Lesley Glaister is the author of fifteen novels, most recently Little Egypt and The Squeeze, with Blasted Things due for publication in 2020. Her first young adult novel, Aphra’s Child, was published recently. She’s also writes short stories, and drama for stage and radio and has published a pamphlet of poetry: Visiting the Animal. Lesley currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews. She lives in Edinburgh – with frequent stays in Orkney.
‘I liked Lesley Glaister as soon as I met her and it’s been wonderful having someone so experienced to work with. My novel was at a very early stage when I began the mentorship, and I’ve been stuck several times already – I really struggle with first drafts. But Lesley’s brilliant, always ready with suggestions and reassurance. I usually sense when something’s working, but when things go wrong can take me ages to recognise why. Lesley will tell me when she can’t ‘see’ a character I’m working on, or if the voice isn’t right. But crucially, she also has an instinct for when to simply leave it to me – the novel is still very much mine and there are some things I need to figure out through trial and error. ‘In April I signed a two book deal with Random House Australia. My first novel, Desert Fish, will be published early in 2011 in their Vintage imprint and I want to deliver the novel I’m writing now as my second book. I’m about half way through and I aim to finish a first draft by the end of the year. ‘I felt completely stuck when I applied to Gold Dust and it was a real step forward. Getting a publishing deal has been brilliant, but it’s a beginning, not an arrival. I won’t have the luxury of time that I had when I wrote Desert Fish, and I’m finding Lesley’s guidance and support invaluable. Gold Dust is for people who take their writing seriously. It’s been a brilliant investment for me, worth every penny.’ – Cherise Saywell
'To have a literary hero is one thing, to work with your hero is another. Gold Dust gave me the chance to work with my favourite writer, Lesley Glaister, and without her grace, encouragement and accomplished critiques, I doubt my novel would have been published. I have so much to thank Lesley for & highly recommend this brilliant mentoring programme.' – Tabatha Stirling author of Bitter Leaves (Unbound 2019)
'My first novel had just been picked up by Vintage when I came to Gold Dust. I had secured a two-book deal and needed to produce a second novel. Having to complete it by a certain date seemed so daunting – such a different process to the first, which I had written slowly, instinctively, making lots of mistakes along the way. There was no time for that now. Lesley was so encouraging and insightful. She provided really practical help, like deadlines to push me to get the story on the page. But I also benefited from her understanding of where a novel might run aground. So I learned to be aware of my process in a very productive way. Each novel is a new experience, with its own demands, its own specific difficulties and issues. I’m incredibly grateful for Lesley’s help in making my second novel happen.' – Cherise Saywell author of Twitcher (Vintage) and Desert Fish (Vintage).