‘in thi beginning was thi wurd’
– Tom Leonard


In the beginning thi wurd (pronounced ‘the word’ and in lower case) grew out of a collection of creative writing groups and classes that started in Glasgow in October 2001. These were notable for the quality of work being produced. Initially the project was designed to support these groups by putting on events and showcases. Eventually it evolved to become a means of publishing work from the groups. From this, in 2012, thi wurd emerged strongly as a Glasgow based literary publisher dedicated to quality fiction. Its publications, open submissions policy and live events, have resulted in the discovery and promotion of powerful and original voices.

In terms of naming the project, we owe much to the generosity of Tom Leonard, who agreed we could take our name from his famous poem. Tom also contributed two poems to thi wurd Magazine, Issue 1 (2012) and read at our early events.


Since 2012 we have published books, anthologies, and four issues of thi wurd Magazine (these feature work by writers such as Alan Warner & Janice Galloway, as well as a range of new voices). Between 2019 – 2020 we published three major titles by Booker Prize-winning writer James Kelman: The Freedom to Think Kurdistan (2019), Tales of Here & Then (2020) and What I do (Memoirs) (2020).

In 2021, thi wurd Magazine, Issue 4 became our fastest-selling publication. It features artist Rachel Maclean, writer Duncan McLean, and is illustrated throughout by artist Kate McAllan. The launch was supported by a range of prints, postcards and tote bags, available on our website.

‘Alternating Current: An anthology of fiction, poetry & experimental writing’ was published in November 2022 and launched at a sold-out live event at Civic House in Glasgow. This ambitious production, 15 months in the making features 38 pieces of literary art by writers from Scotland, the UK, Europe, the USA and beyond. It’s a truly beautiful production, which has at its heart a thrilling collaboration with Andrew Cranston and Lorna Robertson, visual artists with international reputations. The cover features a painting by Andrew Cranston and inside are a sequence of drawings by Lorna Robertson.

Our live events of readings, music and visual art are an important aspect of what we do. After going exclusively online during the pandemic, our events are once again live and in person. We have also continued with online events, which are open to writers around the world.

(The audience at Civic House, Sat 26th Nov 2022. Image by Eilidh McAllan)

(Our stage set-up at The Glad Cafe, 12th May 2022)

Alan McMunnigall (editor)