Hire Claire

As well as being a busy poet and writer, I am also a freelance tutor and groupwork facilitator. You can hire me to do all sorts of things, including:

To offer creative writing tuition and mentoring

I currently teach a weekly women’s fiction writing course called Write Like A Grrrl!, designed for women who face barriers that prevent them from living their writing dreams. In the summer of 2016 I helped to deliver the very first #GrrrlCon! — an all-weekend writing and confidence-building gathering for women.  If you want to find out more about WLAG!’s activities in Edinburgh, you can email claire@onenightstanzas.com to register your interest.

I can also be hired to deliver creative writing courses, or one-off sessions, on poetry, fiction or memoir/personal writing. In the past, I’ve worked with community organisations, libraries, schools, writing groups and book groups, big organisations like The Poetry School… and would love to chat to you about coming to work with you, too. If you’re an individual who wants to brush up their writing (everything from finding inspiration to overcoming writer’s block, to entering contests and getting published), I am happy to offer one-to-one mentoring sessions, too.

Email claire@onenightstanzas.com, or read on for information about my rates.

To work with people who face multiple barriers to learning

I strongly believe that reading, writing and the love of books can and should belong to everyone, and I am especially keen to work with people who face barriers to reading, writing and learning. I’m currently working as a Scottish Book Trust Reading Champion at Craigmillar Library in Edinburgh, with a focus on getting young people aged 12-18 through the door to engage with books, reading, stories, and especially story-based games! You can find out more about how that’s going at my Reading Champion blog.

In addition, I have delivered creative writing sessions for homeless and vulnerably housed people, working with organisations including Crisis Skylight Edinburgh and Bethany Christian Trust. In 2014, I worked on Waverley Care’s Inside/Out: a project designed to empower individuals affected by HIV and/or Hep C to share their personal stories through writing and photography. I have been privileged to work on several writing projects involving asylum seekers, refugees and migrants; working with Refugee Survival Trust; the Scottish Refugee Council; and with the Maryhill Integration Network and Women Supporting Women as part of Making It Home.

Lastly, I spent five years at Edinburgh’s Telford College (now Edinburgh College, Granton), and two years at Scottish Book Trust, working with young people and adults who struggle with literacy. I have delivered workshops and interventions in a variety of adult learning settings across Scotland, including the Oban Youth CafeAdult Basic Education Bathgate, and the South Ayrshire Youth Forum. I hold a PDA in Adult Education, attained in 2010.

To create educational resources

Having spent many years working in adult education settings, I’ve become pretty good at putting together fun, engaging learning resources for discussion, group work or solo projects. This year, I created a suite of creative writing resources to accompany Scottish Book Trust’s public participation campaign, Journeys: they include resources specifically tailored for organisations working with adult learners. Also for Scottish Book Trust, I created and curated a suite of supporting activities to accompany Walk The Walk, a graphic novel for learners aged 16+ on the theme of tackling sectarianism.

Elsewhere, I helped to create the Inside/Out project exhibition in collaboration with Waverley Care and photographer Lisa Fleming: this was a week-long exhibition of participants’ writing and photography, shown at the Traverse Theatre as part of Book Week Scotland 2014. I also crowdfunded, and co-edited, Making It Homethe Making It Home project book, which included participants’ writing, photography, drawings, and testimonials. My co-editor on the project was the poet Jane McKie.

To speak or perform at your event

I love getting out and about to meet people and talk to audiences, whether I’m reading my creative work or giving a talk. I’ve been hired a few times to speak about intersectional feminism, or about inequality in the arts world — most recently, I gave a talk as part of New Scotland: New Culture? at Summerhall, asking the question, who gets to be part of the cultural conversation? I’ve presented research from my PhD in Creative Writing and Contemporary Women’s Poetry at the University of Edinburgh’s The Business conference, at Writers at the Pleasance, and at the Melrose Literary Society. I’ve also spoken and been interviewed about my love of manual typewriters! To date, I’ve appeared in the media on STV News, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Scotland, and in various podcasts, too (see Press for more details).

I’m happy to travel all over the place, where expenses allow: if you want me to come and be part of your event, please email claire@onenightstanzas.com!

To write a poem for you

I’ve been commissioned to write poems for all sorts of things, but probably the most exciting was being asked to pen a 16-line poem to accompany the Body Shop Plc’s fragrance range Dreams Unlimited! My wee poem appeared on every piece of Dreams Unlimited packaging — and on in-store displays — in Body Shop outlets worldwide! I worked closely with the Body Shop Plc’s Copy & Tone of Voice department throughout, travelling back and forth to London where necessary. So really: no job is too big, or too small! Please do get in touch.


If you want to hire me, you can get help by applying to Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature fund: I am on their database of artists, and would encourage you to look into their funding, which covers 50% of author fees and all travel expenses!

Get in touch

You can also hire me directly by emailing claire@onenightstanzas.com. I am usually happy to meet for a coffee and a chat (or to Skype!) for free, to talk more about your project! My private rates are in line with Scottish Artists’ Union rates of pay, and I am open to negotiations, too!