Creative Compositions

Creative Compositions

The project examines the differences and similarities between various creative media, and the impact of the engagement with such processes within individual lives and on communities.

The project initiates, collaborates with and studies several compositional activities, focussing on features of compositional practice:
•    the elements of composition derived from personal research practice as writers, composers, or lyricists;
•    the experience of composition for workshop, or project, leaders;
•    the implications and possible benefits of engaging in composition for all participants and for their wider environment. 
Some recent works are listed below. You can also find our most recent publications

  • The Aberdeen Collection, ed. by Helen Lynch and Carley Williams. Aberdeen University Press, 2017.
  • A Puckle o Sangs: A Collection of Favourite Scottish Songs Chosen by North East Singers, ed. by Grace Banks. Aberdeen University Press, 2015.
  • Another Dose of Verbal Remedies: Creative Writing by Medical Students, ed. by Helen Lynch, 2018.
  • More Verbal Remedies: Creative Writing by Medical Students, ed. by Helen Lynch and Olive M. Ritch, 2016.
  • Verbal Remedies: Creative Writing by Medical Students, ed. by Helen Lynch, 2014.
Wirds an Soons

Stemming from the collaborations of WORDS &…, in Wirds an Soons Doric meets contemporary Cello, as WORD Centre writers join cellists and composers to create collaborative composition pieces to premiere in 2020. Also part of Mapping the North-East. 


May Festival 2019 saw various WORDS&… events which celebrated composition as a collaborative engagement. Pairing the many forms of literature (prose, poetry, spoken word) with diverse disciplines, such as electroacoustic music, live drawing and folk music, the WORDS &… events explored Creative Composition as an encounter between different art-forms. Some of the events included performances such as ‘Somethings Old, Somethings,’ with poet Liz Lochhead and musician Steve Kettley; electronic music composer Pete Stollery and poet Martin Malone discussing the possibilities of collaboration, and how the creative process works; ‘Turning Stories into Songs,’ a workshop with Shetland fiddler and singer-songwriter Claire White, focused on turning narratives into song.

Verbal Remedies

The teaching of Creative Writing to medical students as part of the Medical Humanities programme has marked, long-term impact potential; it has led to the creation of a series of chapbooks, readings and public performances, including ‘More Verbal Remedies: Creative Writing by Medical Students’ (2016), ‘Another Dose of Verbal Remedies’ (2018). This is complemented by creative writing workshops for Grampian NHS staff run by WORD Centre Honorary fellow Emily Utter, and workshops on ageing with Medical Students at Foresterhill by Olive Ritch. 

Professional Development

A series of workshops organised by Wayne Price, as well as publication opportunities and editing experience through literary magazine Causeway/Cabshair (2009 – ), which includes annual performances by Creative Writing PhD students at magazine launch during May Festival. 

Granite Sound

A Sound Festival and WORD Centre collaboration, featuring Pete Stollery and Suk-Jun Kim, with texts by Helen Lynch, Wayne Price, Sheena Blackhall, Hazel Hutchinson and Michael Brown; music by Philip Cooke and Postgraduate students from the MMUS Sonic Arts programme. The works formed part of Granite, a city-wide festival organised by National Theatre of Scotland and Aberdeen City Council (2015-2016).

Creative Writing Workshops Series ‘WriteCity’

Workshops with young writers at Hazlehead Academy, and a series led by women writers (Helen Lynch, poet Jen Cooper and short fiction writer Emily Utter), in a safe space at Aberdeen Rape and Abuse Support Centre. The resulting publication #WriteCity, was launched with readings at Aberdeen Central Library (2017).

Creative Writing Groups and Readings

Centre Directors Helen Lynch and Wayne Price regularly participate as workshop hosts and readers for various groups, events and locations around Aberdeen. Some of these include:

  • Guest reader at annual celebration of North East writing with ‘Lemon Tree Writers’;  
  • Workshop host and leader at ‘The Writer’s Room,’ an Aberdeen City Council funded programme for emerging writers; 
  • Workshop host and leader at ‘Elsewhere to Be’ Writers Group; 
  • Guest readers at Scottish PEN event (2016); 
  • Chair of Edinburgh International Book Festival Unbound events at Aberdeen Arts Centre.  
Collective Compositions

A series of collaborative pieces and performances with musical performers who have migrated to Aberdeen. Co-ordinated by Simon Gall, Salsa Celtica, Shmu FM, Youth Development, Tillydrone (funded by Creative Scotland, 2014-15).