Gaelic New Writers Awards 2018: Alistair Paul

Fiction

Thog mi ùidh ann an sgrìobhadh sa Ghàidhlig nuair a theann mi ri cur ri chèile cruinneachadh de dhualchas às Eilean Arainn o chionn grunn bhliadhnaichean. Ged a b' ann le beagan imcheist a thòisich mi air a' ghnìomh, an ceann greis fhuair mi a-mach gun robh e a' còrdadh rium gu mòr. B' e an rud a b' annsa leam mu dheidhinn a bhith an sàs ann an seann sgeulachdan, òrain is bàrdachd a thug orm eòlas a chur air a' bheartas cànain is mic‑mheanmna a bha aig na daoine cumanta. Bha e mar urram dhomh a bhith a' conaltradh le na ginealaich a dh'fhalbh tron obair a dh'fhàg iad às an dèidh.

Nuair a thàinig am pròiseact gu crìch bha e air fàs gu bhith mar chleachdadh dhomh a bhith a' sgrìobhadh sa Gàidhlig is lean mi orm. O chionn trì bliadhna, thòisich mi air stuth a chur a-steach dhan iris air‑loidhne, Dàna, is bhon uair sin tha mi air grunn diofar phìosan a chur rithe, a' toirt a‑steach sgeulachdan goirid, bàrdachd, lèirmheasan is pìosan neo-fhicseanail air diofar chuspairean.

Tha sgrìobhadh a‑nis na phàirt cudromach de mo bheatha a nì mi gu cunbhalach.

--

I first became interested in writing in Gaelic while I was working on a book on the heritage of the Isle of Arran a few years ago. Although I began the task hesitantly, after a time I discovered that I thoroughly enjoyed delving into old stories, songs and poetry that revealed to me a wealth of language and imagination. It was an honour to converse with past generations through the work they left behind.

When the project came to an end, writing in Gaelic had become a habit for me and I continued with it. Three years ago I began submitting work to the online magazine, Dàna, and I have had a number of pieces published: short stories, poetry, reviews and various articles.

Writing is now an important part of my life that I will continue with regularly.

 

Writing sample

Sin geamhradh eile san àit' a tha air a dhol seachad, cha mhòr. An e seo an seachdamh no an ochdamh bliadhna? Duilich a bhith cinnteach. Bha iad uile air an leaghadh am measg a chèile nam cheann. Beatha air an iomall, is mi nam aonar a-nis bho dh'fhàg càch. Bha gu leòr ùine ann airson meòrachadh rè a' gheamhraidh, cus. Tron dubh-choimeasg a bha gam bhogadh, bha boillsgeadh air tighinn thugam am bliadhna sa. Bha e soilleir dhomh a‑nis carson a thàinig mi an seo sa chiad dol-a-mach. Mar a bha fios agam ron a seo, b' e teicheadh pàirt dhen adhbhar; teicheadh bhon dibhe is na drogaichean a rinn lèirsgrios air mo bheatha. Agus faochadh, chan ann dhòmhsa ach dhan fheadhainn a bha dlùth orm is a dh'fhàg mi air mo chùl. Bhiodh iad gam ionndrainn, gu ìre, aig an toiseach, agus bhiodh fearg is tàmailt ann an cois an ionndrainn gun teagamh. Ach gheibheadh iad seachad air is bhiodh iad nas fheàrr dheth ri linn. Ach b' e an adhbhar fìor, peanasachadh, fèin-pheanasachadh.

Agus b' ann am pailteas a fhuair mi sin. Le mìos no dhà a bharrachd de chnuasachadh thàinig e thugam gun robh sin na adhbhar fèineil agus b' e seo a' chiad gheamhradh a bha mi air fàs teagmhach mun chùis. Chan ann air sgàth nach robh mi a' faighinn na bha mi ag iarraidh, ach air sgàth gun robh mi ga fhaighinn.

 

Alistair says:

"Nuair a fhuair mi an naidheachd gun deach an duais a bhuileachadh orm ron Nollaig, b' i am preusant a b' fheàrr a fhuair mi am-bliadhna. Tha mi a' dèanamh fiughair ris a h-uile cothrom a thig na cois sa bhliadhna a tha ri thighinn."

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"When I heard just before Christmas that I had received this award, it was the best present I got this year. I am looking forward to every opportunity that comes with it in the year ahead."