Media Release: Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre to launch 2016 programme on 23rd November

Moniack Mhor, Scotland's Creative Writing Centre

Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre announces its 2016 programme

MONIACK Mhor’s programme goes from strength to strength as it announces tutors and guests for courses in 2016.

The new programme, which is announced on the 23rd November, features Michel Faber’s debut week tutoring at the centre, as well as feted nature writer Helen Macdonald, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Danish writer Jens Christian Grondahl, and guest appearances from Alasdair Gray, Helen Dunmore and Andrew O’Hagan.

Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre has flourished in its first year of independence, becoming one of Creative Scotland’s Regularly Funded Organisations, and inviting new partnerships from several organisations.

The transition, that involved moving away from working with a partner charity, Arvon, has enabled full creative control over the programme, the reduction of course fees and also the launching of several new awards to support writers at the early stages of their careers.

Centre director, Rachel Humphries, says: “I’m thrilled by the spread of courses for 2016 and I strongly feel that each course, whether fiction or poetry, complements the next.

“We’ve seen an increasing number of people attending more than once in 2015 and the new programme should provide a progressive approach to supporting individual writing ambitions.

“We’re also able to continue to offer bursaries to support course. We’ve been met with a huge degree of support in the early stages of programming and some of the finest writers in Scotland and the UK have welcomed the opportunity of tutoring with us with open arms.

“We launched Moniack Mhor as an independent writing centre this time last year and this programme is a testament of the centre going from strength to strength. I’m excited by what lies ahead.”

In the year since Moniack Mhor relaunched itself, over 250 aspiring writers have come through the doors of the converted croft in the Scottish Highlands.

Participants have learned about plotting from Val McDermid, children’s writers gained advice from former children’s laureates, three award-winners have been given time, space and tuition to improve their writing, and local writers have been better supported with a series of one-off events to illuminate other aspects of the writing life, with agents, publishers and journalists.

2016’s programme will build upon this rich storm of literary activity by offering more opportunities to learn from the finest writers in the business.

Programmer, Cynthia Rogerson. says: “The 2016 program is different – many writers who are new to Moniack, including Dreda Say Mitchell, Rafaella Barker and the amazing Naomi Wood.

“I was also thrilled to entice Jens Christian Grondahl to come from Denmark. We’re experimenting with some new genres, including Illustrating & Writing (Mairi Hedderwick, Bob Dewar and Alasdair Gray), and A Walking Retreat (Emily Rhodes).

“In addition to our core residential courses, we’re running a series of day courses focusing on poetry (Diana Hendry & Hamish Whyte), Playwriting (Hamish MacDonald), and Fiction (Rebel Inc veterans Kevin Williamson & Laura Hird).

“We’ve also begun dipping into novel adaptations, using the cinema at Eden Court.

“Michel Faber will talk about his novel Under the Skin following the film, and Andrew Martin (National Library Archivist and Buchan expert) will discuss John Buchan after a screening of 39 Steps.

“Programmer’s top three? Memoir with Kapka Kassabova, Rachel Kelly and Richard Holloway. Fiction with Royal Literary Fellows Todd McEwan, Lucy Ellmann and Andrew Greig. Short Story with Susie Maguire, Julian Gough and Bernard MacLaverty.

“But then, you might not want to miss Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Lochhead, Anne Fine, Andrew O’Hagan, Helen MacDonald (H is for Hawk), Kathleen Jamie, John Glenday, Helen Dunmore, Isla Dewar, Sir John Lister-Kaye, James Roberston, Anne MacLeod or Tessa Hadley. I hope you feel spoiled for choice.”


Notes to editors:

  • Moniack Mhor is a residential writing centre 14 miles from Inverness. As well as five-day residential writing courses, the centre runs one off events, day courses and works in partnership with other organisations to help people to enjoy creative writing in all its forms.
  • Moniack Mhor’s 2016 programme goes live online at on Monday 23rd November, the first day of Book Week Scotland.
  • All tutors & Guests for 2016, in order of appearance are: Boo Hewerdine, Edwina Hayes, Martin Stephenson, Emily Rhodes, Jo Shapcott, Kirsty Logan, Raffaella Barker, AL Kennedy, Dreda Say Mitchell, Simon Brett, Sue Black, Michel Faber, Jane Rogers, Neel Mukherjee, Helen Dunmore, Tim Clare, Christina de Luca, MiKo Berry, Emily Mackie, Michael Russell, Andrew Taylor , Laura Wilson, Chris Brookmyre, Laura Hird, Kevin Williamson, Hamish MacDonald, Kapka Kassabova, Rachel Kelly, Richard Holloway, John Glenday, Jen Hadfield, Anne Macleod, Susie Maguire, Julian Gough, Bernard MacLaverty, Linda Cracknell, Martyn Bedford, Cat Clarke , Anne Fine, M J Hyland, Zoe Strachan, Tessa Hadley, Diana Hendry, Hamish Whyte, Rory Maclean, Jay Griffiths , Katharine Norbury, Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Woods, John Sampson, Isla Dewar, Margaret Elphinstone, James Robertson, Todd McEwen, Lucy Ellmann, Andrew Greig, Jens Christian Grondahl, Ian Stephen, Andrew O’Hagan, Mairi Hedderwick, Bob Dewar , Alasdair Gray, Francis Bickmore, Doug Johnstone, Sue Peebles, Naomi Wood, Liz Lochhead, Sir John Lister Kaye, Helen Macdonald, Kathleen Jamie, Pippa Goldschmidt, Juliet McKenna, Ken MacLeod
  • Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

For more information, interviews or images, please contact Ruth Tauber, marketing manager on 01463 741 675 or

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Contact: Ruth Tauber
Phone: 01463741675