Welcome to Bakehouse Community Arts

For those who don’t know about us Bakehouse Community Arts is a Charity dedicated to poetry and the spoken word. We aim to promote interest and skills related to writing in Dumfries and Galloway, offering regular events in a warm and welcoming performance space at The Bakehouse in Gatehouse of Fleet. Over the last thirteen years we have hosted many of the best writers from across Scotland and beyond including, including Don Paterson, George Szirtes, Kenneth White, Tessa Ransford OBE, Adrian Mitchell and Liz Lochhead giving our audience an opportunity to hear work of the highest quality. Local writers also have a chance to read their own work alongside their peers and attend high quality workshops where they can share new work and obtain feedback from experienced workshop leaders.

In 2012 we won an Arts and Business Scotland award with a corporate sponsor, for promoting Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on tour in Scotland. We also produce BIG LIT: The Stewartry Book Festival, a four day Literary Festival now in its 10th year. I was awarded an MBE in 2014 for Services to the Arts in Dumfries and Galloway, an honour which more properly belongs to the excellent team and Board which guides the hand of all we do.

We have a growing database both local and International. If you would like your name to be added please subscribe to our mailing list and we’ll make sure you receive all information about BCA’s activities from now on.

Enjoy trawling through the poetic Bakings and films on our pages.

Best wishes,

Chrys Salt MBE
Artistic Director

Meet the Team

Chrys Salt MBE, Artistic Director

Chrys is a poet with roots deeply planted in the theatre. She has written five full poetry collections and four pamphlet collections, been translated into several languages and  performed UK wide, in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Finland, India and Australia. She has been a recipient of Bursaries and Awards ( various), was awarded an MBE for services to The Arts in Dumfries and Galloway in 2014. She is listed in Who’s Who.


 Karen Campbell

Award winning writer Karen Campbell has seven novels to her credit,  and brings  a wealth of useful contacts and  information about other writers, gleaned from her own experience of performing at Literature Festivals nationwide.  Karen holds an MLitt in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, and teaches and mentors Creative Writing students in the region and beyond.


Chik Duncan 

Chik is a writer, a spoken word performer and a Philosophy graduate with post graduate qualifications in IT and in Writing For Children. Drawing on forty years lived experience of mental illness (OCD), having lived as a volunteer co-worker for two years at Lothlorien (a therapeutic community in Dumfries & Galloway) and currently being involved as a Media Volunteer with SeeMe Scotland, Chik brings a wealth of experience of mental health issues to TBCT’s table.

Hilary Hawker

Hilary has had twelve careers so far, and still doesn’t know what to be when she grows up. After various teaching and lecturing roles, Including training for tourism and the NHS, she had several years working in Quality Assurance and set up and ran the Dumfries and Galloway Quality Forum with local businesses and government bodies.

Peter Marcus 

Peter is a practising barrister and mediator in civil law, specialising in housing. He is TBCA’s adviser on contracts, equality legislation, risk assessment, public and local government law and any other legal issues that might arise in relation to the TBCA’s activities.

Richard Macfarlane 

Richard trained as a management accountant and spent 15 years in industry before getting involved in social enterprises and community-based economic development. He has used his accounting and business experience as voluntary business manager for a touring theatre company (1988-2003) and as business manager of The Bakehouse - a small arts producer in Southern Scotland - since 2005.


Alan McClure 

Alan has been a Primary School teacher for ten years, and a writer for considerably longer than that. His critically acclaimed debut children's novel, 'Callum and the Mountain', was released in August 2019. He is also a poet and a songwriter, bringing connections not only to local schools but to the thriving Galloway music scene.


Jane Overton 

Jane has worked for many years in the public sector with particular focus on social inclusion and development issues. For the last twenty years she has also been busy in the voluntary sector in various roles including as a volunteer and as a Board member. Organisations she has been involved with are active in financial inclusion, gender-based issues, outdoor activities and the arts, and she has particular experience in consultation/involvement and project development. In her spare time she writes and performs poetry and spoken word. Jane therefore brings to TBCA wide-ranging experience of organisational development and management.


Jane Richardson

Jane joined the Board of TBCT, her remit being to provide a link to writing groups across the Stewartry.  As a member of Crichton Writers she is familiar with many groups who have benefited, as Crichton Writers have, from the support offered by the Bakehouse. New writers are encouraged to contribute their work, attend workshops led by established writers, and to share a platform with those writers at Bakehouse events.  This area is renowned for its creativity, but the generosity of opportunity offered to new writers by TBCT is unique and much valued.

Peter Roberts

Peter spent most of his working life as a town planner and public sector policy specialist, with brief forays into a workers' co-operative and community arts. He led Moniaive's successful bid to Creative Scotland for a Creative Place Award in 2015, and co-ordinated all the creative and administrative work that followed. During the Creative Place programme he started writing in Moniaive's new poetry workshop, and that inevitably brought him to the Bakehouse


Ken Smyth 

Ken has been a graphic designer and artist for the last 35 years working in both the public and private sectors.  Aside from design work he is the chairman of The Mill on the Fleet Centre in Gatehouse which works closely with The Bakehouse to stage the annual Big Lit Festival.  He is also Secretary of the Gatehouse Development Initiative and through this has worked on a number of EU funded projects with European partners developing strategies for the heritage sector.  He is chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Museums and Heritage Network.


Annie Wright

Annie is a poet with two full collections and a pamphlet to her credit. As a former literacy consultant and school adviser with extensive experience of performing, editing poetry chapbooks and leading writing workshops for children and adults Annie brings a wealth of experience of the education sector to TBCA’s table.