As part of the Wordplay literary festival, Shetland Arts hosted a Creative Summit at Shetland College on 03/11/17, where ‘national literature partners, industry partners and academics’ (Shetland Arts) were invited to discuss brief ‘provocations’ from a range of speakers. Shetland writer Donald S. Murray talked about the challenges that writers who are both from and living in island places face in finding space to develop ‘the inner voice’ and make themselves heard more widely. Storyteller Davy Cooper from Shetland Forwirds shared his perspective on supporting Shetland’s living dialect to be more than a ‘museum piece’. Shetland writer Jacqui Clark told us about her writing career and the ways in which being a professional writer is and is not (mostly not) like being a plumber. I spoke as a researcher but also an enthusiastic punter for literary events in Shetland, suggesting that in spite of the now long association of the ‘creative industries’ with cities, the grass isn’t always greener when it’s concreted over.