Short Stories, Tall Trees:
creative writing with Linda Cracknell
Our writer in residence continued her involvement with Birnam Book Festival by working with a small group outdoors in the September sunshine. Wandering between the banks of the River Tay and Birnam Glen, Linda guided the group through structured tasks intended to sharpen the senses and excite the imagination. They sank their hands into damp moss, closed their eyes to listen more closely to the birds, drew maps, recollected childhood territories, invented new characters, and converted all this into words. This Short Stories, Tall Trees writing weekend was offered by Linda and Birnam Book Festival as part of the Dunkeld and Birnam Unplugged 2021. It presented a great opportunity to be ‘unplugged’ from electronic gadgets and explore how outdoor motion and the rhythm of footsteps enhances creativity. Our on-location activity in Birnam followed the lockdown-friendly short story writing course, offered by Linda via Zoom in 2020, which drew participants from across the country.
Linda Cracknell writes fiction, non-fiction and drama. She teaches creative writing in various settings, often integrating walking and outdoor exploration with her teaching, and hosting a regular workshop in the Moroccan Sahara. Landscape, sense of place, and travel are key themes in her work. She has written about walking and memory in Doubling Back, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. In Call of the Undertow, Linda explored a dramatic shoreline fictionally, and she traversed glaciers in her novel The Tumblers. You can view Linda’s interview on her novel The Other Side of Stone here.