Special Offer: 5-day Residential Creative Writing Courses in Galloway

Listed on February 26, 2013 in Offers, Writing

A host of golden daffodils, a flock of fuzzy llamas and two extremely experienced and enthusiastic tutors… A Spring course 25 – 29 March, 2013 taking place at ARCA member Durhamhill.

Have you always wanted to write? Perhaps you have a file of unfinished stories or poems, or a complete manuscript that needs more work, only you’re not sure what to do next, or are you an experienced writer who just needs time, space and some constructive feedback?  Whether you need help to get started, or to edit and develop your work, or simply to get new ideas and inspiration, this could be the course for you. The week will consist of daily group workshops, individual sessions with an experienced tutor, plenty of writing time, and the chance to exchange ideas with the other course participants. The workshops will include work on creating characters, using the senses, how to write dialogue and narrative voice. The rural setting and ambience of Durhamhill give space and stimulus for writing, thinking and sharing ideas. The tutors will be on hand every day if you want them to read your work, and give practical advice and suggestions. Only you know what you’d like to achieve; the week is designed to enable you to make it happen.

Margaret Elphinstone

Margaret Elphinstone

Margaret Elphinstone, a well-established historical novelist, is again living in Galloway where she was working as a gardener when her first novel was published in 1987. Her novels include ‘Voyageurs’, ‘Light’, ‘Hy Brasil’. ‘The Sea Road’ appears in ‘The 100 Best Scottish Books of all Time’ produced by ‘List Magazine’. Her most recent novel (published, like the others, by Canongate), is ‘The Gathering Night’, set 8000 years ago among the hunter-gatherers of Mesolithic Scotland. She has also written poetry and short stories and contributes articles to journals and other publications.
Margaret is an Emeritus Professor of Strathclyde University where she was a member of the Department of English for 18 years. She was a Visiting Professor at central Michigan University in 1998 and 2001. She has extensive experience of teaching creative writing to children and adults at all levels and has been a regular tutor on international Arvon courses.


Mary Smith

Mary Smith

Mary Smith is a writer, poet and journalist based in Galloway. Her poems have been widely published in poetry magazines and anthologies and a full collection, “Thousands Pass Here Every Day”, was published in 2012. Her novel, “No More Mulberries”, is set in Afghanistan where she worked for several years. “Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Woman” is a lively account of her time there and provides an insight into the lives of the Afghan women with whom she lived and worked. As a journalist, Mary has worked as a senior reporter on a local paper, and a staff features writer with the award-winning consumer magazine ‘Dumfries & Galloway Life’. She continues to write features on a freelance basis. Mary has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University. She has taught Creative Writing at Glasgow University and she is the organiser of the Dumfries Writers’ Group and a facilitator for a disabled writers group.


Accommodation is in a comfortable eco-friendly Coach House, where everyone dines, or big rooms in the main house.  Another old coach house forms an artists’ studio, and there are inspiring outdoor spaces to work, such as the horseshoe shaped stone seating area with views to the hills, the sheltered orchard or the bench at the top of the llama field.


For a break from writing in the evening, we offer motorcycle sidecar adventures in the hills, horse-drawn carriage trips, electric bike hire and llama-feeding. We are surrounded by great walking and fishing country, and about 12 miles from the beaches and coves of the Solway coast. For non-participating partners, there are several golf courses as well as the 7-stanes mountain bike trails. The studio can convert into a mini cinema to enjoy the woodburner, wine and popcorn.

Special offer: £50 discount for couples, £100 discount for non-participating partner. Maximum number of participants is 12 to allow time for individual sessions.

Guests are welcome to arrive on the evening of Sunday, 24th March, ready for the course to start the following morning.


For further information on courses / bookings contact Juliet on 01556 509021 or email mail@durhamhill.co.uk.

Websites         www.durhamhill.co.uk      www.margaretelphinstone.co.uk     www.marysmith.co.uk