Cover design: Maria Stoian (@mariadraws)

Cover design: Maria Stoian (@mariadraws)


March 8th 2017, from 404 Ink. Order your copy.

'An essential window into many of the hazard-strewn worlds younger women are living in right now.’ – Margaret Atwood (Twitter

With intolerance and inequality increasingly normalised by the day, it's more important than ever for women to share their experiences. We must hold the truth to account in the midst of sensationalism and international political turmoil. Nasty Women is a collection of essays, interviews and accounts on what it is to be a woman in the 21st century.

People, politics, pressure, punk.

Keep telling your stories.


From working class experience to sexual assault, being an immigrant, divides in Trump's America, Brexit, pregnancy, contraception, Repeal the 8th, identity, family, finding a voice, punk, role models, fetishisation, power - this timely book covers a vast range of being a woman today.

The contributors are: 
Alice Tarbuck, Becca Inglis, Belle Owen, Chitra Ramaswamy, Christina Neuwirth, Claire Heuchan, Elise Hines, Jen McGregor, Joelle Owusu, Jona Kottler, Kaite Welsh, Katie Muriel, Kristy Diaz, Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! (in conversation with Sasha de Buyl-Pisco), Laura Lam, Laura Waddell, Mel Reeve, Nadine Aisha Jassat, Ren Aldridge of Petrol Girls, Rowan C. Clarke, Sim Bajwa, and Zeba Talkhani.



Order your copy / For any enquiries, contact

 Photo: Rob McDougall

Photo: Rob McDougall

Nadine Aisha Jassat

Nadine Aisha Jassat is a writer and poet based in Scotland. She has appeared at numerous festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and Aye Write: Glasgow’s Book Festival. She has been published online and in print, including her debut poetry pamphlet Still, and in 404 Ink’s highly acclaimed anthology Nasty Women. Her spoken-word piece ‘Hopscotch’, was made into a film-poem by Roxana Vilk in 2017, and in 2018 she received a prestigious New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust. She was recently named as one of 30 inspiring young women under 30 in Scotland.


WINNER British Council Open Call for New Writing from the UK and Turkey – winning story from the UK: Jacaranda, by Nadine Aisha Jassat

Scottish Book trust New Writers Award 2018

Published by Litro Magazine, flash fiction Feb 2018 :

Published by Hold My Purse Project, 2017

Published by Dangerous women project, 2016 :

Published by 404 Ink, 2017

Published by new writing Scotland, 2017

Filmpoem, Hopscotch by Roxana Vilk, premiered at Women of the Lens Film Festival, November 2017

Still, poetry pamphlet by Appletree Writers Press, 2016

YWCA Scotland Writer in Residence – 2016 – 17 – first ever person to get this

Appletree Writers Press emerging writer 2014

Helen McClory

Helen McClory lives in Edinburgh and grew up between there and the isle of Skye. Her first collection, On the Edges of Vision, won the Saltire First Book of the Year 2015. Her debut novel, Flesh of the Peach, was published by Freight in Spring 2017. There is a moor and a cold sea in her heart.

‘McClory is clearly one of the best new writers to have emerged in Scotland in the last few years’ – The Herald


In the anticipated follow-up collection to 2015’s award-winning On the Edges of Vision, Helen McClory returns delving deeper into descriptively mythical yet recognisable stories woven from dark and light, human fear and fortune. 

Swimming and suffering. Spikes loom ever-threatening. A weight against the throat. Sea where the dead lie pressed into a layer of silt. A silent documentary through a terrible place. Mary Somerville, future Queen of Science. A coven of two. A polar companion. 

Mayhem & Death is the matured, darker companion to On the Edges of
Vision and shows McClory’s ever expanding ability to envelop and entrance her readers with lyrical language of lore, stunning settings and curious characters. It includes woodcut-style illustrations to accompany each short story.

Mayhem & Death also introduces the brand new novella Powdered Milk, a tale for the lost.

Chris McQueer


Chris McQueer is a 20-something year old writer and sales assistant from Glasgow.  After leaving school at 16, Chris found himself working under the hallowed title of ‘Sandwich Artist’ in Subway where he was the source of constant complaints as he couldn’t cut footlong sandwiches equally in half. Now he works in a sports shop where he is regarded as the greatest seller of trainers the world has ever seen. 

Chris kept his writing a secret from his friends and family for several months before his girlfriend, Vanessa, encouraged him to share his work through Twitter (@ChrisMcQueer). Since then he has gone from strength to strength and has earned a reputation as ‘That Guy Oan Twitter Who Writes Short Stories’. 


From the streets of working class Scotland, and on occasion, a little beyond our solar system, comes one of the country's most hilarious debut writers. Putting surreal and witty twists on the everyday, Chris McQueer creates recognisable characters you will love and want to avoid like the plague.

He caught folks' imagination on Medium with his stories, had rooms howling with laughter on the spoken word circuit, and now it's time to put Chris McQueer on the page.


Lilly Banning


Lilly Banning is a librarian based in London who likes the quieter things in life.

She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Sociology more years ago than she cares to admit and spent a decade of her life working as an investigator, which she has now (thankfully) put to bed. James Scythe was her last case. 

She is also, maybe, a little bit fictional. And the brainchild of rock band Creeper. Maybe.


What happened to James Scythe? What you are about to read is confidential. One of the Ombudsman of the Preternatural's former Special Agents went missing in 2015 and it's time to answer the question that the authorities have ignored: what happened to James Scythe? Many have tried to follow the unnatural and unsettling story of Southampton's prolific mystery but no one has been granted full access to the official James Scythe case files to piece together exactly what happened to him in his last days. Until now. 



 Photo: Keira-Anne Photography

Photo: Keira-Anne Photography

Ren Aldridge

Ren Aldridge is an artist, musician and writer. She fronts feminist hardcore punk band Petrol Girls who released their debut album Talk of Violence in November 2016. Ren completed her BA Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 2013 where she was Women’s Officer on the Students Union. All of Ren’s creative output involves words and symbols, from large scale text sculptures to textile poems; lyric writing to zines. Being involved in feminist and other forms of activism has inspired her increasingly to write.

 Photo: David Bishop

Photo: David Bishop

Sim Bajwa

Sim Bajwa is a sales assistant/admin assistant/writer living in Edinburgh. She graduated from Edinburgh Napier with an MA in Creative Writing in 2016. Her work has previously been featured in Fictionvale Magazine and Helios Quarterly, and she is currently working on her first fantasy novel. Her favourite things are nail polish, chocolate, and cats.

 Laura Jane Grace  Photo: Sinead Grainger

Laura Jane Grace  Photo: Sinead Grainger

Sasha de Buyl-pisco in conversation with Laura Jane Grace

Sasha de Buyl-Pisco is a writer and illustrator based in Edinburgh. From Belgium by way of an extended stint in Ireland, she writes short stories and makes comics. You can find her on Twitter at @sashadebuyl and keep up to date with her work on

Laura Jane Grace is the singer and songwriter behind the band, Against Me! 


Rowan C. Clarke

Rowan C. Clarke studied political sciences and human rights in France and Italy before moving to the UK. She now works in publishing and lives in Scotland with her wife, pets and overfilled bookshelves.


Kristy Diaz

Kristy Diaz (@diazzzz) is a communications professional and music writer based in Leicester, via the USA. She is a contributor at Track 7 and Upset Magazine, as well as a number of DIY zines. She graduated with a BA in Arts Management in 2008 and has been a passionate supporter of independent music for many years as a DJ, label co-founder and fan. Her interests include intersectional feminism and left-wing politics, supporting the Leicester Riders basketball team, and hanging out with her cat.

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Claire L. Heuchan

Claire L. Heuchan writes as the award-winning blog Sister Outrider, covering themes such as intersectional feminism, race in the feminist movement, and Black feminist praxis. She is a freelance writer and feminist workshop facilitator – sharing ideas is her passion. In her spare time Claire volunteers for Glasgow Women’s Library and is a member of the Scottish Queer International Film Festival committee. 

Aside from writing, activism, and getting salty on Twitter
(@ClaireShrugged), Claire researches Black feminists’ use of digital media in activism. Claire is a PhD candidate at the University of Stirling, where she attained her MLitt in Gender Studies.


Elise Hines

Elise Hines is a 20-year veteran of the world of Information Technology, an accomplished Technical Communicator, and, at times, a concert photographer. She’s a native of New York City and currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

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Becca Inglis

Becca Inglis wants to be the girl with the most cake. She is an Edinburgh-based writer who regularly reviews theatre and poetry for TV Bomb, with a special focus on women writers and artists. She has previously been published in the Dangerous Women Project and blogged for Hollaback!, Linguisticator, and Lunar Poetry. Becca has branched out into other female musicians since discovering Hole ten years ago, but Courtney Love is still the reason that she bleaches her hair.

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Nadine Aisha Jassat

Nadine Aisha Jassat is the author of Still, a poetry pamphlet exploring women’s stories and women’s survival, and the editor of Rise, an anthology of women’s writing from YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement. She has performed solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Just Festival, and was the first Writer in Residence for The Young Women’s Movement. Nadine works in the movement to end gender-based violence, and has worked with young people to create theatre exploring sexual violence. She delivers feministcreative writing workshops and is currently focusing on creative participation with young women of colour exploring sexism, racism and Islamophobia. 

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Jonatha Kottler

Jonatha Kottler is from Albuquerque, NM where she was a lecturer in the Honors College at The University of New Mexico. She moved with her husband, son, and three very well-traveled cats from the USA to Amsterdam before falling head over heels in love with Edinburgh. She is a happy member of Edinburgh’s Write Like A Grrrl community and runs a reading and writing group for the local charity ECAS. She read a piece at Story Shop at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2016 and recently contributed to the Dangerous Women Project. She is currently completing her first novel.

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Laura Lam

Laura Lam was born in the late eighties and raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. After studying literature and creative writing at university, she relocated to Scotland to be with her husband. Her first book, Pantomime, the first book in the Micah Grey series, was released in 2013, which was a Scottish Book Trust Teen Book of the Month, won the Bisexual Book Award, was listed a Top Ten Title for the American Library Association List, and was nominated for several other awards. The sequel, Shadowplay, followed in 2014, as well as several the Vestigial Tales, self-published short stories and novellas set in the same world. The third book in the series, Masquerade, will follow in 2017. Her latest book is False Hearts, a near-future thriller released in June 2016 by Tor/Macmillan. She is still hiding from sunshine in Scotland and writing more stories.

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Jen McGregor

Jen McGregor is an Edinburgh-based writer and director. She works mostly in theatre with occasional forays into fiction, poetry and other forms of writing. She blogs about mental health, arts politics and whatever else catches her attention at

Her recent work includes #SonsOfGod: Vox, a futuristic adaptation of Coriolanus that is currently touring Italy, Volante, a play about an 18th century rope dancer currently in development with Fronteiras Theatre Lab, and Unfinished Demon Play, which was written with guidance from Rob Drummond under Playwrights’ Studio Scotland’s mentoring scheme. 

When she’s not chained to the keyboard, Jen can be found playing computer games, feeding squirrels in the Botanics or chasing her cat around in the forlorn hope that he’ll someday love her back. She is married to fellow 404 Ink contributor Mark Bolsover.

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Katie Muriel

Katie Muriel is a 20-something mixed Latinx chick, rabid intersectional feminist, writer, and future cat lady. She is also a university student with an A.A.S. degree in criminal justice who is currently working toward a Bachelors in criminology. The goal is victim advocacy, but for the moment, she is mainly focused on school and how many seasons of any given show she can feasibly marathon on Netflix in a single day. The word ‘bibliophile’ is her favorite identifier and she’s positive she’ll never have enough bookshelves. 

 Photo: Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire

Photo: Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire

Christina Neuwirth

Christina Neuwirth was born in Austria and now lives in Edinburgh. Her short fiction has been published in Gutter and 404 Ink. Christina has written and directed short films, performed at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and produced and written zines. Her novella Amphibian was shortlisted for the 2016 Novella Award, and she is currently working on her first novel. 


Belle Owen

Belle Owen has spent a large portion of her life traveling and living all over the world, recently returning home to Adelaide, Australia after 2.5 years in Toronto, where she worked in marketing and social media for a fashion designer, running an accessible brand. When she isn’t scouring the world for vegan treats, she is writing on a freelance basis about music, entertainment and accessibility issues. Belle is a strong advocate for social change and accessibility awareness, and often discusses these issues in her writing, presentations and online presence. Her work projects have been featured by Vice, Harper’s Bazaar,,, Huffington Post and refinery 29.

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Joelle A. Owusu

Joelle Owusu is a Surrey-based writer who currently works in publishing. She recently graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a BSc in Petroleum Geology. As a staunch advocate for intersectional feminism, she is committed to helping others acknowledge, accept and embrace their individuality. As a way of encouraging young people (especially People of Colour) to open up about their mental health, she self-published her diary, ‘Otherness’ in October 2016.


Chitra Ramaswamy

Chitra Ramaswamy is an award winning journalist and writer. Her first book, Expecting, a collection of nine essays for the nine months of pregnancy and birth, was published in April 2016 by Saraband. It won the Saltire First Book of the Year award and has been described as “immediately, poignantly, gripping… magnificent” by Zoe Williams, “elegant, funny, brimming with acute observations and suffused with a gentle intimacy” by Gavin Francis,  and “a glorious read” by Denise Mina. She currently writes mainly for The Guardian and lives in Edinburgh with her partner, young son, and rescue dog. 

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Mel Reeve

Mel Reeve lives and works in Glasgow. She recently graduated from an MSc in Information Management & Preservation at the University of Glasgow, working first as an archivist on a project cataloguing Sue Ryder’s life, and now in Information Governance. She recently self-published 'Salt Water', a ‘zine of poetry and photography and continues to contribute creative writing pieces to various ‘zines and online projects. She also helps to run the Glasgow branch of Arts Sisterhood UK, who hold free and accessible art therapy classes for women.


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Zeba Talkhani

Zeba Talkhani is a writer and production editor with an interest in identity, feminism, intersectionality and social deconstruction. @zebatalk

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Alice Tarbuck

Alice Tarbuck is a writer and researcher based in Edinburgh. She is completing a PhD on poet and visual artist Thomas A. Clark. Recent publications appear in Dangerous Women, Antiphon, Zarf and Three Drops from the Cauldron. She is part of Edinburgh writers collective content work produce form. She is on Twitter: @atarbuck

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Laura Waddell

Laura Waddell is a graduate of the University of Glasgow with an MLitt in Modernities and works as a publishing professional. As a freelance literary publicist specialising in translation her clients have included Les Fugitives, CB Editions, and Calisi Press, and formerly, Marketing Manager of Freight Books. She is also a Board Member of PEN Scotland and creator of poetry newsletter Lunchtime Poetry. As a writer of articles, criticism, and fiction, she has been published in The Digital Critic (OR Books, 2017), the Independent, Sunday Mail, 3:AM, Gutter, Glasgow Review of Books, Bella Caledonia, Libertine, TYCI, and Parallel magazine.


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Kaite Welsh

Kaite Welsh is an author, critic and journalist living in Scotland. Her novel The Wages of Sin, a feminist historical crime novel set in Victorian Edinburgh, is out from Headline in June 2017. It is the first novel featuring medical student, fallen woman and amateur sleuth Sarah Gilchrist, with two further books due in 2018 and 2019. Her fiction has featured in several anthologies and she writes a regular column on LGBT issues for the Daily Telegraph as well as making frequent appearances on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. In 2014 she was shortlisted for both the Scottish New Writers Award and the Moniack Mhor Bridge Award. She has also been shortlisted for the 2010 Cheshire Prize for Fiction and the 2010 Spectrum Award for short fiction.