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WRITE!

The Open Hoose project that lets your imagination guide your hand.

Unsure what WRITE! is about? Author and organiser, Karl Drinkwater, responds to ten questions about his practice and the monthly creative writing workshop.

What is WRITE! all about?

Specific time set aside to be creative in a short and inspirational burst, surrounded by friends.

Which authors inspire you and your practice?

Rather than individual authors, it tends to be individual books which have some wonderful element that is worth studying to see how the writer achieved their effects. So I might be inspired by the style of The Road (McCarthy), or the scope of The Descent (Long), or the storytelling of The Shining (King), or the characterisation in Jane Eyre (Brontë).

What motivated you to start the group?

When I went on residential writing courses I learnt a lot, but it was often the sessions when we wrote silently to prompts that stuck with me or led to trying out new styles and ideas. I wanted to come up with a format focussing specifically on that feeling. 

How effective do you think writing can be as a form of expression?

It allows you to explore ideas, to be different people, to create something beautiful that may inspire others. To hold our lives up to the great magnifying glass and see them for what they are.

Can you tell us of a time that you were recently inspired to write creatively?

To be honest, as a full-time author, I tend to have my projects scheduled up to a year in advance. For me, the inspiration comes from setting out a plot full of conflict/drama, which has enough detail to provide guidance, but not too much to take away the fun of discovery as I fall through the page and write. 

What is your advice for overcoming writer’s block?

Planning. Without a structure, writer’s block will come and knock.

Where is your favourite place to visit locally to inspire creativity for writing?

I like writing and editing in a pub. The requirement is that it is warm, friendly, and does not have a distracting TV. So normally that would be The Dougie, Coach & Horses, Riverside Tap, or the snug in The Globe.

What do you see for the future of WRITE!

Well, a lot of that depends on The Stove! How can we reach more people? Can it spread across the whole county? (Some people travel a big distance to attend!) Could we run repeat sessions at a different day and time so more people have a chance to join in? I’d like to look at opportunities for publishing creative work from Dumfries & Galloway, open to all residents, not just those attending WRITE! (though obviously the latter would be a key audience for submissions!) Plus I have been working on ideas for a non-fiction book about the craft of writing, and some of the material I prepare for sessions could be my inspiration to get on with it!

Just for fun – what has been your favourite writing prompt shared during WRITE! And how did attendees respond to it?

Ah, there have been so many! I love seeing how the same prompt leads to totally different interpretations. Also, the Titles session (titles of books, stories, newspaper articles etc) was fun. We drew titles from a hat and used them as prompts. Some had been provided by attendees, and it was revealing to see where people’s imaginations went!

WRITE! is the creative workshop at The Stove that gives you the space to guide your imagination and transform it into writing.

Hosted by multi-genre author and editor Karl Drinkwater, WRITE! is designed to allow you to play with words and construct short or longer pieces of work, whichever you desire, and it is open to all abilities!

If you would like to attend the next WRITE! session, click here.

To learn more about Karl, and to visit his website, click here.

Open Hoose is a project at the heart of the Stove’s community venue. Ideas are given the space, time, resources and support of the Stove Network to launch ambitious projects to galvanise and gather our communities together. From climate cafes to bread clubs, jam nights and creative writing groups, Open Hoose offers an eclectic mix of different activities for everyone to take part in. Find out more about groups like this one on our Open Hoose page, here.

Free Improvisation

February 22 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Free improvisation is a bold and interactive approach to composition and collaboration.

It’s the craft of exploring instrumental forces to create dynamic sound worlds.

Make your own rules! No songs, no standards, no structure. Get together with fellow musicians, collaborate and let your instincts take control in this immersive, experimental and pioneering musical form.

Find out what Free Improvisation is all about, and hear from Free Improvisation’s organiser, Calum Walker, as we ask him ten questions to get an insight into this unique and exciting group. Read more here

100 High Street
Dumfries, DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website

OPEN HOOSE – Doughlicious

February 15 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

For amateur bakers and bread enthusiasts alike.

Doughlicious is a bread club with a twist. Share recipes and techniques in a relaxed atmosphere and get practical with some hands-on activity. Open to all! Discover more about Doughlicious here.

The levian will be provided, but you’ll need to bring some tools from home. These are: A mixing bowl, a cloth or cover for your bowl and a jam jar.

We also have a small ‘Bread Book’ reference library for you to look though to get inspired and learn new techniques.

100 High Street
Dumfries, DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website

OPEN HOOSE – Doughlicious

March 15 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

For amateur bakers and bread enthusiasts alike.

Doughlicious is a bread club with a twist. Share recipes and techniques in a relaxed atmosphere and get practical with some hands-on activity. Open to all! Discover more about Doughlicious here.

The levian will be provided, but you’ll need to bring some tools from home. These are: A mixing bowl, a cloth or cover for your bowl and a jam jar.

We also have a small ‘Bread Book’ reference library for you to look though to get inspired and learn new techniques.

100 High Street
Dumfries, DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website

OPEN HOOSE – Queer Club

November 9, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Entirely community-run, Queer Club advocates for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community through creativity, conversation, and most importantly, fun

An activist space for members of the LGBTQIA+ community locally to get together, Queer Club is an opportunity for the queer community, its allies and advocates to conjure up big plans and get making.

The Open Hoose group hit the ground running, setting up and managing the 2022 Dumfries Pride festival in its first four months.

Dumfries Pride’s jam-packed programme of activity spanned the month of July, including a pop-up hub/shop (Queer Quarter) on the High Street, creative workshops, film nights, drag shows and so much more!

The Dumfries Pride calendar culminated in the celebratory and momentous Pride march around Dumfries town centre, with a masquerade ball taking place in the evening for all of the community to come together and celebrate an inspiring month of LGBTQ+ solidarity.

Queer Club continues to host monthly meet-ups at The Stove, with plenty of fun activities to take part in, there really is something for everyone!

  • Queerbroidery: Take part in this mindful but fun activity, using embroidery to celebrate Queerness with fun and vibrant stitch patterns
  • Zine making: For lovers of collage and print, the Zine is one of the most accessible (and enjoyable) crafts you can do. Using old magazines, newspapers, photos and advertisements, the Zine is all about making, mending and transforming the old into the new, from the ordinary, comes the miraculous!
  • Beginner’s DJing with Double Down Disco: The art of DJing is all about weaving your own unique taste with that of the crowd. Read the room, blend the tunes and get moving. Get hands-on with the decks and try out the Stove’s Function One Sound System (it’s a beaut!), guided by the legendary Les Ross.
  • Book club: Read something of late you just HAVE to let others know about? Whether it was Wuthering Heights or the Bluthering Blows, we want to celebrate, educate and get inspired by queer, trans, non-binary and LGBTQ+ writers across the world. Bring along a book, whether a novel, non-fiction, poetry or comic and let’s get reading!

Queer Club is ran by, with, for and about the local LGBTQ+ community. It’s open to the wider community, whether advocate or ally, queer or questioning. It’s a safe, inclusive and friendly space for everyone to take part, find out more here: Queer Club Blog Post

Access Information:
Level Access in rear of building through adjacent close to left-hand side of the Cafe (facing the front of the building). To ensure your experience with us is as best as it can be, please do let us know if you have any specific access requirements and we’d be happy to help. Please email Kevin or Sal on: [email protected] or phone 01387 252 435 and speak with one of our team. We are able to provide walk-throughs of the building before attending our events as well as assign seating before your arrival. 

100 High Street
Dumfries, DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website

OPEN HOOSE – WRITE!

November 2, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Welcome to our third WRITE! a monthly creative writing workshop with author Karl Drinkwater.

This session will be inspired by titles – newspaper headlines, books, poems. So feel free to cut any interesting titles from newspapers or magazines and bring them along, or email them to [email protected] so they can be printed and included in the Hat of Prompts

WRITE! is all about letting your imagination guide your hand. In each session we’ll chat about a writing-related topic, then provide prompts and a theme, and the opportunity to write based on the inspiration. It might be a character sketch, or a piece of description or dialogue. The key thing is that it will be your words, and they’d never have been born if you’d stayed at home that night.

The short piece you write could be practice or a creative outlet. However, it could become the seed of a short story, or part of a longer work. Maybe you’ll polish it to perform at a Brave New Words event! Hopefully we’ll end each friendly and informal session with the opportunity for some people to read out what they wrote, as a celebration of the new words.

Open to: everyone! It doesn’t matter whether you’ve never written anything before, or if you’re an established author looking for a brief shot of espresso creativity. It’s not a course, so you can attend any or all sessions, as you wish.

So come along. We’ll provide the inspiration, including a free drink and piece of cake and a supportive group of new friends. All you need to do is bring your pen*, engage your heid, and write! You can now connect with the group on facebook here

(* Of course it’s fine to bring a laptop or gadget instead of pen and paper: words are words, whatever the medium!)

100 High Street
Dumfries, DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website
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