The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship: 2018 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 2018:
"I’m completely blown away to receive the RLS Fellowship. Robert Louis Stevenson was my first literary crush as a young man, and I’m so excited to be able to travel to an area I have spent so much time imagining."
I’ll be working on my new novel, Monument Maker, a love story and a meditation on art and spirituality set in Central France amongst the great cathedrals, monasteries and chateaux.
Jenni Fagan is a novelist, poet and screenwriter. Her debut novel, The Panopticon, received worldwide critical acclaim and saw her as the only Scottish writer on the Granta Best of Young British Novelists 2013 (a once-in-a-decade accolade).
Her second novel, The Sunlight Pilgrims, went on to see her selected as Scottish Author of the Year 2016 by the Sunday Herald Culture Awards. Poetry from her collection, The Dead Queen of Bohemia (New & Collected Poems), was included in Scottish Poetry Library’s poems of the year. She also won 3AM Poetry Book of the Year for Urchin Belle.
Jenni completed the screenplay for The Panopticon, which is in development with Sixteen Films. She wrote and directed her first short film last year, based around a poem called Edinburgh District Asylum. She has been on lists for the Dublin Impact Award, Sunday Times Short Story Prize, BBC Short Story Award, Desmond Elliott, Pushcart and James Tait Black. Her work is translated into seven languages.
“I am hugely grateful for the opportunity to take a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship. It is one I have dreamt of for years and I feel lucky to have this chance at a time where I really will benefit from the support put in place by Scottish Book Trust. I look forward to immersing myself in daily life at Hotel Chevillon and exploring the area so dear to Robert Louis Stevenson, all those years ago.”
After many years of deliberation, Jenni has decided to write her memoir, stating that the retreat provided by the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship will give her the ideal space and time to take on such a personally challenging book.
Originally from Fraserburgh, Shane Strachan has lived in Aberdeen for over a decade. Much of his work is inspired by the Northeast of Scotland and its relationship with the wider world; it often features an accessible use of Northeast Scots (Doric). His short stories have appeared in New Writing Scotland, Gutter, Northwords Now, The Interpreter’s House, Stand and many other national publications. He has also had theatre work staged with the National Theatre of Scotland and Paines Plough.
He completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen in 2014 focused on cultural loss and change in the Northeast’s fishing communities. The thesis went on to be shortlisted for a Saltire Literary Award in 2015. He has previously worked on creative projects in Scotland, Germany and Zimbabwe. In 2018 he is a mentor for Queer Words Project Scotland and he has also received a Muriel Spark 100 funding award to create new short stories inspired by Spark’s time in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Find out more at www.shanestrachan.com
"It’s something of a dream come true to have been offered an RLS Fellowship, especially at this pivotal time in my career when I needed this support (and confidence boost!) to transition from writing short to long-form fiction. To have been granted devoted time to work on a project that I am highly passionate about really is a gift and I can’t wait to head to Grez-sur-Loing and get writing."
My project is a novelisation of the life of Bill Gibb, a farm boy from Aberdeenshire who went on to take the fashion world by storm in the 1970s with fantasy dresses worn by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger and Twiggy. A true creative genius, Gibb struggled to make his lavish designs financially viable and underwent several rises and falls before his untimely death in 1988. In common with his fashions, this novelisation of Gibb’s life will seek to add a touch of fantasy and escapism in its representation of an undersung Scottish hero.
Theresa Muñoz was born in Vancouver, Canada and now lives in Edinburgh. She is currently Research Associate at the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts at Newcastle University, where she helps coordinate the Newcastle Poetry Festival. As Overseas Research Scholar at the University of Glasgow, she received a PhD in Scottish Literature. Her debut book of poems, Settle, (Vagabond Voices, 2016) was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize. She has published in several journals in the UK and Canada, including Canadian Literature, Wild Court, Poetry Review and Best Scottish Poems. In 2018 she was a recipient of a Muriel Spark Centenary Award for her poetry.
“I was so excited and filled with gratitude when I got the call about the Fellowship, which was completely unexpected. This is a fantastic opportunity to work on a sequence of villanelles that will have a significant place in my next poetry collection. This is my first writing residency and I can’t wait to get going. Thank you to Scottish Book Trust and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship for making a major difference to my writing life!”
I plan to work on a sequence of villanelles which span the themes of race, gender, relationships and loss. Most of the poems are set against a Scottish backdrop. Though the villanelle is not a widely used form, there have been other recent revivals of traditional poetic forms. I have studied well known villanelles by Elizabeth Bishop, Dylan Thomas, Seamus Heaney, and Sylvia Plath and have been attempting to contemporise and personalise the content. I have written a few villanelles so far and I would like to complete a sequence of around twenty or so. The RLS Fellowship is an excellent opportunity to complete this project.