My Pet,

Probably no-one in England has received a letter from Semphang Ujong but you.

                                                                                                Isabella Bird, Malaya, 1879

These are the first words from the first letter that Loretta Mulholland read by Isabella Bird while at the National Library of Scotland.  She has been fascinated by her work ever since.

Loretta is studying for a PhD in English at Dundee University. Using literary techniques and extracts from Bird’s work she is writing a series of creative non-fiction essays which explore themes such as landscape, solitariness, and creativity; truth, memory and marginal voices, and the literary value of the epistolatory form.

Loretta has been published in anthologies by Scottish Pen (2020), Speculative Books (2021), the Saltire Society (2022) and by (2019-present).  She contributed to the Dundee University Archives Exhibition ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories (2022) and has had short stories published in Northwords Now and flash fiction in Thi Wurd.  She has written regular reviews for D C Thomson and  and is Fiction Editor for Dundee University Review of the Arts (DURA) online magazine. Loretta has interviewed authors for and was Social Media Assistant and Blogger for Paisley Book Festival (2020-21).