Childcare will be provided for the writers’ retreats that Moniack Mhor announces as part of his latest course program

Highland Writing Center Moniack Mhor has announced it is including retreats for writers with childcare needs, revealing its course schedule from July.

Moniack Mhor tackles access issues for writers with caring responsibilities by providing childcare support for writers based in Scotland.

Monack Mhor.

Following the success of a pilot short course with childcare provided in July 2019, the center decided to offer a retreat with childcare for mid-career and established writers.

The first will take place in August and is aimed at professional writers and the second will take place in October, with courses focused on supporting emerging writers.

With support from Creative Scotland, Moniack Mhor will provide free time for writers, while their children spend their days with the nearby Abriachan Forest Trust.

They support plenty of outdoor play and learning for all ages and stages. Days can be spent discovering woodland animals or diving into ponds, perhaps looking for minibeasts or flower fairies and building houses.

At other times, games will be played which may end with campfire cooking and storytelling in the woods.

Most of the day will be spent outside, but indoor spaces are also available.

Places in courses with childcare will be allocated on request only.

Rachel Humphries, director of the centre, says: “For years, we have worked to make Moniack Mhor accessible to writers with family responsibilities.

“Given the situation around the Covid pandemic, the development of our plans has been significantly hampered over the past two years, but this Creative Scotland funded Radical Care development is an incredible opportunity for us as an organization , but even more so for writers based in Scotland.

“I urge any writer who is struggling to find time for their work, away from all their other responsibilities in life, to apply for this unique project.”

Jenny Brown.
Jenny Brown.

Moniack Mhor says he is delighted to announce new courses with a selection of courses and retreats in fiction, non-fiction and poetry writing.

The National Writers’ Center of Scotland will host writing tutors including: Vesna Goldworthy, internationally acclaimed writers Gillian Slovo, Kamila Shamsie and Jenny Brown, founder of Scotland’s leading literary agency Jenny Brown Associates, and author and award-winning journalist Chitra Ramaswamy, Saltire Prize. award-winning author Peter Ross, successful Scottish musician Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) and award-winning singer-songwriter Emily Barker, and poet Jen Hadfield, recently shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize.

The program includes additional retreats, providing more space and time for writers to begin, continue or complete their projects in the peaceful Highland landscape.

A new addition to the program is a course in Gothic Fiction Writing, which helps develop the atmosphere, setting and methods of creating tension in the work.

The center will also offer an eco-poetics course at the end of November, which explores ideas of home, where human meets nature and the nature within us. Writers will be invited to participate in stimulating exercises and feedback sessions, in the company of moles, mountains and red kites.

Here are some program highlights from August to December:

Essay/Non-Fiction Course: Peter Ross and Tabitha Lasley will guide you through the rich and broad literary form that is the essay, covering a range of techniques and issues. With guest Gavin Francis.

Life Writing: Richard Skinner and Vesna Goldsworthy will lead a course on the many different ways you can write about your life or about other people. With guest Rupert Thomson.

Gothic Fiction: CJ Cooke and Natasha Pulley will help writers develop an atmosphere, setting, and methods for creating tension in their writing of Gothic fiction. With guest Andrew Michael Hurley.

King Creosote.  Photo: Ross Trevail
King Creosote. Photo: Ross Trevail

Songwriting with Kenny Anderson (King Creosote); Emily Barker with guest Emma Pollock (The Delgados).

Eco Poetics: Jen Hadfield and James Goodman will explore ideas of home, where the human meets the wild and wild within us, poetic strategies for dealing with loss and fear, and universal and overwhelming experience. With guest Goodman Press.

For more details on the writers’ retreats provided by the sitter, check the website, email newsletter and social media updates in the coming months for information on the process. candidacy.

For more information, please email Pauline at

Course reservations are made on the Moniack Mhor website:

For the complete list of residential courses from August to December 2022, see

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