Story Calendar

A Story for April: The Shape of Ladies

Mma Ramotswe & Mma Makutsi consider will power, doughnuts and the health of the traditionally built.

A Story for March: Shimla

A story of mistakes and forgiveness. Shimla The story: What happened when we went to Shimla? That place up in the hills—you know the one—that hill station? It was always cooler and people used to go up there, way back in the days of the Raj, to get away from the crushing heat down below. […]

A Story for February: Show and Tell

A Scotland Street story for February. This story by Alexander McCall Smith first appeared in My Weekly magazine. “Now then Bertie,” said Irene Pollock to her six-year-old son. “Have you finished your homework?” Bertie looked out of the window over the rooftops of Edinburgh. Their flat in Scotland Street was high enough for him to […]

A Story for January: Mma Ramotswe and Rra Burns

Burn’s Night is celebrated by Scots and those who consider themselves Scots-at-heart on the birthday of the great poet Robert Burns. Every year, on 25 January, ‘Burns Suppers’  take place in homes, organisations, hotels and clubs in a night of good cheer, suppers of haggis, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes), a dram or two of whisky, ceilidh dancing and poetry renditions. This story celebrates the ‘good heart’ of Robert Burns.

A Story for December: The Pope’s Australian Christmas

This humorous and yet deeply moving short story originally appeared in The Age newspaper in Australia.

A Story for November: The Director

This story first appeared in The New Statesman magazine. 

This is the story of a friendship. It takes place over a number of years, starting when the two people involved were eight and ending when they were twenty-nine.

A Story for October: Treat Yourself

This short story by Alexander McCall Smith, first appeared in the Woman’s Weekly magazine. This is a story of weakness, or rather, it’s a story of strength followed by weakness. Sometimes things work out the other way round: you start off weak and become strong because you realise how weak you’ve been … It started […]

A Story for September: A Friend is Like a Hill

A sneak preview from Precious & Grace, the next instalment in The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series

Driving to the office in her battered white van, down the Tlokweng Road, past the stand of whispering gum trees, Mma Ramotswe, founder and owner of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, allowed her mind to wander.

A Story for August: Beer and Knees

This month’s story is an extract from Alexander’s current writing project,  The Bertie Project a 44 Scotland Street novel. 1. Beer and Knees On any Friday evening, the Cumberland Bar, just round the corner from Drummond Place and Scotland Street, might be expected to be busy, the meeting place of assorted mercantile tribes, of office […]

A Story for July: Music Helps

For July a story from Alexander which grew into the novel, ‘La’s Orchestra Saves the World’.   Music helps.   1.   La lived in a small town near the Suffolk coast. It was not Aldeburgh, but it was close enough, a town which had had a market, once, but which now had none of the […]

A Story for June: A High Wind in Nevis

  Marlin House sits on top of a hill above an old port on the Caribbean island of Nevis. It was built in the late nineteen-fifties by a retired doctor, who wanted a retreat on that part of the island, and who enjoyed throwing parties. A celebrated American writer would come to these parties when […]