Brave New Words

Cymera: Scotland’s Festival of Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror wants to offer a platform for emerging and newly published writers to read their work in front of our audience. Our readers will appear on stage at our festival before some of our main events.

Here our Brave New Words for 2019


A.M. Hall

Supporting Lauren James & Tom Pollock

Andrew Hall is a novelist based in Edinburgh. Children of Shadows is his debut novel and the first in a series.

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You can also meet A.M.Hall at his table in our Creator’s Hall.


Chris Kelso

Suppporting Ken MacLeod, Gareth Powell and Adrian Tchaikovsky

Chris Kelso is a genre writer, illustrator, editor, screenwriter, and journalist. His work has been translated into French and he is the 2 times winner of the Ginger Nuts of Horror Novel of the Year ( in 2016 for Unger House Radicals’ and  2017 for ‘Shrapnel Apartments).’The Black Dog Eats the City’ made Weird Fiction Reviews Best of 2014 list. ‘Shrapnel Apartments’ was endorsed by Dennis Cooper on his blog – “4 Books I read and Loved”.

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Shona Kinsella

Supporting Samantha Shannon

Shona Kinsella is an author of speculative fiction who lives in the West of Scotland, near picturesque Loch Lomond. She has a degree in Law and has worked in varied jobs, from acting to the civil service. Shona is an avid reader with a love for language and is most often to be found with her nose in a book. Shona lives with her husband and three children. When she's not writing, doing laundry or wrangling the children, she enjoys cooking, geocaching and nature walks with her family.

Check out Shona’s website

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Justin Lee Anderson

Supporting Aliette de Bodard and Tade Thompson

Born in Edinburgh, Justin spent a decade of his childhood bouncing around the US, following his dad's professional football (soccer) career. He returned to the Scottish capital in his teens and, after a few brief sojourns to Dundee (for an English degree) and the South of France (for his family), settled back in the city that's always been 'home', where he lives with his Brady Bunch family in a permanent state of happy chaos.

In over 15 years of writing and editing for a living, he's done everything from restaurant, theatre and comedy reviews to training manuals and magazines, including four years as the writer, editor and photographer for an Edinburgh guidebook. He has the same initials as the Justice League of America, and his favourite writers are Neil Gaiman, Aaron Sorkin, Joe Abercrombie and Joss Whedon, in no particular order. He misses Firefly.

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Thomas Welsh

Supporting Leo Carew, R.F. Kuang & Den Patrick

Thomas Welsh is an award winning fantasy and short story author based in Scotland. He was the winner of the Elbow Room fiction prize for 'And Then I was Floating' and has also been published in 'The 404 Ink F Word Collection' and 'Leicester Writes'. His fantasy trilogy 'Metiks Fade' debuted in March 2018 with book one, 'Anna Undreaming' published by Owl Hollow Press.

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M.J. Keeley

Supporting Claire North & Tim Major

M.J. Keeley is a writer and teacher living in Glasgow with his partner and clan of cats. He studied English Literature at the University of Glasgow and has had short fiction published by Centum Press, Medusa's Laugh Press, Mother's Milk Books, and Havok magazine. In addition, he is a contributing writer for award-winning online magazine The Wee Review and the Neon Books blog. Keeley can usually be found reading, writing, or cat-worshiping.

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Adriana Polito

Supporting VE Schwab

Adriana Polito graduated from Edinburgh University with a MA Hons in European Union Studies and European Languages in 2002. She's worked everywhere, from No.10 Downing Street to Starbucks, and currently runs an indoor archery centre. In 2009 Adriana started a community production company, Stay Curious Productions. Working with artists in Glasgow, she helped bring their films, photography and music to a wider audience, producing 14 successful projects in just 7 years.

The World Within is her debut novel, inspired by her first hypnagogic experience, which happened to her whilst on a work trip in Rome, aged 22, and the strange dreams and twilight apparitons that followed.

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Visit Adriana at her table in our Creator’s Hall.


David P. McPherson

Supporting James Oswald

David Macpherson grew up in the wild of the Scottish Highlands, but the city called him and he now lives in Edinburgh. This is his first novel. He has twice won's short story competition and in 2015 he won the Neil Gaiman Modern Fables Short Story Competition (hosted by The Word Factory). His favourite authors are Sir Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams and he feels uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person.

You can follow him on here, on Twitter at @David_Mac13 or in person if you have a good set of binoculars, but be aware, he is a timid beast, easily startled.

Tickets and Event Information:

Visit David at his table in our Creator’s Hall.