contrast in 2011 a pro-Austerity march by the Tax Payers Alliance which totalled 350 people was covered in detail. It's not only our BBC that is at fault here - it's your BBC too.
01/07/2014 13:14 BST

Women Writers Are Getting a Raw Deal

Female writers earn averagely only 77.5% of what their male counterparts earn. That's taking into account the bestselling efforts of the likes of JK Rowling. I'm an historical novelist and given that over 80% of fiction is bought by women I found that statistic particularly surprising.
25/04/2014 17:29 BST

An Ode to Children's Books

In reading to my daughter when she was younger it became apparent that modern children's writing differs from the classics of my own childhood. <em>Heidi</em> and the <em>Secret Garden</em> might propel me back to the comforts of childhood, but for her fiction from the pre-TV era grated because the prose felt too descriptive.
16/04/2014 16:50 BST

Pay the Writer

A lot of writers don't only earn less than the national average wage, they earn far less than the minimum wage. I'm not talking about writers who are unpublished or indeed, failed by any measure - I'm talking about people whose books have been taken on by bona fide publishers and whose work is building a steady, if not bestselling following.
05/02/2014 15:54 GMT

Christmas Gifts 1950s Style

The world loves the 1950s. The recent resurgence in high heels, cocktails and home-baking (think cupcake) has made the 50s a decade synonymous with treats. So if you're struggling with your Christmas shopping, look no further for inspiration:
12/12/2013 14:30 GMT

Bloody Scotland

Scottish writers are particularly successful in the crime genre. Something approaching a third of all traditionally published fiction in the UK this year falls into the category and it's one where Scots punch above their weight.
10/09/2013 12:44 BST

What Do Writers Do?

Earlier this year I was asked to take part in a writing project in the UK's second UNESCO City of Literature - <a href="http://www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk/unescocityofliterature.aspx" target="_hplink">Norwich</a>
29/08/2013 16:47 BST

Escape the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe

The Festival in Edinburgh is a marvel. There really isn't anything like it anywhere else in the world. But don't forget to sneak off now and then and discover what's made this city a world-class destination ever since the Enlightenment - take a peek beyond the fringe.
15/08/2013 13:17 BST

How Scotland Nurtures Its Writing Talent

Another reason is the commitment of Scottish readers. There are something approaching 150 book festivals in the UK and Scotland is host to almost a third of them - including the<a href="https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/" target="_hplink"> Edinburgh International Book Festival</a> - the world's largest.
08/08/2013 23:16 BST

UK's Quirkiest Book Festivals

I love book festivals and I spend at least every second weekend over the season talking about my books in a variety of tents, classrooms, huts, proper theatres, village halls - you name it. There are almost 150 book festivals all over the UK and most of them take place in the summer.
13/06/2013 11:56 BST

Who Do You Think You Are?

I have to admit to a certain amount of confusion of late. I was asked recently by a friend 'what' I considered myself. I live in Scotland and here, in the run up to the referendum on independence next autumn, most people are trying to figure out, in essence, if they're more Scottish than British or vice versa.
14/05/2013 11:10 BST

What Writers Earn: A Cultural Myth

I write historical fiction. I've been a full-time professional writer for almost 20 years. I realized early on that being an author is a hugely misunderstood job. Because there are no pay grades and very little structure, people make interesting assumptions about the profession.
24/04/2013 17:37 BST