Remember, remember the fourth of November â€¦ hang on, thatâ€™s not right. Or is it? Well, 4 November 2015 was certainly a night to remember. It saw the Gilmerton Writing Group gathered at the Community Centre, not for their usual weekly class, but for the launch of their first book, â€˜A Way with Wordsâ€™.
The group meets every week and between them they have produced an eclectic mix of poetry and prose, which has been published by local publisher, Pilrig Press, with the aid of a grant from South Central Edinburgh Neighbourhood Partnership.
After an introduction from Heather Muchamore, Community Learning & Development Worker at City of Edinburgh Council, attendees were treated to an enchanting and magical tale from Ruth Kirkpatrick, the renowned Scottish storyteller (pictured) And then, it was down to the real business of the evening â€“ readings from the book by the writers themselves.
Sheila Corrigan read Consequences, a touching story of how love unites us in the most difficult of times. Coreen Connell chose to share her poem Walking, demonstrating with ease her combined loves of writing and the great outdoors.
Perfect for the dark, Autumnal night of the event, Elizabeth Nallon read her poem, Threads of Nature. Marie Campbell told her story Creatures of Habit, inspired by an exercise the class did on the subject of journeys. And George Chalmers read his intriguing tale, The Beguine of San Benito, a story heâ€™d written, he said, to prove that he could write about women as well as his more usual male protagonists!
Rebecca Briden, the remaining member of the group, wasnâ€™t able to attend the event, but her poem, Freedom, and the extract from her novel-in-progress, Neam, are treats for all those who read A Way with Words.
After a beautiful song from Ruth, and some closing words from Heather, attendees mingled over a fine selection of drinks and nibbles. Books were sold, copies were signed and enquiries about joining the group were made.
The evening demonstrated just what can be produced, with support and encouragement, by a group of people brought together by a shared love of the written word. Marianne Wheeleghan, Leith-based writer and proprietor of Edinburgh Online Writing School, reviewed the collection and has this to say:
‘This compact publication is inspired and developed from ideas sparked off during writing workshops based at the Gilmerton Community Centre and is proof, if proof were needed, that grass roots writing is alive and kicking. The variety and breadth of the writing means there is something for everyone, including some downright helpful writing tips and exercises. It is the perfect way to discover the work of some new and very exciting emerging authors and will be a welcome addition to any reader’s bookshelf’.
The Gilmerton Writing Group meet every Tuesday, from 2.30-4.30pm at Gilmerton Community Centre. There is no charge for attending, and all are welcome. The group are currently working on their first play. Watch this spaceâ€¦
Copies of the limited print-run ofÂ A Way with Words can be purchased for a suggested donation of Â£3.00. Please email the editor at Lothian Life Â for details on obtaining your copy. All proceeds to charity – for which Â£100 was raised at the launch event.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The first three readers to email email@example.com mentioning the Gilmerton Writing Group, will receive a FREE copy of the publication, courtesy of Lothian Life.