A haphazard record of experience, feeling and thought . . .
 William McIlvanney: Living with Words                  10pm BBC2 Friday 27th Feb 2015
Connect Film's William McIlvanney: Living with Words will be screened on BBC2 at 10pm on Friday 27th February. The film includes contributions from Hugh McIlvanney, Ian Rankin and David Hayman.
William McIlvanney at the BBC Arts Website   (click on pics below)                    

Scotland on Sunday Interview (click here)                                       22nd February 2015

Herald Scotland Interview (click here)                                               15th February 2015
This website features writing by award-winning author and journalist William McIlvanney. One or two new Dispatches will be posted regularly and will be archived on this site. A lot of the writing featured here is new and unpublished, although extracts from Willie's existing body of work - journalism, essays and short stories - will also be included. All writing -
William McIlvanney.
Click here for the latest Dispatches updates









To read Doug Johnstone on William McIlvanney click here.
Willie and his website are featured on page 3 of S on S. Click here.

To read Susan Mansfield's article on William McIlvanney click here.

To read Allan Massie on William McIlvanney click here.


To read Hugh Macdonald on William McIlvanney click here.



At the Haye Festival on Sunday June 2nd 2013, Irvine Welsh interviewed William McIlvanney. Check it out here. After one particularly dark question about the socio-economic conditions in eighties Scotland, Irvine lifted the mood with: "Anybody got a question about puppies, bunnies & kittens?" Love it! And what an infectious laugh!
 The Laidlaw Trilogy
 When they were first published, they  won Silver Dagger awards and were  nominated for Edgars. With Canongate  Publishing due to re-launch the Laidlaw  novels, starting  in May 2013, We  feature  extracts from the novels,  selected and  introduced by Willie, as  well as a few interesting extras.
 Sean Connery
 "Any attempt to understand such a life  can’t seek to be definitive.  What it can  possibly do is like archaeology , sink  some speculative shafts into those  times and, from what it finds, elicit  some impression of the nature of the  person, arrive perhaps at the salient  features of the life...".
 "I'm on a late-night train leaving Central  Station. I have the compartment to  myself until the train begins to pull out. I  can hear the scuffling sounds in the  corridor outside that announce the man  with drink taken who has just made it.  Experience tells me he will soon be my  travelling companion. He soon is....".
 TV-ing it...
 "At one stage, being even shorter of  money than usual, I agreed to do a TV  column for the Glasgow Herald. I  enjoyed it but, finding I did virtually no  other writing during that time, I soon  gave it up. A few samples may give a  flavour of that phase, round about 1979  - 1980, I think."
What other people say about William McIlvanney

While putting this site together for Willie, I decided to add some quotes of what people have said about him and his work over the years. Being a modest elder statesman, Willie was less than enthusiastic about the idea. However, despite Willie's objections, I have gone ahead and included the quotes anyway. They make interesting reading.
Neil McIlvanney

‘This is a man temperamentally incapable of writing bad prose’ – Jan Bell

‘Illuminating and thought-provoking’ – Irvine Welsh

‘Delightfully funny’ - Sunday Telegraph

‘On almost every page it offers matter for reflection’ – Scotsman

‘A natural of the transfixing phrase’ – Sunday Times

‘Fiercely evocative and witty with it’ – Literary Review

‘Inspiring and harshly funny’ – David Hughes

‘Brilliant’ – Ken Dunion

‘McIlvanney writes with appealing grace and thoughtfulness’ – Daily Telegraph

‘Telling observation and clear, perceptive writing’ – Spectator

‘Maturely reflective and insightful’ – Rosemary Goring

‘Hilarious, moving and incredibly articulate’ – Irish Times

 ‘Beguilingly brilliant’ Sunday Times
William McIlvanney: Living with Words

Known as the ‘Godfather of Tartan Noir’, William McIlvanney has enjoyed a career resurgence in recent years. Landmark novels like Laidlaw have returned to print and earned him a new generation of admirers whilst Docherty was recently voted one of the top ten Scottish novels of all time. Living with Words, produced by Gill Parry, offers an intimate portrait of McIlvanney in his own words and those of family and colleagues, including his brother, celebrated sports writer Hugh McIlvanney . A welcome profile of a writer whose passionate sense of Scotland and socialist ideals have made him inspirational.

Connectfilm Ltd.

Director: Maurice O’Brien
Cast: William McIlvanney, Hugh          McIlvanney, David          Hayman, Ian Rankin
Year: 2014
Running Time: 30m
Country: UK
  e-mail: william.mcilvanney@personaldispatches.com