Allan Radcliffe was born in Perth in 1975 and now lives in Edinburgh. He spent his twenties in a number of jobs, including working as a stagehand, teaching English at home and abroad, working with adults with learning difficulties and freelancing as a journalist and subeditor.
He has always written, compulsively. His short stories and poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, Celtic View, Gutter and two of the Hidden City collections. He was commissioned to write a monologue based on the life of artist Frances Macdonald McNair, which was performed at the Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, in September 2006. He is a regular contributor of features and reviews to newspapers and journals, including the Sunday Times, The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald, The List, Metro and Big Issue.
Allan has spent ages tinkering with a draft of a novel called The Afterlife, about the search for a missing schoolboy. He would love to complete this in the coming year.
Writing excerpt from Clinging
It's almost dark when we leave the bar. The rain has stopped and the evening air is hot and damp, garbage-sweet. Beneath the streetlights the sidewalk gleams yellow, the ground a mosaic of footprints.
'You're not with anyone?' He has to shout over the traffic noise.
'No,' I say, too quickly. Close-up he looks younger than he looked in the bar, maybe early twenties. His skin is sand-coloured, his cheeks and nose dotted with freckles. Dark eyes and thick, black eyebrows set strikingly low on his forehead. He looks melancholy even though he's smiling.
'Your name?' He sounds like a teacher taking a register.
'Al - ex.' Then, almost as an afterthought, he taps his chest and announces: 'Tomas.'
The town is heating up. We cross the river and swing between the traffic on Wacker Drive. Tomas strides ahead. I have to jog to keep up with him. I ask him where he's from. 'Chile.' He smiles at me expectantly. I try to dredge up everything I know about Chile, but all I can find are names of people and films: Allende, Neruda. The Moon in the Mirror - was that Chile?
"I'm extremely grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for this award, which means a huge boost to my confidence, a much-needed injection of time and valuable practical support. I feel rebooted, ready to get to work."