Touchstones Creative Writing Group (TCWG) is a fully constituted revenue funded organisation, although this funding is currently ring-fenced for facilitation costs.
TCWG includes several published and/or broadcast writers, but is open to writers of all abilities. Meeting monthly at Touchstones Arts & Heritage Centre for facilitated workshops, the group boasts an ever-increasing membership and enjoys a wide demographic.
In 2012 TCWG delivered the highly successful, and even profitable, Lexicon Festival, with poet and author, Craig Bradley, as their special guest.
The group also participated in the Sport Meets Dance showcase for local revenue funded arts organisation, Spiral Dance, and in the incredible Hanging by a Thread project with Skylight Circus Arts. This saw the Group write poetry telling the history of Rochdale’s fabric industries and perform alongside local folk group, False Knight, to deliver the work in a live show, whilst circus acts of juggling, silks and ropes and aerial artists performed around them. All this was to a backdrop of evocative images projected onto the walls of the auditorium in a film produced by local artist, Tom Butterworth. This project was recommissioned for the 2013 Rochdale Literature & Ideas festival.
In 2013 TCWG member, Lorraine Charlesworth, read original poetry (whilst sitting in a bath!) as part of The Broadwater Project, a Skylight Circus Arts event, delivered in conjunction with local organisations, PeoplePrint, M6 Theatre and Spiral Dance. The group also initiated their Kindle Kollections, which sees them publish a monthly anthology on Kindle.
TCWG has also published its first print anthology in 2013 after attracting two prestigious commissions the previous year. A Diamond Co-operative was published after the writers were commissioned by Rochdale Co-operative Members’ Group to produce original text celebrating Rochdale’s year as International Capital of Co-operation in 2012. Coincidentally, TCWG were also commissioned by Forever Manchester to produce poetry celebrating the Diamond Jubilee year of Her Majesty, the Queen. These commissions were combined into one collective.
Touchstones Creative Writing Group, Rochdale’s only professionally facilitated group, is a member of The National Association of Writing Groups (NAWG) and of Rochdale Arts Forum. TCWG are involved in delivering several partnership projects as part of Rochdale’s First Literature And Ideas Festival in October 2013.