Valerie Thornton writes poetry, short stories and creative-writing textbooks. She also teaches creative writing and works with teachers on developing their pupils’ writing skills. In 2012 she was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies in recognition of her writing and her educational work. Her latest teaching books are The Young Writer’s Craft and The Writer’s Craft (both Hodder Gibson). A former English teacher, she taught fiction writing for the Open University for eight years and has been leading creative-writing workshops for both mainstream and special needs groups for nearly 30 years. Her first creative-writing textbook, Working Words, won joint first prize as TES Scotland & Saltire Society Scottish educational book of the year.
Valerie has published two collections of poems: Catacoustics and If Only Coll Were Two Floors Down (both Mariscat Press). Many more of her poems and short stories have been anthologised, internationally, over the last 30 years. She has received a Scottish Arts Council bursary, been shortlisted for the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday short-story prize, and she has been both shortlisted and a prizewinner in the Asham short-story prize. She has co-edited four volumes of New Writing Scotland and edited three annual anthologies of children’s writing from Renfrewshire Libraries. Valerie was a co-author of the RLF report Writing Matters.
Her next project involves articles written by her grandmother’s journalist sweetheart, who was killed, aged 21, at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. She loves cats, birds and playing the penny whistle.