Past Workshops

As a self-employed writer and the Events Manager for Lockerbie Writers group, there is nothing I like more than running writing events and workshops!

Upcoming workshop and event details are posted here on my website and on my Facebook page.

Workshops and events can also be tailored to the needs of a specific group, organisation or event. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch.

Below, please find a selection of my past workshops, events and projects.

Me at National Writing Day workshop June 2019

Adult Creative Writing Workshops

Carer’s Writing Workshop (September 2021): A bespoke workshop designed for the Dumfries and Galloway Carer’s Centre, this 3-hour session gave local carers the opportunity to try several mindful writing activities … but, more importantly, the chance to try something new, and the permission to take some time for themselves. This was such a relaxed and enjoyable day, with so much laughter and positivity – and a few tears too!

Reconnection Writing Workshop (June 2021): Run for Lockerbie Writers to celebrate National Writing Day, this relaxed workshop included two writing prompts on the theme of ‘reconnection’. Perhaps predictably, it generated a huge amount of lockdown-themed pieces of writing, and helped participants to get back some writerly motivation after over a year without their regular group meetings.

Fantastic Beginnings and How to Write Them (Story Factory at Shambellie House): A fun and fast-paced day of story starters and writing games.

Story Factory at Shambellie House (July 2019): Writer’s block, multi-writing and generating new ideas! At this sell-out workshop, participants were guided through a range of writing prompts and activities designed to help them produce new ideas and story starters.

Mindful Writing Day (June 2019): Run for Lockerbie Writers and featuring writer Margaret Elphinstone, this popular full-day workshop focused on the links between mindfulness and creative writing. As the main organiser for this event, I helped to plan and coordinate much of the day and I also ran two of the writing and mindfulness exercises. The workshop was supported by DG Unlimited and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Short Story Factory at Shambellie House (June 2019): At this sell-out workshop, participants were guided through the process of creating a short story in one day.

Writing Place at Shambellie House (March 2019): Over the course of two weekends at this fantastic venue, myself and fellow tutor Steph Newham led an enthusiastic group of writers through prompts and editing exercises on the theme of ‘place’.

New Writing: Strong Women (March 2019): Second in the series of ‘New Writing workshops, aimed at beginners and nervous writers. This varied morning used a mixture of writing games and straightforward prompts based around memories of women who are important to us.

New Year, New Writing (January 2019): First in the series of ‘New Writing’ workshops, aimed at beginners and nervous writers. This enjoyable morning used a mixture of writing games and straightforward prompts to encourage even the most anxious of participants to produce short pieces of writing.

Castle Loch Writing Workshop (May 2017): Writing workshop at Castle Loch, Lochmaben, run for Lockerbie Writers and in conjunction with Castle Loch Community Trust. This fully-booked event, suitable for all abilities, focused on the use of the senses in writing and included a guided walk and discussion of the loch’s history and wildlife.

Bonfires, Sparklers and Spent Rockets Writing Workshop (November 2016): Writing workshop at King’s Arms, Lockerbie, run for Lockerbie Writers. This fully-booked event, suitable for all abilities, had a fireworks theme and included a range of short exercises and writing games designed to instil confidence.

Children’s Creative Writing Workshops

Sandstorms, Swimming and Stories (Devil’s Porridge Museum, July 2021): Inspired by an album of photographs dating back to the early 20th century, the enthusiastic group of young writers created characters and short stories about long-forgotten holidays and distant lands. Read more on the Daily Record website here:

Wee Writers in Nature (The Wild Playground, Nest Nurturing CIC, July 2021): An active and nature-filled afternoon, where children and their grown-ups explored the Wild Playground and then worked together around the campfire to create and share stories inspired by the surroundings.

Christmas Stories – Family Session (Shambellie House, November 2019): A fun and interactive morning of creative writing where children and their grown-ups worked together to create a Christmas story to take home.

Lost Words (The Wild Playground, Nest Nurturing CIC, September 2019): Using the ‘Lost Words’ book as a starting point, the children explored the Wild Playground and wrote stories under the trees, before sharing them around the campfire. A magical morning!

Historical Stories Workshops (Devil’s Porridge Museum, July 2019): This series of three workshops allowed budding young writers to explore themes including story beginnings, postcards, 1940s life, dinosaurs and writing a newspaper entry.

Colours of Nature Workshops (Castle Loch, Lochmaben, July 2019): A series of three workshops designed to help inspire entries to the annual writing competition held by Castle Loch and Lockerbie Writers. These sessions included a walk through the woodland, followed by nature-related writing prompts and activities.

Dinosaur Stories Table (Dino Park, June 2019): A drop-in event where visitors to Dino Park, Hetland, could stop by the story table for writing activities and a story.

Wee Writers (Spring 2019): Three-week free trial of new groups for little ones and their grown-ups. These special creative writing groups (one for babies & toddlers, and one for pre-schoolers) took place at Moat Brae (Peter Pan House, Dumfries) and featured themes including Mother’s Day and – of course – Peter Pan!

Writing Events organised by Kerrie McKinnel

Book Week Scotland Poetry Safari (November 2020): A series of poems written by Lockerbie Writers and displayed on a walking route around Eskrigg Nature Reserve, Lockerbie, during Book Week Scotland 2020. This was an exceptionally well-attended event, with a large number of free companion books gifted to visitors while stocks lasted.

‘Behind Closed Doors’ Book Launches (Book Week Scotland, November 2019): Two jam-packed sessions run to celebrate the launch of Lockerbie Writers’ latest publication, these busy events featured readings and speeches from several group members including Kerrie McKinnel and local writer Vivien Jones, as well as a Q&A session.

Open Mic Night (September 2018): An intimate and relaxed evening event run for Lockerbie Writers. I say “intimate” but in truth the room was bursting at the seams to accommodate the large group who had gathered to read out their own work or just to listen.

Author Talk with Sara Maitland (June 2018): An evening event run for Lockerbie Writers. Despite a heatwave, we welcomed a large audience to hear Sara read, and to ask her questions and learn more about her writing process.

Projects and Other Publications

2020: Christmas Activity Book. To support a local fundraiser, I wrote and published a children’s Christmas activity book. These were sold to raise funds for Dumfries and Galloway Paediatric Diabetic Services.

2018: Behind Closed Doors. This “long short story” project is currently underway with the Lockerbie Writers, with the possibility of a published anthology of work in 2019.

2016: Lockerbie Writers’ Anthology. As part of my university studies, I compiled, co-edited, and published an anthology of work by my local writers’ group, Lockerbie Writers. More information on the project can be found on the Lockerbie Writers’ blog.