April 2016


Crichton Writers at the Big Lit Festival in Gatehouse of Fleet


'Quiche & Quills'


Friday 15th April

The Franca Bruno Shop

1.00 -2.00 pm


a special lunch at £5.95


The Crichton Writers is an inclusive group for people who want to write for

publication, performance or just for their own satisfaction.





March 2016


Stimulus Day at Annandale Distillery




Several members of the group gathered at Annandale Distillery and enjoyed a fascinating tour of the property, learning much about the process of making whisky and the history of the building and its restoration delivered with passion by the owner, Professor David Thomson. There was a tasting of two strains of their production - one unpeated, one peated whisky, both still in the process of maturing. then lunch was taken together in the restaurant. 




Whisky is matured in both American oak (the small one)

and Spanish sherry (the big one) casks.





July 2015



in preparation for the group's Flash Fiction workshop in the Borderlines Festival,

Carlisle on September 5th, hard at work on their mini-masterpieces.



June 2015



The Principals visit the Crichton Writers during the launch of their latest publication Across the Fence during the Guid Nychburris celebrations in Dumfries on Wednesday 17th June, 2015.












August 2011

Great event at The Swallow Theatre with our lunchtime cabaret -Fromage, Potage et Pain - a full house audience enjoyed a delicious lunch made by Sarah and James (of the much lamented Ravenstone Deli in Whithorn) and the brief and witty poems and pieces by our readers. After the event we had three enquiries about membership. Next stop, Wigtown Book Festival, with the 2011 anthology, A Banquet of Writing,on Saturday 24th September at 10.30 am !


2011 Writing Project celebrates

Food & Drink in Dumfries & Galloway


in the planning is a Lunchtime Cabaret at The Swallow Theatre, near Whithorn, on August 20th.

and an expanded programme at The Wigtown Book Festival in September.






The Pen & Ink Group

in Kiltimagh,County Mayo

In 2008, there was a cultural exchange between the writing communities of Kiltimagh

and Dumfries & Galloway. A friendship kindled then with members of Crichton Writers has prompted the Kiltimagh Group to be in touch to see what further exchange the two groups might organise.

Something exciting to discuss in the coming months - in the meantime-

here's their website address.




                                                            The Old Bank Bookshop


         Pam with a wartime tale                Christine remembers a gift       Sally tells her story from memory


(photos by Fiona Russell)



Crichton Writers at The Wigtown Book Festival


On Saturday 25th September in The Old Bank Bookshop at midday, Crichton Writers read from their 2010 album - 'I Remember, I Remember' - which is a collection of life writing with associated photographs. As you can see, we read to a full house. The album is on sale at an amazing £5.00.

Later that day, at 1.30 pm, in the Wigtown Ink Festival Yurt, JoAnne McKay and Vivien Jones (both CWs) read from their new poetry publications, 'Venti' and 'About Time,Too.'

At 11.30 am on Saturday 2nd October, in The Wigtown Ink Festival Yurt, CW Jean Atkin, will read from her poetry book, 'The Treeless Region'.



Swords and Cyclamens


Leonie and Vivien both have poems in the music themed edition of this American online journal - take a look. Click on the 'poetry' tab.





The Peace Offering by Barbara Mearns


The brooch twinkled at him from its soft velvet nest in the shop window. He fingered the heavy gold chain at the neck of his black shirt as he re-read the price tag. This piece was seriously more expensive than his other gifts to his wife: the diamanté butterfly after his night of passion at the Ethical Pension Funds conference; the golden chameleon after the affair with his Spanish secretary; the ruby-eyed snake after one never-to-be-forgotten afternoon with Randy Mandy – he still found his mind wandering sometimes when he sat at his desk, remembering her performance on top of it...

There was something irresistible about the white platinum brooch, he almost imagined some sort of affinity with it. At first glance it resembled a bunch of grapes – from a twisting stem, little side branches curled away, each bearing clusters of exquisite pearls, some tinged with a flush of pink, others the softest blue or a gleaming, steely gray. As he entered the shop, he was approached by a grey-haired assistant. ‘I want the pearl brooch in the window and you can gift-wrap it for me’. He punched in his pin number and pocketed the peace-offering. ‘By the way,’ he asked, as he turned to leave, ‘what is it?’

‘It’s from our avant-garde range of single-celled animals, designed by Amanta Dunn. This one is a species of slime mould.’

Written at Leonie’s June workshop


Patterns of Life


Change and growth.

The patterns of life

The patterns of stone

Hard agate fixed.

Soft smelly mould,

Growing; changing,

Yet always following a pattern.

Spirals flowing.

Such are the things we are made of,

Trees and the world.

Galaxies are formed so.


When humans first built,

Their huts were circular.

Explore the streets of old Stirling

As they circle round the castle.

Little is straight,

Built for defence.


Logic is straight

Intuition circles in spirals.

As the world does,

As the universe does.

As we do.



Isobel Mary Gibson


Written during the workshop

on Self-organising Systems









  Crichton Writers and former members in the public eye ......


          Crichton Writers has nurtured several award winning writers, four of whom have worked in collaborative projects, to create performance events such as 'Soundscapes'' - new writing in response to the artwork of painter, William Spurway and sculptor, Elizabeth Waugh and  'Goosechase' - a commission from the RSPB and WWT to celebrate The Wild Goose Chase in Dumfries and Galloway. Both projects produced chapbooks of the texts, available at £3.50 per copy (including p&p)





          Jean Atkin                            Fiona Russell                         Jackie Galley                    Vivien Jones


reading at the Thomas Tosh Art Gallery and Cafe, Thornhill in the Dumfries & Galloway Wildlife Festival 2010







Writing Christmas Workshop 2009


Crichton Writers hold many peer-led workshops - this one (with mince pies) led by Leonie Ewing, was a study of winter foliage and an exploration of childhood memory. 






Wigtown Book Festival 2009 'Words & Bronze'

a celebration of the sculptor, Elizabeth Waugh, in her 80th year


One of our performance events in which we gave a reading and exhibited three dimensional art works of our own, inspired by EW's beautiful sculptures.