Scottish crime writers including Val McDermid (pictured), Abir Mukherjee and Louise Welsh are among a new cohort of tutors featuring on Inverness writing centre Moniack Mhor’s 2022 programme.
Moniack Mhor, based in the hills above Loch Ness, is opening its doors to a full residential programme, with a selection of fiction, poetry and crime writing courses.
The centre’s team has taken the decision to launch a six-month programme instead of the full year, so that they can be “more responsive to changing needs” in the literature sector. This will allow more flexibility in their programming.
Also appearing alongside the crime writers is Booker-shortlisted author Graeme Macrae Burnet, Madeleine Bunting, who was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing with Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care (Granta), and new Edinburgh makar Hannah Lavery.
Other new tutors include Poet Holly McNish and non-fiction writer Cal Flyn, musician Boo Hewerdine, and novelists James Robertson, Tim Pears, Polly Clark and Sara Sheridan.
The theme of 2022 will be “place” with the centre’s first writing and walking retreat taking place with Bunting and Chris Stewart. Other highlights of the programme include Welsh and Mukherjee exploring character, plot development and tension-building techniques with McDermid, and David Melling and Vivian French creating believable characters and strong stories for children’s picturebooks.
Commenting on the new line-up, Rachel Humphries, centre director of Moniack Mhor, said: “Moniack Mhor has weathered the turbulence of 2021; we ceased residential activity in March 2020 when the country went into lockdown and opened our doors in a scaled-down way from summer of this year. I am thrilled that we are launching our full residential programme for next year. Having writers with us over the last few months has reinforced more than ever that community is one of the vital components for human happiness. Sharing words around the fire nurtures our wellbeing and fuels the creative drive. To have writers back through our doors makes life seem real once again.”
“We are currently working hard to review our writer development programme to see where the gaps truly are. These will be filled by new support schemes including a wider online programme, expanded mentoring opportunities, more international collaboration and courses and retreats with childcare. We are excited to be getting back fully to what we know, welcoming tutors, guests and participating writers with Highland hospitality to a space for creative expression.”
Course bookings open to the Friends of Moniack Mhor on 1st December and will open to the wider public on 8th December. Bookings can be made on the Moniack Mhor website.
Viccy Adams, literature officer at Creative Scotland, added: “Scottish writers not only produce world-class literature to enthral readers, they’re also well versed at supporting the next generation of talent to shape and share their words. The glorious landscape and welcoming atmosphere of Moniack Mhor provides space and time for new and established writers to explore and hone their craft, with guidance and inspiration from an amazing array of writers at the top of their game.
“It is a joy to see Moniack Mhor come through the challenges of the past 18 months with a full residential programme, as well as continuing some of the one-to-one and online provision that has opened up their programmes more broadly.”