Friday, March 30, 2007

Novel Approaches Workshop

Dumfries Ewart Library was the venue for an evening of inspiration and perspiration by nearly 20 writers from across Dumfries & Galloway who gathered to meet novelist, screenwriter and all-round tour de force David Bishop on Thursday. It was a chance to hear about story, structure and other tools of the novelist's trade, as well as insights into the realities of life as a working writer. For those who missed out on this sell-out workshop, an online version is now here - and visit his website here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lancaster Spotlight Twinning

Four poets from Dumfries & Galloway travelled south to take part in Spotlight Lancaster at the Spotlight Club, the northwest's live writing venue, last month : Jackie Galley, Vivien Jones, Angus Macmillan and Mary Smith joined Lancaster writers to read from recent work and introduce D&G's new literary magazine, Southlight. It's hoped the Lancaster literary twinning will continue later in the year.

Craiturs Book Launch

Copies of 'Craiturs: Snapshots of Life' by Alex Berry and Elaine Palmer has been selling like toasty scones these last couple of months as word-of-mouth spreads around the region. A feisty collection of poems and stories from Karachi to Portpatrick and edited by Robert Burns Writing Fellow Hamish MacDonald, it's available from DGAA at Gracefield, 28 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries, DG1 1JQ (01387 253383) - or call in directly at the portacabin...

Mentoring Scheme 2007

Deadline: Fri 6th April

“Extremely useful – if I hadn’t been on the mentoring scheme, I probably wouldn’t have turned my idea into a concrete reality’

‘The mentoring experience helped me to gain confidence and focus in my writing’

‘It was very useful to set myself goals and be able to discuss them and find ways forward’

Just a few comments from writers who took part in our inaugural mentoring scheme with Virtual Writer in Residence Jules Horne. Now we’re offering a similar one-to-one opportunity to five writers in the region.

It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at – it’s far more important that you’re really keen to progress your writing, prepared to commit some time to it, and willing to engage objectively and open-mindedly with your craft. This opportunity would particularly suit writers with a specific idea in mind for the next 6-9 months.

You'll need an email account and the knowledge to send word documents as e-mail attachments. It’s envisaged that the mentoring will cover four pieces of work/feedback sessions, as well as the chance to talk through your writing aims more generally.

If you’d like to know more, ring Jules or Andy Forster on 01387 253383 or email

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Poet Partners with Vicki Feaver

The Scottish Poetry Library, with support from the Paul Hamlyn foundation, are presenting a series of mini-residencies, 'poet partners', to promote their outreach collections. In Dumfries & Galloway we are fortunate to have award-winning poet Vicki Feaver taking part in a short series of events.

Whether you have never read poetry before and want to know where to start, or if you're a committed poetry reader, theses events offer a unique opportunity to explore reading poetry with one of its finest practitioners.

Thursday April 26th
2.00 - 3:00pm Newton Stewart Library
6:00 - 7:00pm Ewart Library, Dumfries
Vicki Feaver talks about getting into poetry and reading some of her favourite poems.

Thursday 31st May
2:00 - 3:00pm Newton Stewart Library
6:00 - 7:00pm Ewart Library, Dumfries
Vicki Feaver reads the poetry of Steve Smith and Sharon Olds and talks about their influence on her own work.

Thursday 28th June
2:00 - 3:00pm Newton Stewart Library
6:00 - 7:00pm Ewart Library, Dumfries
Vicki Feaver talks about the process of writing a poem using drafts of her own poetry, and close-reads a poem from the SPL collection.

All events are free.
To book a place contact Andrew Forster on 01387 253383 or

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

World Book Day in D&G

Saturday 17th March, 8pm
The Crown Hotel, Kirkpatrick Durham

Distinguished poet and translator John Manson invites writers in Dumfries & Galloway to celebrate World Book Day with a gathering in Kirkpatrick Durham. Bring along poems or prose to read - whether your own or by a favourite writer - or simply come along to enjoy!

It's the tenth anniversary of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland, and the event is now firmly established as the biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading.
For more information, contact John on 01556 650450.

Tom Pow Wins Creative Scotland Award

Warm congratulations to Dumfries poet and playwright Tom Pow, one of ten leading Scottish artists to win a prestigious Creative Scotland Award in 2007. Tom will use the £30,000 award to develop his project 'Dying Villages' – a group of poems and prose pieces which explore the cultural and natural ecology of dying villages in Europe.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Poetry Doubles: Jake Polley & aonghas macneacail

Monday 26th March, 7pm
Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries

We're delighted to present a spring taster for the new series of Poetry Doubles in the summer.

Bright young star Jacob Polley makes a welcome return to Poetry Doubles celebrating the publication of his brillant new collection 'Little Gods'. Jake will be reading alongside Scotland's foremost Gaelic poet, Aonghas Macneacail, as he prepares to launch his first collection of poetry in 11 years.

Tickets £7.00 (£5.00 concession) from Andrew Forster 01387 253383 or

Novel Writing Secrets with David Bishop

Thursday, March 29th, 7-9 pm
Ewart Library, Dumfries

Thinking of writing a novel but you don't know how to start? Perhaps you've started a novel but don't know if you've got the stamina to finish it? Then David Bishop's inspiring workshop is for you!

David Bishop is a professional scribe with a prodigious work rate who believes creative writing can be rewarding - both personally and financially. His practical workshop offers insight into the life of a working writer, and provides motivation for anyone who's ever toyed with becoming an author. He talks about the journey from inspiration and perspiration to publication, and tells you how to get real about your writing!

David Bishop has been a professional writer since summer 2000. Since then he's had a dozen novels published, more than twelve hours of audio drama released on CD and the BBC broadcast his first radio play last June. He had half a million words published last year across various media. In his copious spare time, he is completing a screenwriting MA at Screen Academy Scotland in Edinburgh and is being mentored in scripting TV drama for nine months by award-winning writer-director Adrian Mead. He also directs, acts and produces amateur theatre in the Lanarkshire village where he lives.

No previous experience necessary - all you need is pen, paper and an imagination!
Tickets £3. Book with Andrew Forster on 01387 253383 or

!!Update!! For a shortened online version of this workshop, go here.

Screenwriting Meetings

Screenwriters who recently attended the excellent Writers' Factory course run by Eleanor Yule are hard at work on their first screenplays. There's a chance on Sat 10th and Tues 13th April to catch up with fellow writers for mutual feedback before submitting your final script. Ring Film Officer Alice Stilgoe on 01387 263094 for more information on this or anything to do with film and screen activities in the region.

Dilys Rose at the Bakehouse

Saturday March 24th, 7.00 for 7.30pm
The Bakehouse, Gatehouse of Fleet

Dilys' Stories and poems have been widely published in her fine collections, newspapers, anthologies and magazines, broadcast on radio, and adapted for stage and screen. Her many awards include The Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Prize, The Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award, The Society of Authors' Travel Award, The Canongate Prize, 2 Scottish Arts Council book awards with shortlistings for both the McVitie's Scottish Writer of the Year and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year. Dilys is currently Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University.

Tickets £7.50 (£6.00 concs) includes a glass of wine.To book ring Sunny on 01557 814196 or email or BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT!