Migrations in Language – As part of ‘Off The Page’ literary festival

Saturday 28th May

Federation of Writers Scotland Event – A choice of three workshops is offered: Prose, Poetry and Gaelic Haiku.

Tolbooth, Workshop timings 1-3pm / Open Mic 4-6pm

Whatever language you grew up speaking, doubtless some of your words arrived from other cultures, embedded either as fully-formed entities or adapting to their new language home. Perhaps some were a legacy of other times. Not all of these words and phrases would ever have been part of this country’s universally-recognised and standardised tongue. Our linguistic heritages are rich, and widely drawn. Did you use certain family words which were unfamiliar to your nearest neighbours? Are there words you use now which weren’t in your childhood lexicon? Are there others you might have almost forgotten? What are the words you are determined to cherish and use? What languages do we really speak?

Join Moira McPartlin, Beth McDonough and Marcas Mac an Tuairneir in exploring our varied linguistic heritages and creating new writing with these very personal languages. All three workshop facilitators represent the Federation of Writers Scotland. They will share an introduction inspired by the Japanese Garden at Cowden, by Dollar.

FWS Scriever for 2022, Moira McPartlin’s workshop will focus on prose. Moira’s own work draws significantly from different forms of Scots. Her most recent novel Before Now (Trilleachan Press) is a ‘coming of age story, told entirely in the Fife dialect’, and comes with an acute awareness of the diversity of modern Scots. Although brought up in Fife, Moira’s origins are in the Scottish Borders. She is now well-established in Stirling.

Her opposite number in poetry is FWS Makar Beth McDonough. A Scots hybrid, she was brought up in Renfrewshire by a Glaswegian mother  (with an Antrim hinterland) and a Doric-speaking faither! Beth’s poetry is often layered with significant borrowings from a melting pot of languages. Now Dundee-based, Beth’ will lead the poetry workshop. Her most recent pamphlet is Lamping for Pickled Fish (4Word).

Marcas Mac an Tuairneir is the Federation’s current Chair.  His workshop will support both learners and native speakers to create a Gaelic haiku.  The epitome of linguistic migration, poet and musician Marcas is Yorkshire-born and bred. Passionate about Gaelic and all Celtic languages, his work has considerable focus on threatened languages even beyond that scope. Marcas’ bilingual pamphlet Lus na Tùise / Lavender (Bradan Press) is titled after the ‘lavender generation’ of interwar activists.

 The post-workshop open-mic session, is open to all participants and will be M.C’d by Stirling’s own Makar, Laura Fyfe. Laura is both a poet and novelist and she is ‘a prominent voice in Scotland’s writing community, serving on the board of the Scottish Writers’ Centre and the Scottish Poetry Library‘.

 The Federation of Writers Scotland is a charitable organisation which aims to support writers by making the whole process much easier to negotiate, from starting to write to publication. Writers based in Scotland, or writers with a Scottish connection internationally can apply to become members of the Federation. There is no membership fee.

  • Free for Federation of Scottish Writers members (No proof of membership required)  – online booking fee applies / £5:00 for non-federation members + online booking fee


Event Info

Cost - £5


Date - 28 May 2022

Doors - 1:00 pm



Date - 28 May 2022

Doors - 1:00 pm


Gaelic Haiku

Date - 28 May 2022

Doors - 1:00 pm



Jail Wynd, Stirling, FK8 1DE

+44 (0)1786 27 4000


Tolbooth Tues-Sat 10am-5pm

Migrations in Language – As part of ‘Off The Page’ literary festival - Gallery

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