Poison Pen Workshop

Crime writing with E.S. Thomson

Online Event
Sun 16 May
17:00 UK
£0.00 to £8.00

Crime fiction is one of the most popular genres. Methods of murder are many and varied, but nothing gives the crime writer as much scope as poison. Beloved by 'golden age' writers, such as Christie and Allingham, poisons have much to offer. In this two-hour workshop, historical crime writer E.S. Thomson will guide you through an exploration of poison's potential for crime. Come prepared to kill your characters! Suitable for writers of all levels.

This workshop will take place on Zoom and is limited to a maximum of 20 participants. It will last for two hours, including a short break. Bring something to write with, and some expendable characters!

About the speaker:

E.S. Thomson has a PhD in the history of medicine and is a university lecturer by day and a writer by night. Elaine's work has been longlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger and shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award, the McIlvanney Prize, the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award and the Guildford Literary Festival First Book Award. Her highly successful Jem Flockhart series of gothic crime fiction is now into its fifth book, with Nightshade published in April 2021. Elaine lives in Edinburgh and Gateshead. Find out more about Elaine on her website: www.esthomson.co.uk or follow her on Twitter: @es_thomson.

How do the Writers Gathering events work?


Once you have booked your workshop place using our online ticketing site, you will receive a confirmation email. 30 minutes before the start of the workshop, a reminder email will be sent out to you with the link to access the workshop on Zoom. Workshops will not be streamed live anywhere else. Each workshop is limited to a maximum of 20 participants, and will last for two hours, including a short break.

Panel discussion

The panel discussion will be streamed live on the Wigtown Book Festival website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, so you don’t need to register to access it. However, it’s still worth signing up as you will be sent a direct link to the event and a reminder 30 minutes beforehand.

Don’t forget to check your spam folder for the confirmation and reminder emails in case they end up in there.

WG21 Weekend Pass
Why not purchase our WG21 pass, which at £30 gives you a 100% discount on 1 ticket to each event. Please note that you will still need to book a place on the workshops you would like to attend. Click Here To Purchase WG21 Pass. Passes must be purchased separately before booking on to the individual workshops.

We appreciate that not everyone can afford the £8 workshop fee or £30 for a weekend pass. Making the Writers’ Gathering as accessible as possible is a priority of ours and so we are offering a number of bursaries for each workshop. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please complete this online form or email Isla on isla@wigtownbookfestival.com. Live captioning will also be available on request.

Asking questions

During the workshops, you can ask a question verbally and by using the chat facility on Zoom. On live-streamed events, questions can be put into the live chat box on YouTube or in the comments box on Facebook and they will be forwarded to the speakers.

Catch up

The panel discussion will be available on catch-up. However, the workshops are not being recorded and will not be available anywhere else after they take place.

Buy the books

Browse our online bookshop, which will stock all our speakers’ latest titles.


If you have any queries about the Writers’ Gathering, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing isla@wigtownbookfestival.com.