The New Mothers’ Writing Circle is a radical and unique project which centres the experience of the mother and her transformation in motherhood.  Set up at the start of 2020, each 8-week programme nurtures small cohorts of 10 – 15 mothers, drawing on diverse narratives of motherhood from Rachel Cusk to Toni Morrison to empower women, build community and elevate voices. In February 2024, graduates from The New Mothers’ Writing Circle will take over Cove Park for a two-night tutored and catered micro-residency, led by Founder and Director Catrin Kemp.

Award-winning journalist and author Chitra Ramaswamy will be the residency’s guest tutor, and food will be provided by Parveen’s Canteen.

Catrin Kemp, Founder and Director of The New Mothers’ Writing Circle, says: “The idea for the project came about following the birth of my son in 2017. I found becoming a mother a seismic shock and used writing as a way to acclimatise myself with my new identity. I also searched for authentic responses to motherhood, looking at how my new role had been represented across writing, film and TV. During my second pregnancy, I secured funding for a pilot project, and The New Mothers’ Writing Circle was born”. 

Catrin was awarded an Emerging Writers Tutored Retreat at Moniack Mhor as part of Radical Childcare. She used this time to focus on pieces of fiction related to the many faces of motherhood she sees around her daily. Catrin is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Scotland, speaking about her experience of motherhood, grief and midlife. 

Chitra Ramaswamy’s latest book, Homelands: The History of a Friendship (Canongate) is a work of creative non-fiction exploring her friendship with a 99-year-old German Jewish refugee called Henry Wuga. It won the Saltire Non-Fiction Book of the Year and was included in The Guardian’s top memoirs and biographies of 2022. Her first book, Expecting: The Inner Life of Pregnancy (Saraband) won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Polari Prize. It will be reissued in spring 2024 with a new introduction. She has contributed essays to Antlers of Water, Nasty Women, The Freedom Papers, The Bi:ble, and Message From The Skies and recently completed a commission from the Alasdair Gray Archive. She writes for The Guardian, is the restaurant critic for The Times Scotland, and broadcasts for BBC radio. She is from London and lives in Edinburgh with her partner, two children and rescue dog.