Some members have

links to their own websites or blogs

just click on their name where it's underlined






JoAnne McKay


JoAnne McKay was born in Romford, Essex and had a career as a police officer in Bristol, until love and marriage led her to Dumfriesshire twelve years ago. She now combines motherhood and work with mixed success. Her first pamphlet, The Fat Plant, was published in 2009. She has read at The London Poetry and Wigtown Book Festivals, and appeared in Gutter: the magazine of new Scottish writing.





Linda Powell



I was born in 1946 in Ipswich, Suffolk, into a very sporty family, and I still play tennis


and table tennis to this day. I also had an early desire to write, but never really got started until my 60th birthday.




I went to the Ipswich Convent, where I was very happy, for my entire school life. An honours degree in English and French from Cardiff University followed, then marriage to my scientific husband Keith.




We moved to Dumfries “for a year” in 1970. The place wove itself into my heart and we built our life and family here. I attended one writers’ group, but produced little.




After Keith died in 2003 I gradually realized that, if I were ever to start writing, I should do something about it. So, just before my 60th birthday, I joined not one but two writing groups. Both have helped me enormously and have been a great source of enjoyment.




I still don’t have a lot of spare time for writing. Four grandchildren, sporting hobbies, a large garden, and a strong desire to keep in touch with my friends, all are essential to my wellbeing. Hence, much to my own surprise, I find that poetry is the greater part of my output, with the occasional short story appearing out of the blue.










Kriss Nichol


Kriss Nichol has an MA in Creative Writing and her poems and short stories have been published in various anthologies and small press magazines. A short story was short-listed for Radio 4, she has self-published a collection of her published poems, a first novel is available from Amazon and a second is currently awaiting a publisher.






                   Mike Smith

       (Brindley Hallam Dennis)


has won prizes and awards for his poetry and fiction on both sides of the border. His work has been published, broadcast and performed. His collection of Kowalski's assertions, That's What Ya Get! is due out from Unbound Press, and he has a novel accepted by Pewter Rose Press. He recently took the M Litt through Glasgow University, and currently teaches Creative Writing at Cumbria University. His blogspot/website is at: He lives in Cumbria within sight of three mountain tops, and a sliver of sea.





Eleanor Chesters

( Treasurer)




My husband and I have lived in Dumfries since 1984. I worked as a primary teacher at Moffat Academy from 1989 until 2013. Our three daughters are grown up now and we have three grandchildren. I enjoy writing poetry, painting and walking. I also participate in regular fitness classes. Eleanor .







 Sarah Samuels


Sarah was an Au Pair in Norway for 18 months, London secretarial college and secretarial work in London and Lancashire.Teaching secretarial studies, teaching adults to read. Relate Counsellor, RSA examiner , Director of Patrons and Associates of the Manchester City Art Galleries, OU and Writers’ Bureau courses in creative writing, three years buyer for ladies’ dress shop, Art Gallery owner/Art Dealer since 1992 to present date.  Writing since 2000 – published in Readers Digest, Sugar and Spirituality magazines.











Christine Ashworth



Christine Ashworth was born at Luss by the banks of Loch Lomond and has lived in Galloway for over 40 years. The great beauty of her rural surroundings has engendered not only a deep interest in the natural world, but also, a fascination with man’s connection to it – and how that has changed over the years. She was stimulated by a Creative Writing course led by David Borthwick at Crichton Campus in the autumn of 2012 and is greatly encouraged by the support of belonging to Crichton Writers, finding the excellent workshops they run particularly helpful. Her interest in the effect of the past on the present has prompted her to commence writing her father’s memoir.



 Cathie Forbes










Christine Cameron


Originally a Londoner, Christine Cameron was educated in the Home Counties. She has a degree in art and design and her employment background is in design and publishing. As a mature student, she gained an MA Hons. in Liberal Arts with Environmental Studies and an MSc. in Carbon Management at the Crichton Campus of Glasgow University. Christine’s interest is in environmental issues and she is Secretary of South West Environmental Action Trust. Christine lives in Nithsdale and finds the area is an inspirational location for all environmental and creative diversions. Recently she has found expression in creative writing.






Jane Richardson

(Vice-Chair & Secretary)


 I grew up in Edinburgh, lived and worked overseas for a while, then met my husband, also from Edinburgh. We brought our children up in Essex, with a firm foothold in Galloway where my parents lived. The magnetism of that foothold has brought us back to Gatehouse. Described as an ‘astonishing community’, we are surrounded by creativity in all forms. In the short time I have been part of Crichton Writers I have learned so much.




  Isobel Mary Gibson


I am seventy two and a founder member of Crichton Writers. I left school at fifteen and trained as a shorthand typist.  Mostly I worked in solicitor’s offices.  I always wanted to write and in the Nineteen Nineties I had some success in writing for the Scots Magazine.  On reaching sixty I decided to study at Glasgow’s Crichton College and graduated with an Honours Degree.  Later I obtained a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.







     Barbara Mearns


   I came to Dumfries for my first job, partly because I knew that the Solway was spectacular for wintering waders, ducks and geese. I married Rick, who was studying Peregrine Falcons, and our wildlife interests have widened to include dragonflies, butterflies and moths, which we record across Dumfries and Galloway. Our writing careers budded during the 80s, with Biographies for Birdwatchers and other books on early naturalists. For the next twenty years I focused on communicating the work of A Rocha − an international Christian organization engaging communities in nature conservation. In early 2018 I published Peatland Poems from the Scottish Solway, my first solo collection, on four themes: the wildlife of raised bogs, our human impact, following Lochar Water and looking back, across the millennia.








Carolyn Yates



Carolyn Yates took up the post of Literature Development Officer for Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association on 1st February 2010. She has been a science teacher, researcher, teacher trainer and school inspector. She set up two training and development companies and ahs worked in Palestine, Jordan and Pakistan on behalf of the Department for International Development and Non-Government organizations. She writes drama, short stories, poetry, school textbooks and education materials. She has a Postgraduate Certificate in Writing for Performance from the Arden School of Theatre, Manchester.She lives in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway.


Her  priorities are to activate and support grass roots networks of  writers; produce more professional development opportunities and get  involved in injecting more literary activities into other arts  projects in the region.She is at the moment seeking to recruit  volunteer readers for a community health and well-being project  linked to the new build of the Crichton hospital.





  Leonie S. Ewing



A retired biologist and farmer with a lifelong interest in science and natural history, now enjoying writing both poetry and prose in Wigtownshire. She enjoys the challenge of introducing scientific ideas into her work and showing that arts and science share the creative process.



Pam Gulland


My interest in writing stemmed from studying for an MA in Liberal Arts at Glasgow University Crichton Campus, which followed a career in Community Nursing. I am a founder member of Crichton Writers from whom I have gained confidence and support. I’ve contributed to most of their publications and particularly enjoy writing for children. My work is included in Dumfries Museum’s Windmill Stories. I have eight grandchildren who continue to energise and inspire me.





Ian McQueen


After early ambitions to be an astronaut, or at the very least a test pilot, were squashed by the sad discovery I was totally useless at anything scientific or technological, a certain emergent and developing facility with languages and the arts came to the rescue. The academic world became part of that and now I’m adding myself to the arts – and to me – by writing.







Vivien Jones



lives on the north Solway shore. She is a professional early musician along with her husband, Richard. Her short stories and poetry have been widely published and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Radio Scotland – her first themed collection of short stories, Perfect 10, was published in September 2009 by Pewter Rose Press.


She has compiled a first poetry collection - About Time,Too - which was  published in Autumn 2010 by Indigo Dreams Press. She won the 2010 Poetry London Prize, which involved publication, a reading at Foyles Bookshop in London and a cheque for £1000.  The winning poem was called 'My Mother's Literature'. From October 2010 she worked on a fiction project - White Poppies - with the support of a Creative Scotland Writer's Bursary, which focuses on the changing attitudes of women towards war and peace issues in the 20th century. In November 2014 a secpnd potery collection - Short of Breath - was published by Cultured Llama Publishing. She is one of three Literature Animateurs in Dumfries and Galloway, charged with encouraging literary activity of all kinds in Annandale and Easkdale. She is one of three editors of the regional literature magazine - Southlight.






Beverley Vaux


Born in Kent and brought up on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro I came to school in England when I was 9 and, as an only child, living with a guardian, reading and writing were my most important companions. Life then rather got in the way of writing; secretarial college, working at Buckingham Palace, having 3 children and an afterthought child 20 years later, President of D & G Red Cross, work on D & G Tourist Board and running a self-catering tourism business not to mention lambing, horses, swimming and tapestry weaving among other things. I am thrilled to have joined Crichton Writers and am very much enjoying their stimulation and encouragement and trying to find The Muse again!






 Bill Wigram


I was so happy to be made redundant and feel true freedom for the first time. It was that freedom that led me to teaching healing; amazingly hundreds of people came to my classes on Tyneside, and in other countries too. Ten years later I gave everything away, and travelled for 4 years teaching and healing. I had many extraordinary experiences, and felt a deep need to write about them. In 2005 I discovered Isle of Whithorn, and stayed there for seven years. An Italian publisher did take the book I wrote there, but I don’t think it has sold many copies, they haven’t sent me any royalties yet… there is another book half formed too, about what I have learned about where we are going, and why.






            Anne Micklethwaite







Scott Thow