Writing Place at Shambellie House (March 2019)

If I had to pick one venue to inspire me to write, Shambellie House would be on the list!

Situated near New Abbey and an easy drive from Dumfries, this atmospheric country house was originally a family home.

In more recent years it became the National Museum for Costume, before they closed their doors in 2013.

Now, Shambellie House Trust are working hard to raise the funds to restore the building and create a small extension which will make it more accessible and suitable for a wide range of activities. Their aim is to establish it as a centre for day and residential courses, celebrating the best of Dumfries and Galloway.

As part of their fundraising efforts, they are keen to demonstrate local interest in the project – and that’s where we come in!

In March 2019, over the course of two weekends, our enthusiastic group of writers worked through a range of exercises based on the theme of “place”.

Myself and fellow tutor Stephanie Newham (chair of Lockerbie Writers group, an experienced writing tutor, and a published writer) led the group through a mixture of writing prompts and editing exercises.

One-to-one sessions with Steph took place in private in a side room – we were delighted with the space we had to spread out!

Participants also had an opportunity to explore the house and grounds, including a fantastic tour and warm welcome from family descendant John Stewart.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all of the pieces, both those created on the spot and those which were subjected to a little editing – and the feedback from Steph’s one-to-one sessions was incredibly positive. We were both delighted by the smiling faces at the end of the second day.

I can’t wait to visit this venue again!

Our next Shambellie writing workshop is coming up on Saturday 1st June 2019 – details to be announced shortly. Email kerrie_mckinnel@hotmail.com for more details or keep an eye on this blog or the Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

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