Friday, 22 October 2010


In our search for poems the West Uist Chronicle has narrowed its remit down a bit. We invite folk to write a simple four line poem, called a Clerihew.
             The Clerihew is a simple four lined poem named after its inventor Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956). He was a fascinating character who wrote the celebrated crime novel Trent’s Last Case.
             The clerihew is a biographical poem with the rhyming scheme A,A,B,B. the first line consists of  the person's name. You can write about historical characters, friends, or famous figures. Just take care, since nothing libelous will be published! Not a bad idea to write about an historical figure.

Here is one to give you the idea. It is about Scotland's own 'bad' poet.

William Topaz McGonagall,

Dundee’s poet of verse abominable.

He fancied himself a tragedian and thespian supreme,

until he was booed off stage in his final death scene.

            That is it. Simple to do. A bit of fun.

            As we said before, no prizes, just an opportunity to have your Clerihew poem published in The west Uist Chronicle. To enter, just put your poem and your name in a comment box after this article. You will have to create an account with Google or one of the other accounts, but it is dead easy to do.
            So away with you. get your pen and paper and give us a Clerihew

Calum Steele

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


The West Uist Literary Festival drew in droves of poets and poetry lovers. The island's very own Gaelic fisherman poet Ranald Buchanan's  latest book of verse has been a best-seller throughout the Western Isles and now we are looking for folk to follow him.

We are  inviting you poets to send us in a short poem of no more than 14 lines on the subject of Wind, in keeping with our last post. It can be shorter, even a rhyming couplet.

But please, no silly ones about bodily wind! Ecological, humorous preferred.

No prizes, simply publication on The West Uist Chronicle. Become a published poet!

How to do it - simply post it in a comment to this post. If some good wee poems blow in, we'll post them in next week's issue.

Good luck.

Calum Steele


The West Uist Chronicle has always prided itself on standing up for the common good.  Everyone on teh island knows that there is no place like West Uist. We have everything you could need. Community spirit, fantastic natural resources, staggering scenery - and plenty of wind.
Well, the wind is proving more than a bone of contention at the moment. The new owner of Dunshiffin Castle, who does not wish to be named, even though he is claiming to be the 'Laird,' has plans to turn the Wee Kingdom into a wind farm.

    As everyone knows, the Wee Kingdom has been a crofting community ever since the Rising of 1745. The tenants have rights of farming, fishing and shooting on the little star-shaped islet. Now the new 'Laird' is threatening to change all that. The West Uist chronicle asks 'is this fair?' 'Is this the thin end of the wedge?'

 If like us at the Chronicle you have concerns about these two issues - firstly, should we welcome a wind farm on our island? And secondly, are we prepared to sit and let outsiders ride rough-shod over us and our folk? - then come to the Duncan institute tonight for a meeting about the issues of wind. It promises to be a lively discussion.

Calum Steele

Inspector Torquil McKinnon had been devastated when he returned to the island to discover that Constable Ewan McPhee, his best friend was missing, presumed drowned. Then when a crofter died in a climbing accident, a dog was poisoned and a body was discovered face down in a rock pool, he began to suspect that there was a killer on the loose. Could all this somehow be connected with the controversial building of wind towers which enraged the local crafting community and worried the conservation group?

If you want to know more, then read the novel   DEATHLY WIND by Keith Moray

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


We on the island have always enjoyed the annual Gathering for the Games. This year Inspector Torquil McKinnon, known to everyone (on the right side of the law) as 'Piper' is competing for the Silver Quaich in the piping championships. He told our special correspondent that he is hoping to emulate his uncle, Lachlan McKinnon, who as everyone knows was the 1967 Supreme Champion of the Outer Isles. And our old friend PC Ewan McPhee will be competing in the wrestling and the highland hammer throwing, hoping to retain his titles in each.

But we are very pleased to be seeing the Literary Festival come to the island for the first time ever. They have them in London and a few other English towns. Wales has one in Hay-on-Wye, and even the lowland town of Wigtown has one. Now do not be getting me wrong here. These are all very fine places, but the West Uist Literary Festival is going to be the best of them all. We have a sparkling line up of local and national authors. We have Agnes Dunbar, the former head cook at Dunshiffin Castle who is going to be giving us an insight into what is really set before the laird when she talks about her new book GAME, FISH, STOVIES and WHISKY.

          Then we have our own Gaelic fisherman poet, Ranald Buchanan who will be reciting poems from his latest collection SONGS OF THE SELKIE.
         But pride of place on the literary bill is going to be Fiona Cullen, the Queen of Scottish Crime. As you all know she cut her literary teeth by assisting me as a cub reporter on the West Uist Chronicle, before she went on to greater things. She will be talking about her latest novel which will soon be hitting the bookshelves of all the major outlets across the land. She tells us that it has some pretty explosive stuff in it. It is entitled DEAD WRITERS TELL NO TALES.

Personally I can't wait to hear what it is about!

Calum Steele,

The scene is set. To find out more check out the novel

                        or in Large Print                 

Inspector McKinnon hunts down a serial killer. The mysterious drowning of Ranald Buchanan, an acclaimed Gaelic fisherman-poet, on the first night of the literary festival hardly sets the right tone for the celebrations. For one thing it rekindles age-old fears about the Selkie, the seal-man who claims his victims and drags them beneath the waves. Torquil McKinnon, recently promoted to the rank of inspector in the Hebridean constabulary, soon has his hands full. Not only has his old flame, crime writer Fiona Cullen, returned to the island for the festival, but also it appears there is a serial killer on the loose. And dead writers tell no tales...

Friday, 8 October 2010


Dear Readers,
We are back in good old West Uist. The typewriter is a bit dusty, but as soon as we have gone through our mailbag, stocked up the fridge and checked up on the Lambretta's mileage, we will be getting articles posted on all manner of subjects.
We are going to have interviews, reviews, guest blogs and general interest pieces on all aspects of writing.

For now, putting on the  editorial western hat, this is to alert you to the fact that another of the excellent Black Horse Western weekends is soon going to start.
Reminder from:blackhorsewesterns Yahoo! Group
Saturday October 9, 2010
All Day
This event repeats every day until Sunday October 10, 2010.
Chat, leave questions and talk about all things Old West with BHW author Terry James (aka Joanne Walpole)
These weekends are lively affairs. If you want to find out about writing a western novel then tune in and ask the author a question.
More soon.

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Dear Readers,

Rain, rain, rain!

That means the fishing is too good to miss up, so we have extended our little fishing expedition and will not be back at the editorial desk for about a week. But one of the things that Calum suggested is to do a who's who of West Uist.

A good thing to ponder as we wait for the fish to bite (never mind the midges!)

Friday, 1 October 2010


It is raining heavily. Excellent! Just nipping out to join Calum Steele and  flex the old casting muscles.


Feel free to leave a comment if you want to contact us.

Back soon!