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Julie's story

Julie Rea had almost given up on her dream of becoming a writer, until she applied for the Scottish Book Trust Next Chapter Award.

The Next Chapter Award supports emerging writers over 40, and provides new talent with the time and financial support to reach their full potential.

‘For the longest time, my writing was something I didn’t have the courage to share with anyone, choosing instead to hide my stories away in drawers. Turning 40 was a huge leveller; I realised it was scarier not to pursue my dream of becoming a writer, than it was to put my work out there to be read. A few weeks after my fortieth birthday, I came across the Scottish Book Trust website, and saw they were accepting applications for their Next Chapter Award. It felt like kismet - I fitted the profile perfectly.”

Julie received support and training in how to perform and promote her work and professional mentoring from writer Janice Galloway. She also attended a two-week writing retreat at Moniak Mhor, which gave her the time needed to work on her writing undisturbed.

Since taking part in the Next Chapter Award, Julie's writing has gone from strength to strength. She has been published in literary journals including New Writing Scotland, performed at several spoken work events and had a play performed at the Gilded Balloon Theatre.

“I knew this award would have an impact on my confidence and on my writing, but I wasn’t actually aware of just how life-changing this would be. I owe everything to Scottish Book Trust and because of them, my dream is now my reality.”