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Press release: Scottish Book Trust asks the public to share their stories of hope

Scottish Book Trust is calling for members of the public to submit a real-life story based on the theme of hope, as part of their annual non-fiction writing opportunity that supports and encourages people from across Scotland to use their creativity to share their own experience.

Scotland’s Stories, hosted by Scotland’s national book charity, is now in its sixteenth year. It gives anyone, regular writers and those telling their story for the first time, the chance to have their non-fiction pieces published online. Some will also be selected to appear in a free book, to be distributed during Book Week Scotland (19 to 24 November 2024), Scotland's national celebration of books and reading.

This year’s theme of hope ties in with studies that show that creative writing can support mental health and wellbeing, increase happiness, and can even delay or reduce symptoms of dementia.

Alongside appealing for stories to be submitted from the public, Scottish Book Trust has commissioned pieces from Scotland’s Scriever Susi Briggs, Ever Dundas and Alycia Pirmohamed, who will also be taking part in workshops.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: ‘Scotland’s Stories is one of the highlights of Scottish Book Trust's work, giving a platform to people all over Scotland, no matter their experience as writers.

‘It's a privilege to collect and share these stories from Scotland’s unique and varied voices on the theme of hope, and we'd love to see as many people as possible enjoy the positive benefits of writing for pleasure.'


Notes to editors

About Scotland’s Stories

The opportunity is open to everyone in Scotland, whether they write regularly or haven't penned anything since school. These real-life stories can be about little everyday moments of hope or life-changing experiences. Submissions of up to 1,000 words can be made in English, Scots or Gaelic in any form, such as a written story, poem, comic strip, play or letter. Audio and video formats are also welcomed.

Stories should be submitted by 7 June 2024 via scottishbooktrust.com/about-scotlands-stories or by post to: Scotland's Stories, Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, Trunk's Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR.

Commissioned author profiles

Scotland’s Scriever Susi Briggs

Susi Briggs is an author, storyteller and musician who writes in Scots, and who lives in Dumfries and Galloway. She co-hosts the original story and sang show Oor Wee Podcast with Alan McClure, and is the founder of Music Matters which provides interactive and intergenerational music sessions for people in care homes.

Susi regularly facilitates workshops for people of all ages and abilities in music and writing, and was named Scotland’s Scriever in November 2023, and has taken up a year-long residency with National Library Scotland.

Ever Dundas

Ever Dundas is a queer disabled writer living in Edinburgh who specialises in literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She gained a Creative Writing Masters with Distinction from Edinburgh Napier University in 2011, and she has a First Class Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Queen Margaret University.

She has ME and fibromyalgia, and disability features in her work, including as a major theme in her second novel HellSans, a sci-fi thriller which received Open Funding Award from Creative Scotland.

Alycia Pirmohamed

Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet based in Scotland. She is the author of the poetry collection Another Way to Split Water. In 2023, she won the Nan Shepherd Prize for her nonfiction debut A Beautiful and Vital Place, published by Canongate.

Alycia is the co-founder of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network, a co-organiser of the Ledbury Poetry Critics Program, and she currently teaches on the Creative Writing master’s programme at the University of Cambridge. She is the recipient of several awards, including the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and the 2020 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award.

Please direct all media requests to Caroline Young, Marketing and PR Manager at Scottish Book Trust at caroline.young@scottishbooktrust.com(this link will open in a new window) or on 07846 195 905.

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children’s learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health and wellbeing. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.

Our programmes and outreach work 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.

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