I am a writer, multi-media artist, tutor, and Literature Ambassador. I divide my time between writing, making, and teaching creative writing. I facilitate workshops for a variety of arts organisations, writing groups, and as an independent practitioner. I have created and taught fiction writing for Dumfries & Galloway Council; worked with The Stove where, with my good friend and collaborator Sarah Sindigo, we created and developed Brave New Words; and taught informal classes over coffee and cake in Brodies of Moffat.*
More recently I’ve been working with Peter Pan Moat Brae. Both at the centre itself, where I ran two separate writing workshops in the summer of 2019, and beyond, in a number of schools, in 2020, just before Covid shut us all down. My latest venture with them is online writing workshops for children, in collaboration with Grimm & Co.
I’ve written two novels (both remain locked away), hundreds of short stories (some of which you may stumble upon in dusty lit mags at the back of a secondhand book or charity shop), and a number of shady poems (ditto), and am currently writing a novel about a small Scottish island whose inhabitants face losing their homes to the fantasies of a new landlord. Do join me on my FaceBook page where I’ll no doubt share my highs, lows, and not-too-bads; on Twitter where my activist tendencies play out; and/or on Instagram where I share photos of my habitat.
It would be lovely to see you in any of these places.
*Devastatingly, Sarah died in 2016 but her spirit lives on: Brave New Words continues to provide a space for writers to share, perform, and hone their work.
I am vomit-inducingly evangelical about the capacity of art (all arts) to strengthen. It’s protein for the mind.
As a philosophy undergraduate I remember being told that seventy plus percent of those who survived the siege of Leningrad had been actively involved in some sort of art. Whether they were concert worthy violinists, or concert goers; writers, or readers; sculptors, or gallery regulars, their involvement with art somehow gave them the wherewithal to survive freezing temperatures and near starvation, for eight-hundred and seventy-two days.
Since then I’ve read zillions of articles on the healing power of art, seen art-therapy emerge as a serious medical intervention, and experienced art’s capacity to turn bullets to confetti both first and secondhand.
So I’m incredibly grateful to Wigtown Festival Company for making me one of their three Literature Ambassadors, and supporting me as I try to contribute to the creation of the conditions to help local writers and readers engage as fully as possible with literature.
This website is my front door. It’s never locked. Even if I’m sleeping you have only to step in to find a cosy library where tea and cake, as well as notepads, pencils and books, are always available. Whether you write, would like to write, or have any other interest in literature, you’ll always be welcome here.
So, please, do wander in, and excuse the cobwebs.