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Press release: Ignite Fellowship awardees announced

Published December 2019

Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has today announced the second Ignite Fellowship awardees. The Fellowship supports established writers who are embarking on a significant project. Artist and writer Anoushka Havinden and poet Colin McGuire were selected by a panel including representatives from Scottish Book Trust and a professional writer. Actor and writer Catriona Lexy Campbell has been selected as the Gaelic Ignite Fellowship awardee, funded by the Gaelic Books Council.

Colin McGuire is an award-winning poet and writer from Glasgow and is now based in Edinburgh. His most recent collection of poetry 'Enhanced fool disclosure' was published by Speculative Books in 2018. He is also currently studying for an MSc in Mindfulness Studies and will be running a Mindful Writing course at the Scottish Poetry Library in early 2020.

Colin's long-form spoken-word piece 'The Wake-Up Call' has been performed at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Lyceum Theatre, Hidden Door Festival and at the Edinburgh Fringe. His poem 'The Glasgae Boys' won the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry and the Film Poetry Award in 2018. For his Ignite Fellowship project, Colin will draw on his work as both a poet and a mindfulness teacher, to explore wellbeing and mindfulness to record the process of loss and grief after the death of his brother. He will research themes of mortality, loss and family legacy while delving into the affirmation of life through the use of mindfulness and expressive writing.

Writer and visual artist A. M. Havinden's poems have won competitions including the James Kirkup Prize, the William Souter Prize and the Nairn Book & Arts Festival Writing Prize. Anoushka, who is based in Argyll, undertook a residency at Cove Park in 2018 which prompted a shift in her work to consider ways of bringing her visual artwork and poetry together. Anoushka plans to use the Ignite Fellowship to work on a poetry collection exploring the watery history, geography and life of the West of Scotland. She will draw on her experiences of living there, and is particularly interested in the voices of women, myths and the natural world.

Catriona Lexy Campbell has worked as a theatre artist, actor and writer for many years, primarily in her native Gaelic. She has published numerous works over the years, including two novels for adults, two novels for Gaelic learners, a novel and book of short stories for children, a trilogy of novels for young adults and three plays. Catriona's plays have toured widely, and she has produced radio plays and short films that have been broadcast on BBC Alba. Her next book for children, Òran mo Sheanair (My Grandfather’s Song), will be published in 2020.

During her Ignite Fellowship, Catriona will be working on a screen adaption of her father, Tormod Caimbeul’s debut novel, Deireadh an Fhoghair (The End of Autumn). Published in 1979, Deireadh an Fhoghair, widely regarded as a classic in Gaelic literature, tells the story of the last inhabitants of a community on a Hebridean island as they prepare to face the winter.

The Ignite Fellows will receive a £2000 bursary and tailored creative support to suit their individual projects. The fellowship will run for one year, from December 2019 to December 2020. The inaugural Ignite Fellows have used the award to focus on diverse projects. Annie George is currently developing a treatment for a screenplay with her mentor Producer Alby James. Marjorie Lotfi Gill is working on a first draft of her project exploring the process of assimilation into a new culture. Gaelic Fellow Ruairidh Maclean has been working with mentor George MacPherson to reinterpret a body of traditional Gaelic legends.

Colin McGuire said:

“I’m enthralled to be awarded the Ignite Fellowship. I'm so happy I took the leap and applied. I really believed in my proposal and I am so glad that it was believed in by Scottish Book Trust too. Great encouragement!’

A.M. Havinden said:

“I’m honoured and delighted! I hope very much that the work will live up to the faith shown in the project by Scottish Book Trust. I hope to use the opportunity to help seek out and amplify some of the wonderful stories of this part of the world, and to produce a strong, evocative collection."

Catriona Lexy Campbell said:

"I am so delighted to be a recipient of the Ignite Fellowship. This incredible support from Scottish Book Trust will enable me to develop my skills as a writer while working on a project that is very close my heart. I can’t wait to get started!"

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Scottish Book Trust was delighted with the high standard of applications for the second Ignite Fellowship. We are sure our awardees will benefit from the tailored advice and support, and all of us look forward to hear more about Colin, Anoushka and Catriona Lexy’s fascinating projects.”

Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries, please contact PR and Marketing Manager Keara Donnachie: keara.donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) or 0131 524 0184.

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:

In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.

Creative Scotland

Scottish Book Trust is supported by Creative Scotland through Regular Funding. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com(this will open in a new window), or follow Creative Scotland Twitter(this will open in a new window) or Creative Scotland Facebook(this will open in a new window).

The Gaelic Books Council

The Gaelic Books Council is the lead organisation with responsibility for supporting Scottish Gaelic authors and publishers, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic books in Scotland and internationally. Find out more on the Gaelic Books Council website(this will open in a new window) or visit Gaelic Books Council Twitter(this will open in a new window) or Gaelic Books Council Facebook(this will open in a new window).