About us

The George Mackay Brown Fellowship was formed in 2006 to promote awareness of Orkney writers and their work and to encourage new writing.

What we do

The Fellowship runs two writing groups which meet regularly throughout the year: Wirdsmit for young writers aged 8-15 and Orkney Voices for Orkney language speakers and writers.

It hosts the annual George Mackay Brown Memorial Lecture which has been delivered by guest speakers – writers, artists, researchers and editors – from Orkney, Glasgow and London. In it they have explored the work of George Mackay Brown and considered its legacy; increased awareness of other Orkney writers, introducing their work to new and wider audiences; and presented a variety of topics relating to writing and language in Orkney.

The Fellowship delivers a wide variety of events and projects. In the past these have included two writing festivals and three book festivals, a writing retreat and a range of writing residencies. Other activities have included readings and workshops by local and visiting writers; open mic sessions; and renga days for collaborative writing.

We have published anthologies of poetry, creative prose and non-fiction from writers in Orkney and guest writers, as well as a booklet on the history of writing in Orkney containing biographies of twelve Orkney writers.

How it works . . .

The GMB Fellowship is a charitable trust run by a small board of volunteer Directors. We have worked with both local and national organisations to deliver literary and collaborative events and projects. These include Orkney Library & Archive, West Side Cinema, the Pier Arts Centre, St Magnus International Festival, Scottish Poetry Library, Stirling University, Glasgow University, Edinburgh Shore Poets and Shetland Arts.

We have received funding from Orkney Islands Council Culture Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Creative Scotland, Leader and the Clore Duffield Foundation. 

We value greatly the support of individuals as well as local businesses in our events and projects.

Patrons . . .

The Fellowship has three distinguished writers as its patrons, all of them visitors to Orkney at various times: former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, former Edinburgh Makar Stewart Conn, and former Scottish Makar Liz Lochhead. 

If you would like further information or would like to help or support our work in any way, please contact us by email.  

More . . .

You can find more details of our writing groups, events, publications and history on this website as new pages are added.


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