Finding my place: the transformative power of creative writing in understanding geographical migration. A personal study of moving to Orkney

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As a concept, ‘place’ is both physical and metaphorical: relating to the physical places that we live and work in, and our sense of belonging. When we tell stories about ourselves, place has a fundamental role (just as it does in fictional stories) in terms of providing a setting for the action of our lives. However, in the modern world place is also a choice, we may migrate from one place to another and therefore experience multiple places and different ways of being, reconfiguring ourselves in different environments. How can we manage these movements successfully? How can we re-story our experience, and work with the narratives of our lives to accommodate moves between places? In considering these questions, this paper will propose that creative writing practice, engaged as it is with processes of telling and retelling, may offer a particular way of managing these challenges and of reconfiguring our experience and identities. In this paper the author will draw on a range of literature from sociological, psychological and literary sources to reflect on her own experience of using creative writing during her own move from Cornwall to Orkney. She will also identify how some of the tools and techniques she has personally used have subsequently been incorporated into her work tutoring courses in creative writing for wellbeing in Orkney.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2014
EventCreative Orkney: Arts and Creativity - St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Sep 201427 Sep 2014


ConferenceCreative Orkney: Arts and Creativity
CountryUnited Kingdom



  • Migration
  • Creative Writing
  • Orkney

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