Before co-founding Blackwater Press, John Reid studied English with Creative Writing at the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, earning First Class Honours for his MA and Distinction for his MSc. He is a published short story writer in numerous anthologies, and during his time at Aberdeen was awarded the George Bruce Memorial Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing. His poetry has been shortlisted for the Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize. He first became involved in publishing as an editor for a short story collection in Edinburgh, before joining a small press in Glasgow as assistant managing director. By the time he left in July 2020 to start Blackwater, he had progressed to the role of managing director, and had learned the ropes of all aspects of the publishing industry. When he’s not publishing, he loves writing, reading old New Yorker stories, and of course playing with his Labrador, Steve.
Meet the Team
Elizabeth Ford dropped out of law school to pursue a PhD in Scottish music at the University of Glasgow. This research won the National Flute Association Graduate Research Award. She has held (and will hold) research fellowships at the University of Glasgow, the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, the McGill-Burney Centre, and the Bodleian Libraries. Her writing is widely published in the fields of eighteenth-century Scottish studies and historical musicology and has been called ‘required reading.’ Her work in editing started when she was employed by her family’s physician to assist as he wrote the great American novel. Since then, she has worked with writers of fiction and non-fiction, copyedited for the Legal Studies Forum, worked as the English language editor for Schott Music, and was managing director of a small press in Glasgow. She is currently lead copyeditor of ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830. She has a collie called Sally, a basset hound called Lucy, and tiny grey mute cat called Francesca, but her best friend is her beloved Highland cow, Hamish. Elizabeth will read anything that holds still long enough but is partial to big thick books with small print and no pictures. Away from books, she likes to take pointlessly long walks in search of obscure folkloric sites, attempt to translate Gaelic, and get escorted out of libraries.
In 2010 Vivien Williams moved from southern Italy to Scotland to pursue a PhD at the University of Glasgow on the cultural history of the bagpipe. With several postdocs between Edinburgh and the Warburg Institute in London, bagpipes remain her preferred research – and conversation – topic. She is a Research Associate at the University of Glasgow, working on projects in the digital humanities including Editing Robert Burns for the 21st century; the Hunterian Associates Programme; The Cullen Project; Curious Travellers; Seeking Refugees from Slavery in Sierra Leone; and The Jacobite Officers Database. The freedom afforded by a digital career offered the opportunity to move to a remote Adriatic island, where she currently lives. At the age of seven she wrote and published a little book called Grandi Amici, and in adulthood has won several literary prizes for prose, poetry, and poetic translation. She speaks Italian, English, Spanish, French, a little German, and is currently teaching herself Hindi. She now offers her translation services at Blackwater Press. Vivien can spot a typo in all her known languages from an average distance of 3.6 kilometres, and believes a fairy dies with every grammar mistake. To calm down from exposure to bad spelling and grammar, Vivien became a yoga teacher and is the President of her own sports association, JalApulia a.s.d. Uncharacteristically for fellow Blackwater Press staff, she does not have a pet, but does tend to name insects who find themselves trapped in her home. She joined Blackwater Press in Spring 2021.