The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship: 2016 Fellows
Supported by Creative Scotland, we’re delighted to offer places for four published writers on the programme. Each writer will enjoy a month long residency at the Hôtel Chevillon International Arts Centre at Grez-sur-Loing in France.
The Fellowship gives writers the time to concentrate on and develop their work in an inspiring environment. The residency also allows writers to spend time with other artists and absorb fresh cultural experiences. Click here to learn more about the Fellowship.
We're delighted to announce that the following writers will receive a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2016:
Lucy Ribchester was born in Edinburgh. She studied English at the University of St Andrews, graduating with First-class Honours, and went on to gain a Masters in Shakespearean Studies from King’s College London. In 2013 she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and in 2015 was shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award. Her two novels, The Hourglass Factory and The Amber Shadows are published by Simon & Schuster.
"Being awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship has come at a hugely important time for me, as I embark on my new novel, and I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Book Trust and Creative Scotland. I’m planning to use my time at Hotel Chevillon to research without distraction, and to begin to shape my first draft. I believe the peace and solitude will be invaluable for immersing myself in the world of the story and setting me on the right track to creating the book. Stevenson’s adventure tales, gothic fantasies and the strong sense of place he creates have all been guiding inspirations for my own work, so to be awarded a fellowship in his name means an enormous amount.
I’ll be working on my third novel, set in a different historical period to the previous two. I have a whole heap of new ideas to explore in the world of this book, though I also want to continue the themes of adventure and the ways in which women set themselves free."
Stewart Sanderson (b. 1990) is a Glasgow-based poet. In 2014 he was shortlisted for the inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. In 2015 he received an Eric Gregory Award. His first pamphlet of poems, Fios, is published by Tapsalteerie. His work has appeared in many prominent UK and Irish magazines, notably The Dark Horse, Gutter, Irish Pages, Magma, Poetry Review and Poetry Wales.
"I’m thrilled and deeply honoured to receive one of the 2016 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowships. It feels like a wonderful validation, especially as I start to move tentatively towards a first full-length collection of poems in the wake of my debut pamphlet, Fios, published late last year. As all writers know, it’s not always easy to juggle the various demands which life and art place on us. I’m really looking forward to spending a month in France and being able to focus solely on my creative work.
Following the publication of my debut pamphlet of poems last September, I’m currently working towards a first full-length collection of poetry."
Rachel McCrum has worked as a poet, performer and promoter in Edinburgh since 2012, arriving via Manchester, Belfast, New Zealand, Oxford and a small seaside town in Northern Ireland. She is Broad of Rally & Broad, winner of the 2012 Callum Mcdonald Award (for her first pamphlet 'The Glassblower Dances') and the inaugural BBC Scotland Poet in Residence in 2015. She has performed and taught poetry in Greece, South Africa, Haiti, Montreal and around the UK. Her second pamphlet 'Do Not Alight Here Again' was published in March 2015 by Stewed Rhubarb Press, and in August 2015, she wrote and performed her first solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe, as part of new spoken word collective SHIFT/. In 2016, she is CoastWord Writer In Residence, exploring ideas of freeing the voice, feminism and performance, in Dunbar, another small seaside town.
"I'm head over the moon at the prospect of the residency. I received the phone call from the Trust very early one Tuesday morning (I had texted back an unknown missed call from the day before at about 7am) and had a slightly confused and very quickly delighted conversation, before falling asleep again. If I hadn't texted my parents at the time, I might have thought it was all a dream. The thought of a solid month's time and space to work, particularly at this point when I'm hoping to pull the manuscript together and to do some concentrated work on performance practice...it's both luxury and necessity. I'm very thankful. In addition, there are some of my favourite and most fine ghosts in the place in the form of past RLS residents from Scotland, so I'm heartened by that. And I hear the ducks are marvellous.
During the residency I will be working on my first collection proper of poetry, but also to work out how to creatively perform and present it as it evolves, and to allow that work to interact with the writing and editing of the collection. The prospect of a quiet and private space to explore this in for a month is just wonderful."
Claire Prentice is an Edinburgh-based journalist and writer. Her first book, The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century, was shortlisted for the inaugural Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize and reviewed in the New Yorker. She has contributed to the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the BBC, the Financial Times, the Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Smithsonian magazine and the Huffington Post. As US Correspondent for the Sunday Herald and later for Scotland and Sunday she reported on three American presidential elections (2004, 2008, 2012). She has reported on a wide variety of stories — news, politics, human interest, culture and arts — from Madrid, Tokyo, Washington DC, New York and the Antarctic. She has also edited The List, the Scottish arts and culture magazine and website.
"I’m delighted and honoured to receive a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. It means a great deal to have the support of Scottish Book Trust, and to have a month to devote exclusively to my new book will make a huge difference.”