Meet the What's Your Story? 2019 squad

Meet the seven passionate and creative young people who'll be working with us on the What's Your Story? programme in 2019.

 

Ailbhe headshot
Ailbhe Murphy

Age: 15

Location: Glasgow

Speciality: Gaelic Short stories

Why Gaelic Short Stories:  I plan to write short stories in Gaelic about the lives of young people, such as myself, in order to show that Gaelic is not an ‘ancient’ language but one that can still be used to express modern thoughts and ideas. I love writing short stories as there is something challenging but enjoyable in attempting to convey a character, a feeling or a moment in just a few hundred words.

Why Ailbhe’s here: 
I applied for What’s Your Story? because I’d never come across an experience quite like it. I’ve often found it hard to express my love of writing with other people my own age, and What’s Your Story? is truly creating a network for me and all the other young people to do exactly that. It enables us to make connections that really will benefit us in the future.

 

Andrew Pettigrew headshot
Andrew Pettigrew

Age: 17

Location: Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

Speciality: Novels

Why Novels: I really enjoy developing characters, describing situations and scenes, devising plots and most of all, exploring themes and messages that are important to me. This includes disability and inclusion, but also freedom, politics, depression, love, and our right to be as weird as we want to be.  I love how books/novels allow the author to make the reader think so many different things, and does not have to take responsibility for evoking such thoughts.  So I want to write a book, and preferably one someone will want to read (excluding close family who feel compelled to, despite their better judgement).

Why Andrew’s here: I'm here on the What's Your Story? programme to improve my writing and my understanding of literature, and overall to help me pursue my dream as a published author.  I also really want to help my fellow young writers across Scotland to pursue their own dreams, and to enjoy writing or illustrating or whatever their interest is as much as they want to. If I am able to, I'm determined to help other young writers with additional support needs not to feel barred in any way to write — we need our voice heard, and I've sometimes felt it's harder to follow your dreams if you are disabled, but I don't want this to be the case in 2019 and beyond for writing.

 

Beccie White Headshot
Beccie White

Age: 14

Location: Edinburgh

Speciality: Performance Poetry

Why Performance Poetry: I am planning to create poetry which tackles themes that are important to me; such as feminism and other political issues. I care about poetry because it strips down what you are trying to say to only the keywords that really matter. Writing poetry is really important to me as it lets my voice and opinions be heard in a way that is fun to create and allows me to express myself creatively.

Why Beccie’s here: I am really excited to be starting my journey on the What’s Your Story? programme, as it is an incredible opportunity to develop as a young poet. I am also really looking forward to meeting all the other creative people on the course, as well as inspiring other young authors and creative people. I think being able to share tips and tricks as well as shared experiences with other young creative people with is really important and fun. Overall, I am just really excited to have this opportunity and to inspire other teens!

 

Devin McRoberts headshot
Devin McRoberts

Age: 15

Location: Paisley, Renfrewshire

Specialty: Poetry with Performance

Why Poetry with Performance: I am planning by the end of this to not only to have created inspirational pieces of poetry but to have developed as a poet and have gained the confidence to become a performer. I also want to encourage, inspire and educate other people. I hope to address important issues such as mental health through my poetry and use my voice to support other young people. Mental health is an important issue in society and the more we encourage people to talk about it the more we can help them.

Why Devin’s here: My mother is an English teacher who has helped me with my work in the past and I think I am now getting to grips with how to do it myself. Life is a stream of opportunities and I wanted to grab this one to help me develop by working with other people. I also hope to add a twist to my poetry that will make my pieces more appealing to young people, to get them into poetry before it becomes something weird to them. I am interested in performing poetry because I think it will engage and interest young people.

 

Nicole Foreman headshot
Nicole Foreman

Age: 17

Location: Dornoch, Highlands

Speciality: Short Stories

Why Short Stories: I would love to spend my time on the programme focused on developing my short story writing skills. I'm really inspired by classic gothic horror novellas and also more modern abstract stories. I feel that the form of a short story is highly unique in its ability to express important themes and build an atmosphere in such few pages. I am really excited to get the opportunity to improve my abilities in this area and can't wait to get started.

Why Nicole’s here: Living in the rural Highlands there is little opportunity to work with other young people in the creative industries which is something I feel is very important. Therefore, I decided to apply for What's Your Story? both because of my love for writing but also to be able to work with other young people with the same passion to encourage others to become involved in writing and illustrating. I feel that these are such a massive part of Scottish history and that it is vital that the arts are kept alive by the young people of Scotland.

 

Sara Oussaiden headshot
Sara Oussaiden

Age: 15

Location: Isle of Skye

Speciality: Illustration

Why Illustration: During my time on the programme I will hope to create a series of illustrations that showcases people, their emotions, and interactions with others and the world around them. Visual arts have always been important to me and I have been drawing and illustrating for years now - I am hoping to develop these skills further and hopefully build a career from it. The What’s Your Story programme seemed like the perfect opportunity to do this.

Why Sara’s here: I believe that today there aren’t enough opportunities in rural areas that encourage the growth of creativity in young people. When I was told about the What’s Your Story? programme I thought I should apply and see what happened. My goal is that by the end of the programme I would have not only developed my own skills for a career but I can encourage others that writing and illustrating is a massive part of Scottish culture that should be kept alive.

 

Skye Peng
Skye Ailun Peng

Age: 15       

Location: Glasgow

Speciality: Novels

Why Novels: While I’m on the What’s Your Story? programme I’d like to develop my writing skills and style too. I have always loved reading and admired authors who have written books that I have enjoyed, so I aspire to create things just like them. I read a lot of YA contemporary and fantasy novels so that’s what I’d like to create.

Why Skye’s here: I applied for the programme because I want to be able to develop my own ideas and writing style but also to share my ideas with other likeminded people and be able to talk with them about something I am very passionate about. I think this is a great opportunity for me to explore my creative side and to interact with people who love writing as much as I do.