Friday 22nd

Sergio Casci 10.00 – 12.30 The River Room at The Mill

‘As resilient as a cockroach?’    

A Screen Writing Workshop.

Glasgow based screenwriter Sergio Casci’s name features in screenplays across the globe! His very first feature film American Cousins was nominated for a Bafta. Sergio will talk workshop participants though the business of screen writing, explain what the job entails, show various clips from his films and, using his own eminent career as a case study highlight good and bad practice in crafting dialogue – an essential skill for the budding screen writer and discuss how to write a ‘pitch’ for your own a movie or TV idea?  There will be time for participants’ questions too!

£15.00  (Limited to 14 places)
To book:

Gerda Stevenson   1.30 – 2.30    Gatehouse School Hall
2022 Scotland’s Year of Stories
Letting Go

Letting Go is a timeline of tales by Bafta Award winning actress/writer/poet/ filmmaker/singer/playwright, the multi-talented Gerda Stevenson – stories taking us on a journey through landscape, language and turbulent times, from the mid-19th century to the present day, and onwards into the future. Many are based on the author’s own experience – like the time like she spent in Apartheid South Africa as a child (and she did sit on Paul Robeson’s knee in Edinburgh before she went there); stories based loosely on an amalgam of the lives of people she has known, many explicitly about love; both the radical, life-changing force of romantic and sexual love, and the equal weight of love that binds a woman to a grown child with special needs, and special insights.

“The short stories in this astonishing collection deal with the transforming power of love in all its forms…splendid and gripping…breathtaking, page-turning fluency with which Stevenson writes both in English, and in a powerful and lyrical Border Scots… these stories glow with a youthful, forward-moving energy.” The Scotsman.


Helen FitzGerald   3.30 – 4.30    Gatehouse School Hall

Bestselling author Helen FitzGerald talks about her new novel ‘keep her sweet’ – not just about sibling rivalry, but a murder waiting to happen!

‘A new novel by Helen FitzGerald is always a major event’ Mark Billingham.

Helen is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was long listed for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and adapted for a major BBC drama starring Jenna Coleman. Her 2019 dark-comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in the Literary Review, Herald Scotland, Guardian and Daily Telegraph, shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and won the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.


Jenna Watt      5.30 – 6.30    Gatehouse School Hall
Hindsight: In Search of Lost Wilderness

In 2019 multi-award-winning theatre maker Jenna Watt took part in the stalking of a hind on the vast Highland estate of Corrour: part of an immersive attempt to understand what it means emotionally and physically to participate in Scotland’s deer cull, and the ideas that lie behind ‘rewilding’, as well as muirburn, grouse shooting and species persecution. This challenging exploration leads her into the complex and often conflict-ridden world of the rewilding movement and to better understand the meaning of ‘wildness’, the shifting baselines of ‘rewilding’, and, in a world beset by climate change and species extinction, how to cope, both as an individual and as a society, with the concept of ecological grief.


Friday Night is FILM NIGHT

Two award winning films 8.00 – 10.00    The River Room at The Mill

The Storm Watchers celebrating the Centenary of George Mackay Brown

Gerda Stevenson’s half hour film The Storm Watchers, was commissioned by the St Magnus International Festival, and filmed during Covid lockdown. Gerda directed via Zoom, her cast of Orcadian actors filming themselves on their mobile phones. Originally a short stage play by Mackay Brown, published in his collection A Calendar of Love, 1967, it has since been performed, with some additions, by amateurs and professionals, in theatres throughout Scotland. The drama presents the lives, anxieties, regrets, fears and memories of women as they deal with the waiting and the aftermath of a storm with all their men at sea. In this year of Mackay Brown’s 100th birthday, this acclaimed film brings to life one of his early but also most powerful pieces of theatre.

“A beautiful short film – the camera angles are really impressive, filmed with such economy – close-ups of the women in their homes, beautiful footage of the starry night, the rocks, and the wild sea. It’s brilliant.” ‘Front Row’, BBC Radio 4.

This film was commissioned and produced by St Magnus International Festival.

Skookum Jim and The American Dream

A film by Ken Smyth.  Winner of an Award of Recognition from the IndieFEST Film Awards 2022. Based on poet Chrys Salt’s narrative poetry sequence about the First Nation man who first discovered gold in 19th century Yukon and thereby unwittingly instigated an invasion of his culture and homeland. Music by composer Richard Ingham and musicians of the fabulous Bakehouse Band. Performances by poet Chrys Salt and actor/broadcaster Peter Marinker.

….a sensory feast of vivid poetry, harmonious voices, exquisite drawings and evocative music that add further depth to the familiar story of greed, adventure and exploitation and, ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit. Daniel Lusk (poet/Vermont)

Generously funded by Creative Scotland

Both films will be followed by a Q and A and discussion with the film makers about the process of filming under lockdown conditions involving technology, remote rehearsal, mobile phone cameras and much more besides!


Bill Barlow: Installation.  The Bakehouse Studio

The Poetry Pedlar Rides Again!  Thursday  July 21 Saturday July 23  10.00 – 4.00

Not seen since 2014, this magnificent machine will enable people from all walks of life to achieve a poetic bliss not attainable in any other way. Based on the internal vowel combustion engine of 1856, as used by both Keats and Yates (… all complete rubbish), an ingenious set of cogs, string, levers and pedals enables the operator to assemble a vocabulary of inspired words, arriving straight from the unconscious of a loving public, and fashion them into verse beyond the imagination. Heath Robinson, eat your heart out!