Creativity Coup for Aberdeenshire Writing Group

By bellmannews / June 7, 2021
Cover features historic map of area

From Mearns Writers –

Creativity is not cancelled – that has been the battle cry of an Aberdeenshire writing group during the pandemic.

Mearns Writers have emerged from lockdown with a brand new anthology of members’ poetry and prose. Grey Granite Red Earth takes inspiration from the majestic Mearns landscape, the captivating coastline, and the local Doric tongue.

“The collection of short stories and poems enshrines the depth and variety of literary talent in the Mearns,” said group founder Alistair Lawrie.

“The work is rooted in the rich clay of its soil, the sea flows through its lines and the lilt of the Doric beats at its heart.”

The new anthology, which is illustrated with artwork by members of the group, has won praise from renowned poet Chris Powici. “Much of the writing in Grey Granite Red Earth is better than good. It’s beautiful and true as well.”

Mr Powici said. “Be prepared for your skin to tingle and heart to miss a beat.”

Virtual book launches this month

Mearns Writers are holding two virtual launches in June when members will read their work from the anthology. They will be joined by Chris Powici with readings from his new poetry collection Look, Breathe.

“The launch is a chance for guests to hear the writers themselves perform their work and learn more about the inspiration behind the pieces,” Mr Lawrie said.

“And of course it’s an excellent opportunity to hear a preview of Chris Powici’s new poetry collection.”

Determined to keep writing, Mearns Writers embraced technology during the pandemic, continuing their weekly meetings online. The writers even turned their hand to podcasting, a first for members who have missed the opportunity to perform their work at local events.

“Creative writing meant a great deal to us before Covid, and with lockdown, it has become a wonderful release from worries for some, and for others a way of making sense of the times we live in,” said John Richardson, Acting Chair of Mearns Writers. “The fact that we have welcomed new members during the pandemic is testament to that. Overcoming the technology challenge was no mean feat for some of the writers, whose ages range from those in their twenties to older members in their eighties.”

The anthology was funded by Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee.

Councillor Wendy Agnew, chair of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee, said: “We were delighted to support the ongoing work of Mearns Writers which continues to encourage creative writing in the area and provide important support to assist people in improving their mental wellbeing. I look forward to reading the forthcoming anthology of tales and poems of the sea and land – stories which I am sure will be of great interest locally. Furthermore, the purchase of digital technology through the project will be of real benefit to those unable to access such equipment at the current time.”

The launch sessions are being hosted by Live Life Aberdeenshire’s Libraries and Information Service.

Sharon Jamieson, Libraries and Information Services Manager said: “We are delighted to host this event on behalf of Mearns Writers and provide a platform for them to share their writing skill and talent with customers in our communities.”

Mearns Writers was established fifteen years ago to promote creativity and mental wellbeing.

The group has more than forty members in South Aberdeenshire and includes several published and award winning authors.

If you would like to attend the launches of Grey Granite Red Earth please register at this link  for Wednesday June 16th at 7pm or this link for Saturday June 19th at 2.30pm.

To buy Grey Granite Red Earth, priced at £5, please get in touch with the group via Mearns Writers Website

Previously in The Bellman –