Becoming Meryl


Writers’ blogs are often like cobblers’ children – always the least updated and the worst shod.  Amends will be made and so this is the first blog update which I will call ‘Becoming Meryl‘ in honour of the value of life experience in creating a grounded, accomplished and compassionate artist/writer with integrity who  refuses to be compromised creatively, yet will still give singing a go if the part demands it.

Since I last cobbled a blog, lots of exciting things have happened.  I have a book deal with Palgrave Macmillan for an academic book based on my Food Security research, which will see publication at the end of 2016.  The objective is to contribute to the discussion on how to best govern global crises such as food security, climate change and poverty which are now systemic in the post-global financial crisis era.

Integrate what you believe in every single area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everybody else, too.   Meryl Streep, 2015

I have also made space for writing (and blogging) by changing jobs – I left a full-time job as a journalism lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University to teach Politics part-time at Edinburgh University.  As mood shifts go, imagine moving from The French Lieutenant’s Woman…,


…to Mamma Mia.


Delightfully, now I am also working on a project basis as a writer.  Pitching non-fiction book ideas to agents, writing and submitting short stories to competitions and some ghost writing commissions are materialising too.  I will also be priming my amazon self-publishing page with work over the coming year, including my book on the life of Robert Kennedy, ‘The Water Carrier’.

This mindspace also means I can incubate some characters and plot points for my evolving fiction novel ‘Likely Stories’ which is a friendship novel set both in the 1980s and the contemporary era.  In its current early form, it is very August: Osage County.   To produce good creative work though, all I need to do is ask: “What would Meryl do?”



Academic, author, journalist.

Kate Smith

Welcome to my author’s page.  I am an award-winning academic, author and journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.  I write on topics like Food Security, Human Rights, and Conflict as well as Politics and the Media.  As well as factual books I write narrative non-fiction and fiction.  My fiction short stories and non-fiction short pieces have won competitions and been successful published.  Some of these are on Fiction – Non-Fiction page.  My currently project is a ‘crossover’ book on Food Security called Bitter Harvest: Hunger in an Age of Plenty.

A small selection of my journalism can be seen on the Professional Writing page, my academic profile and some publications are available on the Academic Writing page.  The On Writing page is an occasional blog reflecting on writing.

A member of the Hemingway Society, I researched both Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn in Boston, USA, in 2013 as part of a short-term Fellowship at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University.  Some journal articles arising from this research are due to be published shortly.

To scare the living daylights out of myself I also do stand-up, most recently at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013 which has sparked an interest in comedy writing.