Crichton Writers was formed in 2003 as a follow-on activity to a Creative Writing course led by poet, Tom Pow, at the Crichton Campus (Dumfries) of the University of Glasgow. The course had included work in poetry, prose, writing for film and theatre and playwriting – enough stimulus to have several writers wanting to maintain creative contact with each other. The university offered them meeting space and a small fund to create a first anthology of new writing (with Dumfries Writers).
To date they have published ten anthologies, given performance readings in south west Scotland, Edinburgh and Cumbria, and worked in collaboration with artists and musicians. In 2011 they wrote about Food & Drink in Dumfries and Galloway, a project which had a publication and performances – the first of which was a lunchtime cabaret – Fromage, Potage et Pain – at The Swallow Theatre, near Whithorn, which featured a cheese, soup and bread lunch interspersed with poems about those very ingredients.
There was also a performance at the Wigtown Book Festival in late September, with the publication A Banquet of Writing, and another in Dumfries a little later. In 2012 they focussed on performance readings of their Space, Time and Nine Planets project, explorations of scientific subjects. In 2012-13, the year was devoted to producing CW10 – an anthology in ten distinct genres which showed the diversity of interest and spread of talent in the group.
In 2014 the group collected several new members and a change in office-bearers has re-invigorated its activities. The year has been marked with several excellent peer-led workshops and readings at Big Lit Day (part of the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival) and a workshop for the public at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle, part of the first Borderlines Book Festival, this to be repeated in September 2015.
Our new anthology – Across the Fence – around the theme of good neighbourliness waslaunched during the the annual ‘Guid Nychburris’ Festival in Dumfries in June 2015