The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship: 2017 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 2017:

Liz Lochhead

Liz Lochhead Portrait

Lanarkshire-born Liz Lochhead has lived mostly in Glasgow since studying painting at Glasgow School of Art (1965-70). The first work to bring Lochhead to notice was Memo for Spring, published in 1972, at a time when the Scottish poetry scene was largely male-dominated. Subsequent poetry collections include Dreaming Frankenstein (1984), The Colour of Black & White (2003),  A Choosing, Selected Poems (2011) and Fugitive Colours (2016). In January 2011 she began her 5-year stint as the second Scottish Makar, or National Poet. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2016.

Lochhead is also well known as a playwright -- especially for Mary Queen of Scots Got her Head Chopped Off (1987), Perfect Days (1999), adaptations of Euripides's Medea (2000) and, from Moliere, Tartuffe (1985), Miseryguts (2002), and Educating Agnes (2008). Her original main-stage play, Thon Man Moliere (Royal Lyceum 2016), about her dramatist hero, was hailed as ‘a love letter to the Theatre’.

Liz says:

"I am beyond delight to have this chance, which I never would otherwise have had, to work solidly for a whole month in the very place where the real events occurred which inspired what'll be my very freely fictionalised dramatic version..."

About Liz's project:

My project is to work on a play based on the initial meeting at this very place, Grez Sur Loing, already an international artists' colony, of RLS and his unhappily married and older then he by more than a decade but distinctly young at heart, American future wife, Fanny Osbourne, an aspiring painter. Stevenson, escaping some trouble at home in unco-Calvinist Scotland, is there visiting his charismatic and very talented much-more-famous-than-he cousin, Bob, also a painter. Fanny vigorously sets her cap at Bob, who, unfortunately, has fallen, and hard, for Fanny's lovely eighteen-year-old daughter, Belle...

Liz Lochhead photo credit @ Alistair Cook


David Bishop

David Bishop Portrait

David Bishop is an award-winning screenwriter and author of twenty published novels. Born and raised in New Zealand, he gained a Masters in Screenwriting with Distinction from Edinburgh Napier University. His screenplay, Danny’s Toys, won a first prize at the Page International Awards in Los Angeles. He has also written plays for Radio 4 and episodes of the BBC TV drama Doctors, but prose fiction remains his first love. He teaches on the MA Creative Writing programme at Edinburgh Napier.

David says:

"I’m honoured - and, let’s not deny it, more than a little amazed - to receive a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. I have spent more than a decade researching a historical novel that refused to leave my imagination, but never been able to set aside the time for it. Being a RLS Fellow gives me a whole month to write and read and think about nothing else. It’s a gift beyond words, but one I plan to repay with as many words as possible."

About David’s project:

Set in late Renaissance Florence, Safer to be Feared is a novel about a captain working for the most powerful criminal court in the city, the Otto di Guardia e Balia. He enforces the laws of the Tuscan state but his sexuality makes him a criminal in the eyes of the law. Can he ensure justice is done while keeping his private self a secret? And who can he trust in Florence, the most Machiavellian of all cities?

David Bishop photo credit @ Chris Scott


Nalini Paul

Nalini Paul

Nalini Paul is a widely published poet based in Glasgow. Having grown up in Vancouver, Canada, memories of that vast landscape sometimes linger in the margins of her work. Born in India, she has no living memories of the place, but her childhood is tinged with notions of ‘otherness’ and an awareness of her origins being from ‘somewhere else’. She enjoys problematising these notions at every opportunity, and devoted years of her life to this pursuit in her PhD thesis on Jean Rhys (University of Glasgow, 2008).

Nalini worked as George Mackay Brown Writing Fellow in Orkney from 2009-10, where her love of the outdoors, natural landscapes and wildlife was indulged through writing, including collaborative workshops with the RSPB and archaeologists. She has worked across art forms, including visual art, film, music and dance. She received a Tom McGrath Award for her work in progress, Beyond the Mud Walls, which was showcased with Stellar Quines Theatre at the Traverse in 2016. She has had three pamphlets published, the first of which, Skirlags (Red Squirrel Press, 2009), was shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Award in 2010. Her latest pamphlet, The Raven’s Song (2015), explores raven and crow myths from Orkney, Shetland and Canada.  

Nalini says:

"I am thrilled to be chosen as one of the Robert Louis Stevenson fellows for 2017 and was utterly delighted when I received the phone call, one Friday evening. I was expecting a call from a local theatre about rearranged seating, so was a bit confused at first by the voice on the other end of the line. But once the news sank in, I felt a sense of relief, excitement, and validation: having a whole month to devote to one’s work, in a beautiful place and free of distractions, is a writer’s dream."

About Nalini's project:

I look forward to working on my first full collection of poetry, following the publication of three pamphlets and a host of collaborative work. I’m excited about weaving in elements of my life in India, Canada and Scotland via Indian poetical works dating back to about 2,500 years.

Nalini Paul photo credit @ James J Coleman


David Manderson

David Manderson Portrait

David was born in a village to the north of Glasgow. He went to university in St Andrews, then travelled for a couple of years before going back home. He has been writing since his teenage years but a busy life of teaching and lecturing has got in the way.

He ran a creative writing magazine between 1998-2000, a student film festival from 1992-2000 and in 2001 he won a Scottish Arts Council New Writer’s Bursary. He has since published one novel, some short stories and non-fiction. He also ran a spoken word event - the Reading Allowed nights at the Tchai Ovna cafe - for about ten years. Now, he spends a lot of time reading and giving feedback on people’s screenplays, short stories, poetry, essays, films, dissertations and novels.

David says:

“I’m honoured and delighted to be chosen for the Fellowship. It’s come at exactly the right time for me. It’s a brilliant opportunity to move on with my writing and great encouragement for the future.”

About David’s project:

The book he plans to work on in Grez-sur-Loing is his second novel. It’s been a long time coming. Recently he’s started writing a lot of different forms. He’s interested in poetry that crosses over with music and art and he now writes and performs drama too. He’s currently editing a volume of prisoners’ creative writing. He lives in a suburb with his wife and family.