What's Your Story? 2017 Mentors
As part of their exploration of literary culture, our seven teenage participants were invited to select a form and genre of writing or illustration that they wanted to learn about personally. Nothing was off-limits, but they had to be interested in the creative form they chose, willing to learn more, and ready to create their own work. What’s Your Story? then approached five professionals working in the areas that they wished to explore and established six-month mentoring partnerships for each young writer/illustrator.
The What’s Your Story? mentors will be working individually with each of their mentees to develop their skills and creative practice in their chosen speciality, and to increase their understanding of the professional and creative landscape in which this work happens. With their mentor’s guidance, each teen participant will produce their own completed piece of creative work which will be showcased at in Autumn 2017 in a bespoke event with the help of the National Library of Scotland and Neu! Reekie!
Julie Bertagna is a multi award winning writer for Children and Young Adults. A former journalist and teacher, prizes include a Scottish Children’s Book Award and shortlists for the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year, Blue Peter Award, Book Trust Teenage Prize, Green awards and many regional prizes. Exodus (‘a book you will remember for the rest of your life’ - Guardian) has been published and translated in over 20 countries and is re-launching as a Modern Classic.
The Ice Cream Machine was adapted for children’s television. Julie’s short stories have been featured in a variety of anthologies and broadcast on the BBC. She wrote the graphic novel on pioneer environmentalist John Muir: Earth-Planet, Universe for Scottish Book Trust and greatly enjoys working creatively with young people in schools.
Kate Leiper is an artist and illustrator based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was brought up on the north east coast of Scotland and studied printmaking at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen. While a student she became fascinated in exploring how narrative, character and emotion can be visually represented, which eventually led her to illustration.
Her art and illustration work has been exhibited widely. She has most recently illustrated The Book of the Howlat, written by James Robertson and published in 2016 by B C Books (Birlinn Ltd). Other illustration work includes An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Mythological Creatures, written by Theresa Breslin and published by Floris in 2015, following on from the success of An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales, published in 2012. For this project she was longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award in 2013.
Marc has written for the stage and is the author of two published novels, with a third currently in the works, however much of his 18-year career as writer has been in film and television. He has adapted three novels for the screen, and has written over 100 hours of broadcast television for programmes such as EastEnders, Hollyoaks, River City and Waterloo Road. He has also written two feature films. As part of the team on The Street, his writing has been recognized with BAFTA, RTS and International Emmy awards.
Marc works with writers of all ages to help them adapt their ideas for the screen and has previously been a tutor for the Bellshill Learning Academy Lensheads. Scripts created by the young writers Marc has tutored have gone on to be filmed and to win festival prizes. He is particularly interested in teaching the visual aspect of storytelling and how prose, especially short stories, can be adapted for the stage and screen.
Catriona Lexy Campbell
Catriona Lexy Campbell is from the Isle of Lewis but spent much of her life in Plockton, Lochalsh. She has worked as a theatre artist, actor and writer for over twelve years, primarily in her native Gaelic. She was the first Gaelic Associate Artist with the National Theatre of Scotland in 2011. She has five published novels and her radio play, based on her book Samhraidhean Dìomhair, was broadcast on the BBC in 2012.
She is Creative Learning Manager with Theatre Gu Leòr and her first play, Doras Dùinte, was produced by Theatre Gu Leòr and toured in 2014. She has recently completed her trilogy for young adults, An t-Ionnsachadh Bòidheach (Acair) and her stage adaptation of her father, Tormod Caimbeul’s novel, Shrapnel, was produced by Theatre Gu Leòr and toured in March 2016. She sits on the council of the Scottish Society of Playwrights and works as a mentor for young people with the Scottish Book Trust and with voluntary organisation, MCR Pathways.
William Letford’s first collection, Bevel, was published by Carcanet Press in 2012. His poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies including The List, Poetry Scotland and New Poetries V (Carcanet, 2011). His poem, ‘This is it’, was selected for Best Scottish Poems 2016. His second collection, Dirt, was published by Carcanet Press in 2016. He is currently working on a collection of short fiction.
William lives in Stirling, but his writing has taken him around the world. From India with Commonwealth Poets United in 2014, to Iraq with Reel Festivals in 2011, and, after being awarded an Edwin Morgan Travel Bursary, to northern Italy in 2008, where he helped to restore a medieval village. He has performed his work extensively, in venues including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Rally and Broad, Neu!Reekie! and many others. He has an M.Litt in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow and he was a recipient of a New Writers Award from Scottish Book Trust in 2008.