Citizen Winter Warmer activities still available online

Head to our YouTube playlist to catch up

Last weekend we hosted our Citizen Winter Warmer, a collection of online activities for all the family. Read on for a summary of events, from DrawAlongs to performances, and follow the links to watch on catch up.

Our Citizen Winter Warmer was a series of short online events, designed with something for everyone. If you missed it, you can discover everything in your own time on our YouTube playlist by clicking here, or read on to find out more.

Art for all

Image of Katie Chappell drawing on glass with white pen

From budding young artists to those who’ve not picked up a felt tip in years, our interactive drawing sessions gave everyone an opportunity to get creative.

First, Edinburgh-based illustrator Eilidh Muldoon, showed us how to create a character from the book she illustrated, Fierce, Fearless and Free, by Lari Don. The book is full of female characters who are the heroes of their own stories. Catch up here as Eilidh tells us the story of Medea and the Metal Man and shows you how to bring the story alive with drawings.

We also enjoyed an inspiring session which with illustrator Katie Chappell, whose work makes the ordinary extraordinary. Katie told us about drawing diaries, and how even simple sketches can be a good way of marking the days each year as they pass. Why don’t you make 2021 the year you keep a drawing diary? Watch Katie’s video again to find out how.

After that, we joined the team at Edinburgh Zine Library as they explained what zines are and how to make them. In this fast-paced workshop, create your own mini-zine by responding to prompts. Our time was limited to only 90 seconds for each page, but luckily, on our catch up video, you can take as much time as you need to create your drawings.

Image of two children with their drawalong results

Poetry and performance

Poetry and performance were both a big part of the Citizen Winter Warmer. In a heart-warming display of talent, the young musicians at the Tinderbox Collective created a video to show what they’ve been up to this year, including a mass performance of Hey Jude by the Beatles that will be sure to have you singing along, wherever you’re watching.

Acclaimed Scottish-Caribbean poet Courtney Stoddart wowed us with her performance of three poems, 500 yearsBlack History and O' Flower of Scotland. These poems are an unflinching examination of race and identity in today’s Scotland. You can watch Courtney’s powerful, thought-provoking performance here.

Perhaps you’d like to try poetry-writing yourself? In this workshop led by Leyla Josephine, our Schools Writer in Residence, you will learn all about Self Portrait Poems and be taken through a step-by-step guide to creating one yourself.

Leyla’s work with schools has gone online this year, and we’re so pleased that The Citizen Collective took part in our Winter Warmer. The Collective is made up of young writers from schools across Edinburgh and Musselburgh, who have been working on their writing and performance online over the eight weeks. In this video the Collective share their poems, stories, ideas and “non-TED talks” with us.

Image of child holding up their Self Portrait Poem

Writing from memory

Our daily surroundings can be a huge source of inspiration, with places and memories feeding into creative ideas. In this short film, our Communities Writer in Residence, Eleanor Thom, shows that sometimes just walking down your street can be a starting point for a new piece of writing. This exercise is a must for anyone experiencing writers block, or who wants to try writing but doesnt know where to start.

Citizen is all about making the voices and ideas of people from Edinburgh, Musselburgh and beyond heard, and we’re so pleased to be able to include the work of our Writers’ Groups who have been working with Eleanor on place-based writing. Hear from these talented local writers as they reflect on the landscapes, landmarks and objects around them in poems and reflective writing.

Storytelling for all seasons

Once you’ve tackled lots of the interactive activities above, you might simply want to curl up and listen to stories. We’ve not been able to travel much this year, but stories are a way to escape, to discover new things and people.

For family fun aimed at audiences 3+, why not catch up with the charming storytelling duo Macastory as they tell us a story about magic, mystery and being kind, followed by an upbeat singalong.

Or, you could hear Alan Bisset reading from The Incredible Adam Spark. Alan’s introduces us to Adam, Falkirk’s first superhero, and his lively reading is sure to make you smile.

Lastly, Nadine Aisha Jassat tells us a story of family and friendship from her work Daughter of Stories. Nadine explains how stories can be a beacon in the dark times, they can give us comfort and can remind us of who we are.

We hope you enjoy the Citizen Winter Warmer videos. Send your drawings, zines and poems to - we love seeing what you’ve come up with! Head to our bookshop website to find all the books by the authors who took part, and many more.


Citizen is our long-term creative programme working in partnership with organisations across Edinburgh and Musselburgh, offering local people a platform to explore identity, connection and place. The project is part of Edinburgh International Book Festival On The Road, and is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and through the PLACE Programme (funded by the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council, and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland).

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