Courses

Bursaries are available on all courses.

Our 2018 courses are announced on 21st November. Sign up to our mailing list or if you can’t wait until then, join the literary collective for priority booking.


  • Songwriting: Boo Hewerdine & Findlay Napier Guest: Edwina Hayes
    Mon 4th Dec - Sat 9th Dec
    5:00pm - 10:00am


    On this course Edwina and Findlay will guide you as you work on your songwriting skills. Learn about meter, melody, lyrics, chords…. every aspect of song.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Christmas Retreat
    Mon 11th Dec - Sat 16th Dec
    5:00pm - 10:00am
    Fully Booked

    Desperate to get that manuscript redrafted? Or that poetry collection polished off? Our Christmas Retreat is the perfect occasion to do so.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • January Retreat
    Mon 22nd Jan - Sat 27th Jan
    All Day


    This week is the perfect opportunity to establish good writing practice for the year ahead. Enjoy post-Christmas time and space to knuckle down on your work.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Short Course: Fiction - Jem Poster & Sarah Burton
    Thu 22nd Feb - Sun 25th Feb
    All Day


    If we want to write fiction we need to cultivate certain essential qualities: receptivity to the world around us, an understanding of the workings of the human mind, a respect for the power of words, and a determination to use them effectively.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • February Retreat
    Mon 26th Feb
    All Day


    If writing was a recent resolution that hasn’t quite panned out, then this week is for you. Join like minded writers in a supportive environment to fine-tune that draft.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Fiction: Jenni Fagan & Niall Griffiths, Guest: Graeme Macrae Burnet
    Mon 9th Apr - Sat 14th Apr
    All Day


    This is a course for confident writers who want to refresh their writing by trying out different techniques. The course will encompass influences from the surrealists, poetry, music and art — all creating an environment whereby true innovative potential is unlocked.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Poetry: Jo Bell & Malika Booker, Guest: Douglas Dunn
    Mon 16th Apr - Sat 21st Apr
    All Day


    This week we’ll write about talking, talk about writing, and explore some of the forms that allow us the fullest freedom to express what we want to say in private or public.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Nature Writing: Kathleen Jamie & Mark Cocker, Guest: Linda Cracknell
    Mon 30th Apr - Sat 5th May
    All Day


    Nature writing involves filtering your feelings for the life around through your observations and knowledge. But how do we observe and what do we look at? And how can those experiences then be turned into poetry or prose?

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Day Workshop: Flash Fiction with Kit de Waal
    Sun 6th May
    10:00am - 4:00pm


    By examining and deconstructing examples of flash from the masters, we will work out how to craft them and discover the elements of what makes a good flash fiction story. Using prompts, pictures and a box of tricks, we will try our hand at writing one or two, editing, refining and perfecting.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • May Retreat
    Mon 7th May - Sat 12th May
    All Day


    Leap into longer days and warmer weather. Enhance that with focused, undisturbed writing time. See what can be created when you have the necessary peace and quiet.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Memoir: Jennie Erdal & Robert Twigger, Guest: Gillian Slovo
    Mon 4th Jun - Sat 9th Jun
    All Day


    How to write your own story? How best to tell it? What to include, what to leave out? In joint and individual sessions the tutors will offer guidance on the many and varied approaches to life writing, highlighting the importance of place, character, perspective, structure, and the self-reflective voice.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Crime: Val McDermid & Louise Welsh, Guest: Mary Paulson-Ellis
    Mon 18th Jun - Sat 23rd Jun
    All Day
    Fully Booked

    Louise Welsh and Val McDermid will share the lessons they’ve learned from their long and successful crime writing careers and work closely with aspiring writers, to help them shape their work in the genre.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Day Workshop: Performing Your Work with Alan Bissett
    Sun 8th Jul
    10:00am - 4:00pm


    It’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself in front of a microphone at a spoken word night, or in a school, or at a book festival, and be expected to give a good account of yourself and your writing. This can be nerve-wracking, but also incredibly exciting.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Poetry: Liz Lochhead & Kevin MacNeil, Guest: Tom Pow
    Mon 9th Jul - Sat 14th Jul
    All Day


    Gaelic ‘waulking songs’, rowing-songs, sea-shanties, market-cries, marching-chants for military recruits in training, work-songs of all kinds raised their voices and used rhythm and rhyme to sing out loud. What is the equivalent in the here and now?

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Fiction: Janice Galloway & Richard Skinner, Guest: Gail Honeyman
    Mon 16th Jul - Sat 21st Jul
    All Day


    This course will give you a set of tools to improve your fiction writing. Alternate workshops with Janice and Richard will guide you on aspects of the tuning up process: sharpening your dialogue, editing, understanding the difference between show and tell, and dramatisation.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Young Adult SF/Fantasy: Joan Lennon & Paul Magrs, Guest: Gill Arbuthnott
    Mon 23rd Jul - Sat 28th Jul
    All Day


    Have you ever felt put off, thinking you don’t know enough about science – or fantasy – or young people – to write your own YA SF/Fantasy stories? Some of the most page-turning writing being published today is YA SF/Fantasy, and this course will help you become part of it.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Non-Fiction Tutored Retreat: Donald S Murray & Kapka Kassabova, Guest: Richard Beard
    Mon 30th Jul - Sat 4th Aug
    All Day


    What is the real-life story or specialist subject you wish to explore in writing? And what is the best form for your content? Over the course of this tutored retreat, you will be working closely with two experienced writers of narrative and themed non-fiction.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Fiction Tutored Retreat: Leila Aboulela & Rodge Glass, Guest: Alan Spence
    Mon 6th Aug - Sat 11th Aug
    All Day


    This week is an opportunity to develop your ongoing work in a supportive and inspiring environment. Whether stuck in the middle of a project, attempting to whip a messy first draft into decent shape or applying the final tweaks and polish to your manuscript, we will be on hand to offer detailed one-to-one tutorials catered for your individual needs.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • August Retreat
    Mon 13th Aug - Sat 18th Aug
    All Day


    Summer holidays can be full of activity, but not necessarily with regards to your craft. We can promise you the opportunity to focus on your writing, fuelled by fresh fruit from the garden.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Day Workshop: Poetry: Creative Memory with Jacob Polley
    Sun 19th Aug
    10:00am - 4:00pm


    Jacob’s workshop will be a mixture of reading new things – or of reading familiar things in a new light – discussion and writing.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Historical Fiction: S. G. MacLean & Andrew Taylor, Guest: Lucy Ribchester
    Mon 27th Aug - Sat 1st Sep
    All Day


    The purpose of this course is to accelerate the students’ development as writers of historical fiction.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Poetry Tutored Retreat: Jen Hadfield & William Letford, Guest: Katrina Naomi
    Mon 3rd Sep - Sat 8th Sep
    All Day


    Whether you consider yourself a beginner, or an experienced writer, Jen and Billy will be on hand to explore your poetry, offer support, motivation, and detailed advice through one-to-one tutorials.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Short Course: Comic Writing - Mavis Cheek & Helen Lederer
    Thu 13th Sep - Sun 16th Sep
    All Day


    Wondering how to make your readers smile or – even better – laugh out loud? Wodehouse/Weldon/Lodge/Spark. What actually makes a comic novel comic? And how can you create your own?

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Fiction: Nikesh Shukla & Rebecca Hunt, Guest: A. L. Kennedy
    Mon 24th Sep - Sat 29th Sep
    All Day


    Do you know the feeling – you’re full of ideas, but when you sit down to write that first chapter, verse or scene, life gets in the way?

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Writing for Radio: Jessica Dromgoole & Katie Hims, Guest: Sebastian Baczkiewicz
    Mon 1st Oct - Sat 6th Oct
    All Day


    This course will cover all the things we love about writing radio plays. We’ll look at ways of coming up with an initial idea, thinking about acoustics, writing a successful first scene, the relationship between writer and producer, and the end experience of recording in the studio.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • October Retreat
    Mon 8th Oct - Sat 13th Oct
    All Day


    The longer nights can be heaven for busy writers. Expand that time by joining us for a week with little distraction, and the  permission to concentrate on your work.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Fiction: Nicholas Royle & Tom Fletcher, Guest: Ramsey Campbell
    Mon 29th Oct - Sat 3rd Nov
    All Day


    This course will explore the form and the genre and discuss some of the methods and techniques that writers have used to unsettle and frighten even the most level-headed of readers.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Picture Books: Mairi Hedderwick & Debi Gliori, Guest: Jonathan Meres
    Mon 5th Nov - Sat 10th Nov
    All Day


    On our first ever course on this specialised genre in children’s literature your tutors, who both write and illustrate their own books, will guide you through the process, with analysis of examples, historical and contemporary, ethical and trail blazing, based on their own experiences in this particular field of publishing.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • From Page to Publication: Jenny Brown & Lisa Highton, Guest: Janet Ellis
    Mon 19th Nov - Sat 24th Nov
    All Day


    This course offers a different perspective on the writing business, aiming to demystify the process and explain how publishers, agents and authors work together.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Short Course: Journalism - Chitra Ramaswamy & Peter Geoghegan
    Thu 29th Nov - Sun 2nd Dec
    All Day


    Through a wide-ranging series of workshops and writers’ surgeries, Chitra Ramaswamy and Peter Geoghegan will examine two of the most important concepts in journalism and non-fiction: the self and place.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • Songwriting: Boo Hewerdine & Duke Special, Guest: Eddi Reader
    Mon 3rd Dec - Sat 8th Dec
    All Day


    In this week as well as exploring the fundamentals of songwriting we will look at how exciting a collection of related work can be.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

  • December Retreat
    Mon 10th Dec - Sat 15th Dec
    All Day


    Join us for a week where writing time is top priority before Christmas sets in. A manuscript polish could be the perfect treat to yourself. Mulled wine and mince pies included.

    Takes place at: Moniack Mhor,

 

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