Literature Development

Andrew Forster taught creative writing and literature for a number of organisations, including WEA Scotland, Edinburgh University Centre for Continuing Education and Community Education Departments throughout Scotland. He developed a number of community writing projects, including Midlothian Faces, Voices, Lives, a creative writing project based on oral history testimonies, and was Writer in Residence at Summerlee Industrial Heritage Museum in Coatbridge, editing the anthology Imagining Industry. He was a founder memberof the performance group The Portobello Poets, organising readings in the Portobello and East Lothian areas of Scotland.

In 2003 he became Literature Development Officer for Dumfries & Galloway, supporting individual writers and writing/community groups across the region. He developed an extensive range of initiatives over the next five years including:

  • The Wigtown Poetry Competition
  • Annual D&G Library Service Readers Days
  • Poetry Doubles, bringing poets of international staure to Dumfries & Galloway and providing platforms, with support and mentoring, for local poets
  • Poetry in the Woods, culminating in a Poetry Trail in Mabie Forest
  • Writers' exchanges
  • Scotland's first 'virtual' writers residency
  • The Scottish Poetry Library collection in Dumfries & Galloway.
In 2005 he became a board member of the National Association for Literature Development. He took a lead role in the first Scottish Literature Development Conference, in 2005, and was instrumental in developing NALD's activities in Scotland.

In 2008 he moved to Cumbria to become Literature Officer at the Wordsworth Trust.

He is developing the Wordsworth Trust as the Poetry Centre for Cumbria. Initiatives include:
  • The internationally acclaimed summer poetry readings
  • The unique Poet's Residency
  • A series of initiatives to support writers at all abilities, including workshops with renowned tutors, a mentoring scheme and Open Stage nights
  • The biennial Dorothy Wordsworth Festival of Women's Poetry
  • Support for readers to enjoy poetry, including a monthly Poetry Reading Group at the Wordsworth Trust, and promoting poetry to fiction reading groups.
  • Partnership events with national organisations, including the Poetry School, the Poetry Translation Centre and the Poetry Society
  • Working to make links between contemporary and classic literature, thorugh initiatives like the annual Arts & Book weekend and readings in Dove Cottage
  • Setting up the Cumbrian Literature Development Network
He is an accomplished and meticulous chair, and in addition to chairing events for DGAA and the Wordsworth Trust, has chaired events for the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal; Words by the Water, Keswick, and the Wigtown Festival.

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