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.
- Keeping a Notebook: walking, watching, collecting, jotting
- Keeping a Journal: day-by-day, season by season
- Word and Image: photograph, postcard, character sketch
- Word and Music: shared experiences, flow writing
- Mapping and Writing: location, sketching a life map, life story
- Nature Writing: skills of observation
(Photo credit: Lachlan Gillies)
(Works in Scots)