The Jura Malt Whisky Writer Retreat
Scottish Book Trust and Isle of Jura Single Malt Whisky are working together to offer writers the opportunity to spend a month living and writing on the idyllic island of Jura. Each selected writer receives a month's exclusive use of the luxurious distillery lodge, a bursary and travel expenses.
Featuring new writing from Will Self, Janice Galloway, John Burnside and others who spent time on the Island, Spirit of Jura: Fiction, Essays and Poems from the Jura Lodge is available now.
The Jura Malt Whisky Writer Retreat has won the Cultural Branding Award at this year’s Arts & Business Scotland Awards, which were announced at a special ceremony in Aberdeen on Tuesday 21 October.
“We are delighted to have won this award! At Scottish Book Trust we work hard at establishing productive, long-term relationships with the leading businesses who want to work with us in promoting literature. The recognition of excellence that this Arts & Business Award represents is a vital means of significantly signalling our joint achievements in this field” Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust.
Philip McTeer, Marketing Manager of Whyte & Mackay and Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, showing off their A&B Awards.
The Award was designed by Scottish Artist Geoffrey Mann. To find out more about the artwork and the artist himself, click here.
The Jura Malt Whisky Writer Retreat is also shortlisted for the Arts & Business UK Awards, the results of which will be announced on November 24th. Fingers crossed!
Jura Diaries - 2008
In 2008, John Burnside, Romesh Gunesekera and Swetha Prakash all spent a month in Jura Lodge and wrote special diaries about their time on the island.
You can read them below:
Swetha Prakash, the recipient of our first New Writer Retreat, stayed at Jura Lodge in October - Read her diary here.
Poet and novelist John Burnside stayed at Jura Lodge in September: Read his Jura diary here
Sri Lanka-born and London-based novelist Romesh Gunesekera was the first author to go on this year's Jura Retreat in July. Read his diary and see his pictures here.
The recipient of the Jura Malt Whisky New Writer Retreat has been announced as Swetha Prakash. Download the press release for more information
For the first time this year, we are offering a new unpublished author the chance to follow in George Orwell’s footsteps and spend the whole of October on the Isle of Jura, writing, in the stunning surroundings of Jura Lodge, courtesy of Scottish Book Trust and Jura Malt Whisky, in association with The Times.
As part of the package, the recipient of the retreat will receive a bursary of £2,500 and sole use of the Jura Distillery Lodge for the whole month of October.
This year, the 2008 Jura Malt Whisky Writer Retreat was offered to Romesh Gunesekera and John Burnside.
Romesh spent a month on Jura from 12 July to 12 August, while John was there from August 16 until September 16.
John and Romesh appeared together at a special event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 13th August, where Romesh talked about his time on the island while John reflected on his expectations before heading to Jura. More information here
Romesh Gunesekera was born in Sri Lanka in 1954 and has lived and worked in Britain since 1971.
His first novel Reef was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994 and the Guardian Fiction Prize. His second, The Sandglass, received the BBC's inaugural Asia Award for Writing and Literature and his third, Heaven's Edge, like his collection of short stories, Monkfish Moon, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
Since 1996 he has been full-time writer. He has also been a judge for several literary prizes including the David Cohen Literature Prize and the RSL Ondaatje Prize. In 2005 he received a National Honour for his writing from Sri Lanka, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London.
John Burnside was born in Dunfermline in 1955. He worked as a steel miller, gardener, labourer, computer software engineer, before becoming a freelance writer in 1994. He has has taught Creative Writing at St Andrews University since 1997.
His first collection of poetry was published in 1988 and won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. A later collection, Feast Days, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and The Asylum Dance was awarded the Whitbread Poetry Award.
Since 1996 he has also written prose works, including novels, short stories and a memoir, A Lie About My Father. His last novel, The Devil's Footprints, has been published around the world. Another novel, Glister, is scheduled for publication over the coming year.
Jura is one of the most remote and wild of the Scottish islands. Famously, it is the place where George Orwell found inspiration to write 1984, one of the great books of the 20th century and of world literature.
Since its launch in late 2006, the Jura Malt Whisky Writer Retreat Programme has established itself as one of the best creative opportunities available to writers. In 2007 the Retreat was awarded to Will Self, Philip Gourevitch and Janice Galloway, who each took a month out writing and living in the Distillery Lodge on the beautiful and inspiring Isle of Jura.
Will Self is the author of three short-story collections, The Quantity Theory of Insanity (winner of the 1992 Geoffrey Faber award), Grey Area and Tough Tough Toys for Tough Tough Boys; novellas, Cock and Bull, and The Sweet Smell of Psychosis; and four novels, My Idea of Fun, Great Apes, How the Dead Live and most recently The Book of Dave. He has also written for a plethora of publications over the years and is a regular broadcaster on television and radio.
Will spent May 2007 on Jura. Read Will's essay, "Jura Duty" from The Sunday Herald
Philip Gourevitch is Editor of the renowned literary magazine, The Paris Review and author of an award-winning book on the Rwandan massacres We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: stories from Rwanda (1998). In 2001 he followed this with A Cold Case, a brilliant true tale of crime and punishment in 70s Manhattan which prompted Elmore Leonard to comment ‘Gourevitch is an ace researcher and a knockout writer'. Philip has also reported from Cambodia, Burundi and Siberia and remains a staff writer on The New Yorker. He is currently completing a book on Abu Ghraib, due to be published in the U.S.A. in 2007 and in the UK in 2008.
Philip spent August 2007 on Jura and was joined by his wife Larissa MacFarquhar, a staff writer for The New Yorker.
Janice Galloway is the author of three award-winning novels: The Trick is To Keep Breathing, Foreign Parts and Clara plus two collections of short stories: Blood and Where You Find It. She has also collaborated on an opera libretto, Monster, based on the life of Mary Shelley, and with visual artist Anne Bevan on Rosengarten, a text and sculpture exhibition.
Janice spent October 2007on Jura. Read about Janice's experience on Jura here.
All three writers and Romesh Gunesekera are producing new work inspired by their time on Jura for a week of programmes on BBC Radio 4 to be broadcast during the first week of November 2008.
Meanwhile, as a further element to the Jura programme, Will Self and the great Scottish writer and artist Alasdair Gray will be collaborating on a limited edition Jura print, to be produced at Glasgow Print Studios.
The Jura Malt Whisky Writer Retreat was created by Scottish Book Trust in association with Whyte & Mackay, sponsored by Scottish Executive New Arts Sponsorship Awards, in conjunction with Arts & Business.
For further information on The Jura Malt Whisky Writer Retreat please contact:
Caitrin Armstrong, Writer Development Co-ordinator
0131 524 0177 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Book Trust and the Isle of Jura Distillery have also collaborated on Taste Island Life, a beautiful book featuring photography of the island and its people plus new work by Kathleen Jamie, Liz Lochhead and Alexander McCall Smith, inspired by short stays on Jura. The book also includes an essay on George Orwell and Jura by his biographer Sir Bernard Crick.
This hardback publication is not available in the shops.
To purchase a copy at £16.95 (+ £2.95 p&p), please contact email@example.com
Picture of Romesh Gunesekera by Barbara Piemonte