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Valerie Gillies

All of the information on this page has been provided by the author. If you need an author to have specialist skills, experience or knowledge please ask for more information about this ahead of booking them for an event. Please note that Scottish Book Trust cannot carry out Disclosure checks on Live Literature authors for most events. It is the responsibility of the person organising the event to carry out the appropriate Disclosure checks.
Contact: [email protected]
Local authority: Edinburgh City
Languages: English, Scots
Valerie Gillies's headshot

Valerie Gillies is a poet, the author of eight books, a former Edinburgh Makar, Royal Literary Fellow and Associate of Harvard University. Valerie is currently the sessional artist for Creative Writing and Journalling workshops at Maggie's Centre, Edinburgh, and a trainer with Lapidus, exploring the value of reading and writing for wellbeing.

Her writing is often about journeys taken on foot or in the mind's eye. Her workshops enable writers of any age and ability to articulate their own direct experiences, to deepen their awareness and understand how to re-connect with nature. Group workshops begin by unplugging ourselves from the devices which accelerate experience: a high-velocity, instant response obscures reality. The group will be guided to record our active experience within our environment, report our findings, share our thoughts, take reflective time and write by hand. We read from a hard copy sheet or by turning the pages of a book.

Methods include:


(Photo credit: Lachlan Gillies)

(Works in Scots)

Local authorities will visit

Aberdeen City; Dumfries and Galloway; East Lothian; Edinburgh City; Midlothian; Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles); Orkney Islands; Scottish Borders; South Lanarkshire; Stirling; West Lothian

Events will deliver

Bibliotherapy; Reading; Residency; Talk; Workshop

Audience will work with

Outdoor learning; People experiencing mental health problems

Topics of work

Animals; Environment & climate; Health including mental health & wellbeing; Nature

Age groups published for

Children; Adults

Age groups will work with

6-8; 15-18; 18+

Audience size

0-10; 11-30