12 ways to get smarter in Glasgow
GFF15 Opening Night at the GFT Photo Eoin Carey

We’re all a bit obsessed with where to eat, drink and be merry aren’t we?

While that’s great, it’s always a good plan to allow some time in your social calendar to learn a new skill, listen to someone interesting and just generally get smarter.

Luckily, Glasgow is never short of options and whether you’re interested in writing, languages, film or climate change, there’s something for everyone.

Here are 12 ways to get smarter in Glasgow this year…

1. Get your write on

Writing giphy

There are a number of writers groups all over the city. The Glasgow Writers Group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays in varying city centre locations and invite their members to submit work, or just come along and get involved with the conversation. The Write Stuff is a relaxed South side meet-up, taking place on Sundays. Looking for a more structured group, with a focus on novel writing and getting published? Try Glasgow Indie Authors, meeting up on the second Sunday of every month.

2. Read more

Reading giphy

Is it one of your new years resolution to read more? Why not give yourself an incentive by joining a book group and share your opinions with some other like-minded literary lovers. Glasgow Life offer different book clubs all over the city. Or The Glasgow Book Club has been established for almost ten years, has over 1,000 members (although they don’t all turn up every week…) and meet monthly to discuss a wide variety of books in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Failing that, why not set up a book group with your mates? At once a month or so, it’s not a big commitment, you can choose the books you want to read and where you want to hang out. Perfect.

3. Aye Write! Festival

Ready to listen to Tracey Thorn chat music & singing at #themitchell 🎤💛 #AyeWrite #books #singing

A photo posted by Jemima Gin (@jemimagin) on

Glasgow really does offer something for everyone. Aye Write! Festival takes place in the iconic Mitchell Library and celebrates international, national and local writing. Previous speakers have included authors like Irvine Welsh and the late William McIlvanney. This year’s full line up is yet to be announced but keep your eyes peeled as it won’t be long.

The festival takes place between 10 and 20 March 2016.

4. Learn how to save the world

Carbon Literacy Training might not sound like the most appealing way to spend a day but, it’s a massively current and important issue. What better way to spend a day than finding out how to save the world? This course will help you understand the impacts of climate change and how to help in reducing carbon emission. The all day event takes place at the snazzy Citizen M on 2 March.

5. Learn to make your social media accounts private…

Jon Ronson

Welsh journalist Jon Ronson has traveled the world to meet with those who have faced the wrath of the online angry mob mentality and has put together his latest show An Evening of Public Shaming about the subject of getting on the wrong side of the internet. Offering both a humorous and powerful take on online culture he will be discussing his powerful and hilarious book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws.

4 Feb, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, more info 

6. Learn a language

joey friends giphy

Dp you sometimes feel like a bit of a ‘Joey’ when you go on holiday? Well, there’s no excuse any more. Try out the Live Language School to learn almost every language under the sun. Well not quite. But you can choose from languages including Chinese, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish and the list goes on.

7. Glasgow Film Festival

Taking place in Glasgow’s art deco GFT, the Glasgow Film Festival is a wonderful time to be in Glasgow for any lovers of the moving image. This year’s event opens with the latest Coen Brothers comedy, Hail Ceaser! and the extensive programme (still to be announced) offers a wonderful range of films, from classics to modern favourites.

GFT, Rose Street, Glasgow, more info

8. Learn how to make your own clothes

Can't get enough @cottonandsteel from @misformake Christmas prezzies here I come. #timeforme

A photo posted by The Stitchery Studio (@stitcherystudio) on

Getting smarter might not sound like the most creative way to spend your time but intelligence comes in all shapes and sizes. If you’ve always liked the idea of fashioning your own wardrobe but just haven’t known where to start, now is the time. The Stitchery Studio offer a range of classes and courses depending on what kind of garment you’re after. From jeans to jumpers, this is the place to be.

Sandyford Place, Glasgow, more info

9. Embrace your inner nerd

The judges deliberate #GCC15 #cosplay

A photo posted by Glasgow Comic Con (@glasgowcomiccon) on

Or your outer nerd, whichever it is, you will be welcome here. The Glasgow Comic Con and Comic Festival. There’ll be enough Q&A panels, memorabilia stalls and autograph sessions to fully satisfy any comic lover. Special guests include Our Super Adventure illustrator Sarah Graley, Doctor Who artist Rachael Smith and Elsie Harris Picture Palace novelist Jessica Martin.

The comic festival takes place from 28 June to 2 July at the CCA and Comic Con is a weekend event (2 and 3 July) taking place at the Royal Concert Hall.

More info

10. How will we power Britain?

As part of his UK Tour, chief Government scientist Mark Walport will speak on “How will we power Britain in the Future?” This free lecture is designed to appeal to people with an interest in the topic and explains complex subjects in layman’s terms. The Science Centre have their own exhibition ‘Powering the Future’, which you can check out that evening as well.  A pressing topic in one of the most fun educational centres in the city.

Glasgow Science Centre, Pacific Quay, more info

11. Brush up on classic films


Sometimes feel as though your film knowledge isn’t quite up to scratch? Don’t know your Casablanca from your Karate Kid? We’ve got the answer. Get along to The Burrell Collection’s fortnightly classic cinema events. Sometimes themed, there is a Martial Arts Epic! Event taking place on 21 and 24 February. And, the best part? It’s free and non-ticketed. And if the notion takes you, there is a myriad of artifacts and art exhibitions to browse post-film.

The Burrell Collection, more info

12. Become a master chef

Not only is the Tennents Brewery home to one of Glasgow’s finest exports, it’s also host to a range of different ‘cooking school’ classes. From cooking the perfect steak to brushing up on your baking, this place has it all. And it’s all washed down with a lovely pint of the cold stuff in question. Not a fan of slaving over a hot stove? Why not take part in the Curry and Comedy class. Cook up a curry in the kitchen and then enjoy a night of comedy at the Drygate Brewery next door.

Tennents Brewery, more info

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Main image: Eoin Carey