Dumfries & Galloway has a vibrant writing community across the region, characterised in particular by its range of writing groups, which vary in size, format, genre, and ethos!
If you’re interested in joining any of the groups, or if you know of a group that we haven’t included (or spot any out of date information), please get in touch using the contact form provided.
Annandale and Eskdale
A Novel Approach (Lockerbie)
A new writing group for novelists. This is a small, friendly and supportive group, open to novelists of all genres. Members must be working on a novel, although it could be at any stage from planning to publication. Members are expected to regularly contribute to meetings by sharing work from their novel.
The group meets every second Tuesday at 7:30pm at the King’s Arms Hotel, Lockerbie (although it’s advisable to check the Facebook page for latest updates). There is no joining fee or waiting list.
Esk Valley Scribblers (Eskdalemuir)
Organised by Eskdalemuir Expressive Arts, this writing group aims to harness creativity and make writing an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
The group meets fortnightly on a Thursday at 1-3pm at Eskdalemuir Community Hub. There is no membership fee and those interested are encouraged to just turn up.
A friendly and supportive group that is open to writers of all levels and genres, including beginners. Members are expected to regularly contribute to meetings by sharing work and joining in with writing exercises. Members are also invited to join in with a range of other projects and events, including the group’s annual children’s writing competition run in collaboration with Castle Loch.
The group meets every second Tuesday from 10am to 12 noon at the Townhead Hotel, Lockerbie (although it’s advisable to check the Facebook page for latest updates). There is an annual registration fee of £15, which is put towards events, publications, etc. There is currently no waiting list.
Visit the group’s blog to find out more about them.
Moffat Crime Writers
A group for crime writers with serious intentions of being published. The group invites speakers from various fields (mainly crime) and offers beta reading for other members and support.
Moffat Crime Writers meet on the last Thursday of the month at 7:30pm in Buccleuch Arms Hotel, Moffat.
Visit their Facebook page to find out more.
Moffat Writers is a group for writers of all levels, from absolute beginners to published writers, with a main focus on creative writing.
The group was meeting on the 3rd Monday of the month at Buccleuch Arms Hotel, Moffat. Meetings are currently suspended, although with a view to starting up again depending on new interest.
Visit their Facebook group for the latest updates.
Solla Writing Group (Gretna)
A friendly group of women who meet fortnightly at Richard Greenhow Centre to share their writing and set challenges. They have produced a few short story books.
Follow their Facebook page to find out more about them.
The Write Yard (Annan)
This is a fairly new creative writing group that meets in the Courtyard Annan on the first and third Fridays of the month at 1pm till 2.30pm during school term.
The group is informal, the ethos being to encourage new writers by offering prompts and exercises.
Follow their Facebook page to find out more.
Crichton Writers (Dumfries)
A very active multi-genre writing group that originally grew out of a creative writing course run by Dumfries-based poet Tom Pow. The group produces an annual publication or performance event and often offers peer-led workshops.
The group meets monthly in Dumfries at the Rutherford McCowan Building at the University of Glasgow, Crichton Campus, Dumfries. Meetings are usually on Thursdays (10:30am).
Crichton Writers are actively looking for new members. To find out more about the group and when it meets, visit their blog.
High Street Writers (Dumfries)
An informal monthly writing group facilitated by Lowland writer in residence, Stuart Paterson, for writers of any age and ability. Writers are invited to come along to hear feedback, join in workshops, collaborate and get together with like-minded people. The aim is to get words on the page using prompts. Sharing is encouraged, though not obligatory.
The group currently meets on the first and third Wednesday of the month from 7pm at The Stove in Dumfries. Tea, coffee, biscuits and banter are provided free of charge!
Moniaive Poetry Group
An informal, but thriving, poetry group that grew out of the Moniaive Festival Village poetry writing workshops in 2016. The group contributes to occasional anthologies, holds workshops, and also runs Work On The Table (WOTT) nights in group members’ houses to discuss ongoing work and give feedback.
Playwrights at Theatre Royal (Dumfries)
A peer group for writers who are already writing drama. The group has produced several short plays for rehearsed readings at the Theatre Royal in Dumfries.
The group meets monthly, usually on Thursday afternoons. Membership is by invitation.
Writing Together (Dumfries)
Members seek to improve their skills in creative writing, both prose and poetry. Topics are chosen by the group in advance and members’ work is read and discussed in a spirit of mutual help and support.
The group meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from October to April at 10:30am-12:30pm in the Dumfries area. This is a U3A members’ group.
Glenkens Random Writers (Castle Douglas/Dalry)
A group for young writers aged 12-25 that meets on the first Monday of the month at 3:30-5pm at Castle Douglas Library, and the first Thursday of the month 3:30-5:30pm at Dalry Library. There is no membership fee.
The group also hosts quarterly writing retreats open to 12-16 year olds and 16-25 year olds in locations around Glenkens.
To find out more about the group, visit their blog.
Glenkens Writers’ Group (New Galloway)
The group is led by author and retired professor of English, Margaret Elphinstone. Members of the group are supported in working on their own projects and also encouraged to experiment in writing across genres, mainly fiction, memoir and poetry. Most of the members have been involved for some years and the group is supportive and seen as a safe place for expression and experiment. The group published an anthology of work in 2016.
The group meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 3:15-5:15pm at CatStrand, New Galloway. Membership is £15 (there is currently a short waiting list).
Mary Smith’s Writing Group (Dalbeattie)
A writing group for all genres and levels led by local author Mary Smith.
The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7-9pm at the Nail Factory in Dalbeattie.
Stewartry Creative Writing Group (Kirkcudbright)
Part of the Stewartry U3A group, members work towards assignments each month and offer peer support on each other’s work.
The group meets twice a month on the second and fourth Wednesday from 2pm in members’ homes. The group is actively seeking new members.
To find out more about the group, and to read some of its members’ work, visit their blog.
Writers’ Cafe (New Galloway)
The Writers’ Cafe is a relaxed group for writers of all levels and genres. The sessions are informally-led and participants can choose how they wish to contribute.
The group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7-9pm in the Pyramid Cafe at Catstrand in New Galloway. It is free to attend and all are welcome.
Booktown Writers (Wigtown)
A writers’ collective with a focus on supporting writers who are actively engaged in the craft (poetry is not included). The group often works on projects and runs workshops throughout the year. It is in the process of expanding its membership.
Booktown Writers meets once a month on Thursday afternoons in a variety of locations. Annual membership fee is £25, with a £1 per person fee towards room hire/refreshments for each meeting.
For more information, visit their Facebook group.
Curleywee Writers (Newton Stewart)
A small, informal group led by Kriss Nichol. All levels and genres welcome. Discussion and feedback is given on members’ work, along with informal mentoring.
The group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7-9pm in Kriss Nichol’s home. Membership is free, although donations towards teas/coffees are welcome. New members welcome. Contact is by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Book Writers (Wigtown)
Open Book Writers is an informal group welcoming all genres and levels. Members share work if they want to.
The group meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 7pm in ReadingLasses in Wigtown.
Spoken Word (Wigtown)
A monthly spoken word/performance poetry open mic night for writers, poets or playwrights looking to practice public speaking, discuss work or pieces that inspire them. Readers can perform whatever inspires them in literature. Writers are invited to read out work for useful feedback or just to hear how it sounds.
Spoken Word meets on the last Thursday of the month at 7pm in Craft Hotel, Wigtown. All welcome, including those who just enjoy listening to spoken word.
Follow Craft Hotel’s Facebook page for the latest updates.
Members meet to write and work on projects, including poetry, prose, short stories, novels and plays, and to analyse each other’s work. The group has produced three anthologies together.
The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 2pm in Stranraer Library.
Whithorn Writing Group
A small, relaxed writing group welcoming members of all levels and working in all genres. Coffee and cake is always high on the agenda!
Meetings usually involve a short writing exercise and members share any writing they might want feedback on. The emphasis is on learning and encouraging members to move outside of their comfort zone, but most of all on the enjoyment of writing.
The group meets on the first Monday of the month at the convener’s home. There is no membership fee and new members are welcome.
Wigtown Poetry Workshop / Writers’ Cafe
A new monthly workshop aimed at people who write poetry and want to share it with others in order to discuss and improve. Participants will also look at a published poem and consider how and why it works to help inform their own writing. The idea is to provide a space for writers to come together to write, listen and read. A writers’ cafe space.
The group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7-9pm at Beltie Books, Wigtown. Refreshments on sale if wanted; the workshop itself is free of charge.
For information on the next event, visit the Beltie Books Facebook page.