June 18: Writing Group to Published Author. Writing masterclass with Leila Aboulela. It was great! If you missed it, you missed out! See the Events page for a taster

June 11: Just 7 days to go until our Leila Aboulela workshop! If you are interested in taking part, act now! Places are still available to attend in person or online. Belmont attendees, bring cash if you’d like to buy one of Leila’s books at a special, discounted price.

Places are free but must be booked in advance. Contact

June 18: Writing Group to Published Author. Writing masterclass + Q&A with Leila Aboulela.

Special event in place of our usual meeting. Writing Group to Published Author, writing masterclass with award winning author Leila Aboulela, author of The Translator, Minaret, Lyrics Alley, and Bird Summons, among others.

Leila will be presenting her writing masterclass in person at our meeting room in Aberdeen’s Belmont Cinema – there is limited availablity for Belmont places so please book as soon as possible. Priority for Belmont places will go to members of Lemon Tree Writers but non-members will be welcome if space allows. We will link to our online audience via Zoom. For further details, see the flyer on our Events page. All places are free but must be booked in advance. Contact

February 26: Writing Poetry for Pleasure – and Publication. Presentation by Eddie Gibbons.

Special event in place of our usual meeting. Writing Poetry for Pleasure – and Publication with Eddie Gibbons . Eddie will be reading from his new poetry collection Roughly Speaking and telling us about his journey from founder chairperson of Lemon Tree Writers to published poet. This will be a hybrid Zoom/ Belmont event with Eddie giving his presentation online. Open to LTW members and non-members. Funded by Scottish Book Trust Live Literature.

Places are free but must be booked in advance. Contact

November 26: A Twist of Lemon going…going…almost gone! Just 10 copies left for direct sales + a few at £7 from the Belmont Cinema front desk.

Almost sold out!

November 11 2021: From Saturday the Belmont Cinema will stock 8 copies of A Twist of Lemon at the cover price of £7. We now have just 15 copies available to order.

November 10 2021: A Twist of Lemon is selling fast – just 29 copies left out of a 200 copy print run! If you want a copy, order soon.

November 9 2021: Eddie Gibbons‘ new poetry collection, Roughly Speaking is printed today. Now available for pre-orders from Leamington Books. Here is the link for pre-ordering:

October 30 2021: Our new anthology of poetry and prose, A Twist of Lemon arrives! The first of the pre-ordered copies are distributed at our Belmont meeting. Selling fast – don’t delay! This is a beautifully produced gem!

Book design by Duncan Lockerbie
of Lumphanan Press

We are indebted to our selection panel, headed by Eddie Gibbons, the founding chairperson of Lemon Tree Writers. Eddie has wriiten an introduction which outlines the history of Lemon Tree Writers from its beginning in the 1990s. Thanks are also due to Duncan Lockerbie of Lumphanan Press for his wonderful book design and unwavering patience throughout the editing process.

Meetings at the Belmont resume.

Hybrid In-Person/ Zoom format.

October 2 2021: Belmont meetings resume. There are 10 places for in-person meetings, other members will link in on Zoom. Attendees must book in advance, and wear a mask during meetings, except when speaking. Our usual room is supplied with fresh air from outside. Coffee may be purchased at the Belmont kiosk on the ground floor or BYO.

Our Zoom meetings will continue concurrently with the in-person meetings in a hybrid format – we intend to link the in-person and virtual groups by internet. The ultimate aim will be a return to full-strength in-person meetings although if there is continued demand for virtual meetings we may continue with the hybrid format.

September 3 2021: Lesley Benzie will be performing with a whole host of other people in Aberdeen as part of a charity event that Jo Gilbert is organising. Group members might like to join the fun and support a good cause. Details at

September 1 2021: Our forthcoming anthology will land on the desk of our publisher, Duncan Lockerbie of Lumphanan Press. Congratulations to all those with work accepted and sincere thanks to the editorial team for all their hard work.

August 19 2021: Congratulations to Lesley Benzie who has been shortlisted for the main Wigtown Poetry Prize and also for the Scots category. Winners will be announced on 10 September 2021. Good luck, Lesley!

More information at the link below.

Lesley is having a busy year! Go Lesley!

July 29 2021: 18:30 – 20:00 Poetry at Books and Beans – Lesley Benzie guest appearance

The first live in-person poetry event at Books and Beans for a while stars Lesley Benzie and Linda Jaxson, writer, singer and publisher of Seahorse Publications.

Lesley and Linda recently appeared with a host of other talented poets and raconteurs at the Wee Gatherin in Stonehaven which took place 23 and 24 July.

May 2021: Dominique launches ‘Cat Walk’ poetry pamphlet – fund-raiser for animal rescue charity

Dominique Anderson has contributed to a project to raise funds for an animal charity, and has a new poetry pamphlet available, with the cover art by the artist Karen Little, who is co-ordinating the fundraiser. Booklets by 7 other talented poets are also available as part of this project.

These poetry booklets are now available….print on demand! If you want to buy one…or more!… all profits to Happy Tails Halfway Home (an animal rescue) please email They are £8 each, including post and packaging, £6 of which goes to the rescue. (they care for animals who because of their ‘disabilities’ would otherwise be ‘discarded.’ The booklets are hand-made on Very Arty Paper.) Please specify that it is Cat Walk by Dominique Anderson which you are ordering.

Dominique is passionate about animals and animal causes. She has four cats and a dog, and loves them dearly. They are a big source of inspiration to her, as her poems Cat Walk and Intimacy testify. She wrote the poem On Heron’s Rock after being inspired by seeing a particular heron on a rock on several occasions when walking along the river with her dog. Dominique also writes about isolation, loneliness, nature and making a connection in a troubled world amongst other subjects. As well as poems, she also writes short stories, and dabbles in art and photography.

April 29 2021: 18:30 to 20:00 Poetry at Books and Beans – Feisty and Fabulous. Check Facebook if you are interested in joining the audience or taking part in the open mic session.

March 31 2021: Eddie Gibbons agrees to edit our forthcoming 2021 anthology

March 25 2021: 18:30 to 20:00 Poetry at Books and Beans Swiftly Glides the Bonnie Boat

This is a sneak preview of Issue 16 of Pushing Out the Boat, North-East Scotland’s Magazine of New Writing and the Visual Arts, launching April 2021. Lemon Tree Writers are represented among those presenting work on this Facebook event.

For details, here is the link

For those unfamiliar with Pushing Out the Boat, you can read about it here

March 21 2021:

The Gerard Rochford Poetry Prize 2021

Mist and Mountain Creative Residency, in collaboration with Gerard Rochford’s Literary Executors, are delighted to launch, on 21 March 2021, The Gerard Rochford Poetry Prize 2021.

Writers are invited to submit an original poem in English on the theme of ‘Family’ to 

before the competition closing date of 30 June 2021. Full details and rules for submission can be found here

Gerard Rochford was brought up in Worcestershire. Apart from a short spell in Hong Kong he spent most of his life in Aberdeen. His work appeared in Poetry Scotland, Northwords Now, and many other magazines. His most recent collection is DNA (Malfranteaux Concepts, 2018).  Professor Rochford was the Makar for Scottish Review and published a poem a month for five years until 2015. Along with Eddie Gibbons and Doug Gray, he founded the Dead Good Poets group, which eventually morphed into the Books and Beans sessions, which Gerard led for many years.

October 2020: Congratulations to Lesley Benzie who has been named runner-up for the McCash Scots Poetry Prize for her poem Syrians Cairryin a Makeshift Bodybag. This is the link for the article about the prizewinners in the Herald:

Lesley also features in a National Poetry Day youtube celebration. Here’s the link:

Lesley features in Seahorse Saturday on 14 November 2020 from 2pm. The online event is free – register at this address:

Sept 2020: The Scottish Snow Child, a story by Roger Meachem has been published online by Robert Gordon University as part of their Freshers’ Welcome Pack. Roger wishes to express thanks to fellow members of LTW for their support without which he’d probably not have entered the Story with Shortbread competition. This is the link:

The Hail Clamjamfry – Poems from the North-East of Scotland

Edited by Duncan Lockerbie and Eddie Gibbons. Published by Tangletree Press, with support from The Doric Board. ISBN 978-1-83807-391-6

Members of writing groups in North-East Scotland were invited to submit poems in English or Doric. Six current Lemon Tree Writers, as well as six former members now part of The Apothecaries writing group, feature in this newly published collection.

Congratulations to Lemon Tree Writers: Ian Anderson, Richard Anderson, Lesley Benzie, Brenda Conn, Ann Nicol and Terry Pearce

Congratulations also to members of The Apothecaries: Bernard Briggs, Richie Brown, Ian Grosz, Haworth Hodgkinson, Mandy Macdonald and Catriona Yule.


Lesley Benzie’s second collection of poetry, FESSEN/Reared, has been launched online This is the link: 

Originally from Aberdeen, Benzie has settled in Kirriemuir, following 25 years of working and raising a family in Glasgow. There … Continue reading