We are celebrating still being around after ten years. It’s our birthday! Send us a monthly present here.

Here are a selection of some of the best writing from the last ten years of Bella. It’s not ‘The Best’ or the most ‘popular’, it’s a selection aiming to show some of the diversity of our content. It’s deliberately not in date sequence and is by no means ‘definitive’, we’ll do some other ‘best ofs’ in coming weeks as we celebrate Bella at 10. Some are short and very specific, some are long and sweeping, some are deeply personal memoirs, others are angry polemic, some are sad and poignant, others inspiring and challenging.  Some are regular contributors – others wrote only once for us.

We visit Slovenia and Shetland, Iran and Auchenshuggle.

Several pieces stand-out. Peter Arnott’s Dinner with No Voters hit a nerve and went viral and makes truly tragic re-reading. Joan McAlpine’s analysis of gender and political engagement is really insightful – as is Laura Cameron-Lewis’s epic We Need to Talk about Leadership. There are obvious recurring themes that gets to the guts of what Bella is getting at. An Open Letter to the actor, James McAvoy, concerning the Highland Clearances by Kevin Williamson, as well as May Miles Thomas’s Hail the Epic Fail (both about film) and Alan Bissett’s Who Carries the Carriers? and Harry Giles Provocations for a Cultural Strategy are all about who creates culture in Scotland. Who is it by and who is it for?

Others reflect direct campaigns – Ceris Aston on the rape clause, Ewan Morrison on Occupy.

There’s darkness and light out there. Enjoy, share, re-read, disagree…

I Shall Vote No by A.R. Frith (2014)

I Shall Vote No

Go Lassies Go by Joan McAlpine (2010)

Go Lassies Go

Dinner with No Voters by Peter Arnott (2014)

Dinner with No Voters or “What I wanted to say before the Pudding hit the fan”

The Shetland Card by George Rosie (2013)

The Shetland Card

Undocumented People Undocumented Stories by Rebecca Nada-Rajah (2011)

Undocumented People Undocumented Stories

Vasili Arkhipov and the Last Tram to Auchenshuggle by Paul Tritschler (2016)

Vasili Arkhipov and the last tram to Auchenshuggle

Scottish Independence and British Unity by Irvine Welsh (2013)

Irvine Welsh on ‘Scottish Independence and British Unity’

The Writing on the Wall by Neil Cooper (2017)

The Writing on the Wall – The Last Nights of Studio 24

Changing Scotland’s State of Mind by David Greig (2015)

Changing Scotland’s State of Mind

Unbeing, Estrangement and the Politics of Fear by AL Kennedy (2016)

Unbeing, Estrangement and the Politics of Fear

Who Carries the Carriers? by Alan Bissett (2013)

Who Carries The Carriers?

Hail the Epic Fail by May Miles Thomas (2017)

Hail the Epic Fail

An Open Letter to the actor, James McAvoy, concerning the Highland Clearances by Kevin Williamson (2011)

An Open Letter to the actor, James McAvoy, concerning the Highland Clearances

Large Scale Solidarity by Iain MacKinnon (2013)

Large Scale Solidarity

Scotland Deformed by Kirsten Sterling (2010)

Scotland Deformed?

Time Up for Trident an the Union by Brian Quail (2009)

Time Up for Trident & the Union

Provocations for a Culture Strategy by Harry Giles (2017)

Provocations for a Culture Strategy

The BBC: Blokes’ Broadcasting Corporation by Kirsty Strickland (2016)

The BBC: Blokes’ Broadcasting Corporation

Finding Scottish Art by Murdo Macdonald (2013)

Finding Scottish Art

Jim Kelman on James Connolly (2016)

A Slant on Connolly and the Scotch Ideas

GalGael 20 Years on by Gehan McLeod (2017)

GalGael 20 Years On

We Need to talk about Leadership by Laura Cameron Lewis (2014)

We need to talk about leadership…

The Bones of a Nation by Magnus Jamieson (2017)

The Bones of a Nation

The Pink Fire of Barcelona by Jen Stout (2016)

The Pink Fire of Barcelona

I’m Done with Being the Token by Shola Da Rocha (2017 )

I’m Done with Being the Token

Trump: the 1990s are Over by Alistair Davidson (2016)

Trump: the 1990s are over

Let the People Lead by Jean Urquhart (2013)

Let the People Lead

Are young women about to sink the Western Isles? by Lesley Riddoch (2007)

Are young women about to sink the Western Isles?

Scrap the Clause by Ceris Aston

Scrap the Clause

From the Province of the Cat #36 – The Readiness Is All by George Gunn  (2015)

From the Province of the Cat #36 – The Readiness Is All

Occupying a Non-Place by Ewan Morrison (2012)

Occupying a non-place

 

Abandon Ship by Vonny Moyes (2014), from Closer #2

https://www.scribd.com/document/239855336/Closer-2

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