Upcoming Events

18th September 2021 & 4th December 2021

DG Unlimited Helps Bring Autumn Voices Together Again

Autumn Voices, in partnership with Lockerbie Old School Community Hub, Eskdalemuir Expressive Arts, and Gatehouse of Fleet’s The Bakehouse, is delighted to offer a programme of poetry and publishing workshops. This ‘Watering Grassroots’ live event series, funded by DG Unlimited, will be hosted in the region on the 18th September and 4th December 2021. 

The first – at Eskdalemuir Community Hub on Saturday 18th September – will feature a ‘Writing Poetry’ workshop from 10.30am to 12pm with well-known local poet, Liz Niven, and a ‘How To get Published’ workshop from 1.30pm to 3pm with publisher Sheila Wakefield, founder and editor at Red Squirrel Press. Both workshops are delivered in partnership with Eskdalemuir Expressive Arts group, and the Lockerbie Old School Community Hub project.

Both workshops are free of charge and available only to people aged 60 and over in line with Autumn Voices’ community focus. Numbers will be limited to 12 people in attendance at the poetry workshop and up to 20 at the ‘How To Get Published’ workshop. Access via Zoom will be available for limited numbers who can’t attend in person. The ‘Writing Poetry’ workshop will welcome experienced writers as well as people ‘testing the water’. All are welcome to join us to inspire, create and craft new poetry.

For more information or to reserve your free place on September 18th on either the poetry writing workshop or the publishing workshop, or both, please email Catherine Lacey, Chair of Lockerbie Old School Community Hub on:

Autumn Voices is an online organisation which promotes and supports creativity among older people through blogs, articles, competitions, and the showcasing of creative work. It runs an annual national poetry competition with prizes – held next throughout October 2021 – linked to National Poetry Day. This year’s theme is‘Choice’ and the competition will be judged by prize-winning poet, Chrys Salt MBE, director of The Bakehouse in Gatehouse of Fleet. The second workshop series in December will precede an evening poetry reading event at the Bakehouse, which Chrys will host. It will feature winners and highly commended entries from the 2021 Autumn Voices poetry competition. Further details about the workshops and event will be released by Autumn Voices in the coming weeks. 

These workshops and events are part of a dynamic, varied nine-month programme of small-scale arts and cultural events which has been developed to bring Dumfries & Galloway Together Again. The initiative will see grassroots events and activities staged in towns and villages all across one of Scotland’s most rural regions – helping promote social and economic recovery in an area that has been deeply affected by the pandemic. The Together Again season is organised by the independent arts organisation DG Unlimited and sees £42,403 of funding from Dumfries & Galloway Council and its own resources being invested in nearly two dozen projects between now and April 2022. 

Stephen Lacey, Chair of DG Unlimited, said: Together Again is all about bringing communities safely together again through the arts and creativity as we emerge from the pandemic. Together Again champions the vital role that creativity and culture plays in our lives, how it connects people, contributes to the region’s economy, and promotes community cohesion and individual wellbeing.” 

Eskdalemuir Expressive Arts supports and promotes arts events for the benefit of Eskdalemuir and the surrounding community. Events and activities can be found on Facebook.

Eskdalemuir Community Hub is located in the beautiful Valley of the White Esk. The Hub has a warm and welcoming cafe and bar, a wheelchair friendly playground, a lovely little village shop, and a spacious art exhibition hall for you to enjoy. They also host a number of different community events which you are welcome to join.

Lockerbie Old School Community Hub project is run by a committee of volunteers working towards creating a community facility for Lockerbie.

Liz Niven is one of Scotland’s most popular poetry facilitators. She is a poet writing in English and Scots. She has published several poetry collections, including The Shard Box, Burning Whins and Stravaigin (Luath Press). She has written and edited texts to support Scots and English language work in Education and appeared in Literary and Language events in Europe, Scandinavia and the Far East. She teaches creative writing, has held writing fellowships throughout Scotland and has worked with hundreds of pupils, inspiring them to write their own poetry. Her collaborative work includes various projects with artists, photographers and sculptors. 

Sheila Wakefield is founder and publisher of Red Squirrel Press and Postbox Press. Red Squirrel Press is a self-funded independent press based in Scotland. It was founded in April 2006 by Sheila Wakefield and has published over 190 titles to date. It publishes poetry pamphlets and full collections designed and typeset by poet Gerry Cambridge.