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‘What held me was the brilliant, innovative and charming way in which Stone presented the people he had met during his research.’

Donny O’Rourke finds himself in the book-blessed town of Ullapool in May, celebrating the bonfires and bluebells of the Celtic Beltane festival.

Chris Arthur reflects on the inspirations of his ‘odd-object’ essays, and considers the popularity of this particular form and the most important aspect of oddness within it.

‘To write well it’s essential to know who you’re writing for; this is true for any writing genre, from children’s fiction to academic essays. ‘