Not your average book club: A guide to literary societies at UofG

Credit: Rachel Wood

Sabina Domínguez
Writer

Books, banter, and a little bit of magic…

University has just started and you’re being constantly bombarded by Freshers’ club night adverts and friend requests. However, there’s tons more you can do in your spare time at Glasgow than just drinking and partying! If you love reading as much as I do, take a look at these societies which bring together book lovers, regardless of preferred genre, and provide a friendly and relaxing space for like-minded individuals. All bookworms are welcome!

Alexandrian Society

If you think classics are boring, this society is here to prove you wrong. The Alexandrian Society holds a number of varied and exciting events ranging from toga pub crawls to games nights and quizzes. They also run two productions every year, including the work of the winner of a playwriting competition organized to highlight writing talent within the society. The main goal of the Alexandrians is to connect students who share a love for the classics, regardless of their degree subject – so feel free to join them for their weekly meetings followed by a trip to the pub. They meet every Thursday during term time in the Murray Room, 65 Oakfield Avenue from 5-7pm.

Creative Writing Society

The Creative Writing Society is a friendly and informal platform that welcomes anyone with a passion for writing. Their aim is to encourage individuals to develop their own writing skills and connect with other keen writers. They organise weekly writing workshops on varied topics such as fairy-tales, LGBTQ+ fiction and even horror stories where you can showcase your skills as a writer no matter the genre – poems, prose, scripts, essays, or songs. Whether you’re a beginner, an avid novel writer, or simply enjoy listening to the fiction of fellow enthusiasts, you’ve come to the “write” place.

Reading Group for Lengthy Literature

Are you up for reading the longest classics ever published? If the answer is yes, this is the society for you. GURGLL was created to help students get through the longer, more challenging novels on their bookshelves. At the beginning of the semester one long piece of literature is chosen, with past choices including Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Every week there is reading set, followed by a relaxed discussion. It’s a small reading group with a wide variety of members, from first year undergrads to literature PhD students – so everyone is welcome to join.

GU Harry Potter Society

Pretty much everyone who sees the University of Glasgow’s main building is struck by its uncanny resemblance to Hogwarts, with its gothic spires and magical cloisters. Doesn’t that make it the perfect place to join the Harry Potter Society? They hold fun packed events such as wand making workshops, book discussions and Harry Potter Escape Room trips – so there’s definitely something for every Potterhead, no matter your Hogwarts House. All the information regarding society events will be posted on their Facebook page @GUPotterSociety, so grab a Butterbeer (or a pumpkin juice) and join them for an exciting academic year!

This list is certainly not exhaustive, and other notable societies include the GU Austen Society and the GU Shakespeare Society, so be sure to head along to the freshers’ fair and see what tickles your fancy. Just consider this list a stepping stone to begin your exploration into some of the best societies (for the book-loving, at least) that the University of Glasgow has to offer!