Change the Record

Songwriting as Protest

Join musician and activist Ashley Stein for a day of songwriting, exploring themes of rebellion and revolution, both personal and political.

Self expression through art is a radical act. Everyone should have the opportunity to have their voice heard, and I want to show you how to get yours out there.
Focusing on the cultural role of music as activism, I will take you through a day of inventive writing tasks and exciting techniques which will enable you to create at least two new pieces of work. These will include textual intervention, antonymic writing, nontraditional song structures and more, with a good dose of music history discussed throughout the day.
Whether you already pen political poetry, write songs, or just want to explore your views and concerns through writing, this day long event will give you the space to create work which reflects your personal and political standings. Working with news articles, art, poetry and music, the techniques used throughout this workshop will show you how to write in response to situations and causes close to your heart. I will be asking you to think about what matters most to you, what you want to express and what cause you want to fight for, be it personal or political.
The workshop will take place at the headquarters of the Saltire Society, a beautifully maintained listed building, situated in the city’s literary quarter.
This event will take place on Sunday June 23rd from 11am-5pm, at the Saltire Society in Edinburgh. Tickets are £45, or £30 for concessions. For any questions, or to book your place, please contact Ashley on

About the Tutor


Ashley Stein is a writer, musician, poet and activist from Edinburgh. As a songwriter, she plays bass and sings lead vocals in local feminist punk band, Fistymuffs. Their raw lyrics directly discuss tough subjects like abusive relationships and working class issues both past and present. Their debut EP, About Time, was released last year and is still receiving attention from music critics, radio stations and more recently the BBC.

As an activist, Ashley has been involved in fostering Edinburgh’s feminist music scene by running gigs for queer musicians, running workshops on the industry for new artists, and co-founding DAREFest; a one day event focused on helping women break in to the music industry. She is also involved in the Young Women Lead programme which sees 30 young women work with the Scottish Parliament to change policy on issues that matter to them and their peers.

Ashley has a BA Honours in Music Business, is in the final year of an MA in Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University, and regularly writes and performs poetry around the city.