New Writers Awards 2017: Anna Stewart


Anna's stories have been published in Riptide Journal, New Writing Dundee, and Gutter: The Magazine of New Scottish Writing. In 2015 her story, ‘A Composed Man’ was shortlisted for Bloody Scotland's Short Story Competition, and she won 'The Dragons’ Pen' at Edinburgh International Book Festival back in 2010. Her play 'Nan' was part of 'Reclaim The F Word' at the Tron Theatre in 2013, and 'Point Blank Hotel' performed at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington in 2008.

Anna has also performed in Saabruken, Germany and The Act Festival in Bilbao with her devised sci-fi solo performance 'Contact'. In 2013 she was invited to take part in The National Theatre of Scotland's development week at Cove Park where she spent time working on her play, 'Story of The Deer'. She gained an MLitt in Creative Writing with Distinction from The University of St. Andrews in 2010, and a BA (hons) degree in Theatre from Dartington College of Arts in 2004.

Anna works as a Library and Information Assistant, while raising her two year old son.

Writing sample

The Wicker Man’s a detective film fir fowk wha love nature. Maiste people in the 70s liked things tae be natural, and it wis easier tae dae these organic films then. It’s set in the Highlands o Scotland and a’body’s against this policeman coz he’s a virgin and savin himsel fir when he gits married. Anyhow it’s pretty hard fir him tae keep that up coz this Swedish lassie’s gein it aw they come-tae-bed eyes and waving her bits aboot, singing this mental sang whar she bangs on the wa’s and wakes a’body up. The end o The Wicker Man’s pretty brutal; the hail o the Highlands gang up on the policeman and put him in a cage made o twigs shaped like The Angel O The North wi chickens and lambs and that. Then they set it on fire. It’s a pure shame, but the locals dinnae like him coz o his religion, they cannie understand him coz he has faith in something yi cannie hud onto or do, like god, something yi like loads in yir heid, that’s no really there. Whereas they like leaves and trees, and stuff that’s real. What I never understood wis how nane o the twigs burnt a hole fir the policeman tae get oot. That wouldo been a much happier ending, then he couldo run awa and married his lass on the mainland and we couldo seen him dead happy finally bein able tae hae sex in the eyes o the lord.

Anna says:

"I’m so grateful to The Scottish Book Trust, not only for this award but for all the valuable work that they do. Working in a library, I see first-hand the impact that the Scottish Book Trust is having on a new generation of readers, and writers. Knowing how important their work and their resources are, I’m mindful that the gift of a New Writers Award should be used wisely. This year I will work to better my craft, consider process, share ideas, listen, read and write, write, write. Thank you Scottish Book Trust, for everything you do."