The Black Isle Writers Group originated as an extramural evening class in creative writing tutored by Rosemarkie author Elizabeth Sutherland. When the council ceased to run the class, some of the participants wanted to continue meeting, and so The Black Isle Writers (BIW) came into being with Elizabeth as its first chair.
Over 25 years later, some of the original members are still active in the group, including Elizabeth who attends nearly every meeting. Last year she ran a workshop on writing a novel, drawing on her extensive experience.
Having started with six members, numbers have fluctuated widely, reaching a peak of 40 one year. In the year 2012-2013 there were 18 members, with an average of 12 at each meeting.
Black Isle Writers today
The aim of BIW remains to support writers in their work. This year the programme will include workshops on the craft of writing in various genres including plays, poetry, and the short story. Some of these workshops will be led by outside speakers, others by members of the group. The workshops will be complemented by sessions where we can share samples of our own work with other members and ask for constructive feedback.
That is not as scary as it might sound. As one member put it: “I write about some pretty personal and sensitive stuff, but that’s OK. I feel comfortable about what I am sharing for I feel I am among friends.”
New members are always welcome. All that is needed is curiosity and an enthusiasm for writing.
Chair: Jo Mulkerrin
Deputy Chair: Eleanore Simpson
Treasurer: Helen Jackson
Committee: Lynn Valentine; Pam Macintyre