Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has today announced the six teenage writers and illustrators who have been recruited to steer the nationwide What’s Your Story? programme, aimed at helping to increase opportunities for young people to access and contribute to literary culture across Scotland.
The group are representative of the diversity of the Scottish literary scene, and include: a playwright, a poet, an illustrator, two novelists and a writer of personal stories. The teens are aged from 14 to 17 years old.
This team of young writers and illustrators, known as StoryBoard, have been responsible for planning and hosting StoryCon 2020. The event is Scotland’s biggest creative writing and illustration conference for young people. This year it will be hosted online, through Zoom workshops and how-to videos. Bestselling author Juno Dawson, comic artistic Frank Quitely and award-winning writer and journalist Patrice Lawrence are among the line-up.
StoryCon will run from Thursday 18 June to Friday 19 June, and young people can sign up for free registrations on EventBrite. Gaelic content will also be available, supported by the Gaelic Books Council. Poet and author Morag Ann MacNeil and author Tim Armstrong will offer tips on comedy writing and sci-fi.
Young people across Scotland will also be encouraged to submit a story around the idea of ‘see you in ten years’. A selection of the work will be published and put in a time capsule, which will be re-opened in a decade’s time. More information can be found at the What’s Your Story?(this will open in a new window) website.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:
“This is the fifth year of the What’s Your Story? programme, which nurtures new and upcoming talent in the Scottish literary scene. We are grateful to our funders for making this programme possible, and also to our mentors for providing life-changing support and advice to the young people. Although it is disappointing we cannot hold StoryCon in person, we have a fantastic line-up planned, which will support young people currently learning at home.”
Niamh Weir, StoryBoard member, said:
"I applied to What's Your Story? to challenge myself to explore and develop my abilities as a writer. I hope to build my confidence and have the best time working with inspirational mentors and like-minded teens. I am so excited to be on the StoryBoard and to be involved in this amazing, creative community."
The What’s Your Story? participants have been involved in creative development: benefitting from an induction programme with the National Library of Scotland, professional mentoring in their chosen forms and genres, and a week-long retreat at Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s creative writing centre, where they had dedicated time with their mentors.
The programme will culminate with a showcase, presenting the work the young people have created throughout the year. Industry experts will train the teens to perform their work live, against a background of visuals and music.
What’s Your Story? is free to take part in and travel expenses will be covered for all participants. The programme is funded by Badenoch & Co., Kiran’s Trust and private individuals.
The full list of the What’s Your Story? participants is as follows:
- Courtney Loch from Springburn, Glasgow: Illustrator.
- Mentor – artist and illustrator Adrianna ‘Ver’ Wierucka
- Iona Morrison from Largs, North Ayrshire: Playwright.
- Mentor – playwright Lewis Hetherington
- Rebecca Capaldi from Burntisland, Fife: Personal stories and short story writer.
- Mentor – author Catherine Simpson
- Juan Ipince from Newmilns, East Ayrshire: Poet and short story writer.
- Mentor – author Martin Stewart
- Seyedeh Paniz Nazari from Nitshill, Glasgow: Young Adult fiction.
- Mentor – author Julie Bertagna
- Niamh Weir from Clifton, Edinburgh: short story writer.
- Mentor – author Julie Bertagna
Six teens in total were selected by a judging team, which included representatives from Creative Scotland, the National Youth Arts Advisory Group, the Super Power Agency and Scottish Book Trust. Participants were selected on the enthusiasm and dedication they expressed for teenage participation in creative and literary culture.
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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:
- Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
- Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
- Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
- Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.
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 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.
The Badenoch Trust
The Badenoch Trust has made grants to a wide-range of UK organisations since its inception. It is a long-standing supporter of the arts, community, education and sports, and seeks to raise the aspirations and improve the life chances of young people.
Kiran’s Trust was founded in 2009, in memory of Kiran and celebrating the creative arts and sports, which she held dear. The Trust recognises this passion in other young people and provides support to help them advance in further education and participation in these areas.
Kiran’s Trust provides support to young people through schools and organisations to learn different types of art. Some of this support is in creative art, specifically to introduce ideas, techniques, skills and media which helps students to visually express themselves. Other support is in performance arts, providing opportunities for writing, music, drama and dance participation.
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.