'Not Dead Yet, Lily?'
A short story by Ron Butlin
Elderly widow Lily Williams lives alone in a polite,
suburban neighbourhood. She finds a novel way of
dealing with her neighbours' apparent concern for
Here you can download all the materials you will
need to conduct up to 3 hours of English language
lessons for students aged 15+. The files are either in
PDF or mp3 format. If you wish to receive the PDF
files as Word documents (.doc or.odt) then please
Pre-reading Activities (pdf)
This is the essential bit. You won't do
Lily justice if you don't look at this part!
Text of story (pdf)
Audio of story (mp3)
Read by the author, Ron Butlin
After Reading Activities (pdf)
Exploring a broader view of some of the
main issues in the story.
Word Work Activities (pdf)
Language practice derived from the
Key and Teacher's Notes (pdf)
Some guidance, and all the answers.
With an international reputation as a prize-
winning novelist, Ron Butlin is one of
Scotland’s most acclaimed writers. His works
include the novels 'The Sound of My Voice'
(winner of the Prix Mille Pages 2004 and
Prix Lucioles 2005, both for Best Foreign
Novel), 'Night Visits' and 'Belonging'. He has
also published three collections of stories,
'The Tilting Room', 'Vivaldi and the Number
3' and, most recently, 'No More Angels' as
well as six books of poetry. In addition, he is
an acclaimed opera librettist. Besides his
radio plays much of his work has been
broadcast in Britain and abroad. His fiction
and poetry have been translated into over
In 2008 he was made Makar, or Poet
Laureate, of the City of Edinburgh. The
period as Makar was extended in 2011.
He lives in Edinburgh with his wife, the
writer Regi Claire, and their dog.
For more information on Ron go to his