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Recognising the achievements of talented professional authors, the Ignite Fellowship offers tailored practical and financial support for exploring new avenues or making new breakthroughs. Meet our 2020 Fellows A.M. Havinden, Colin McGuire and our Gaelic Fellow Catriona Lexy Campbell.
A writer and visual artist, A. M. Haviden has lived in Scotland since the age of three. She grew up in the North East, studied drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art, and has continued to produce both visual art and writing; publishing fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Her recent writing has focused on poetry, and her booklet ‘Meeting the Buddha In Dumbarton’ was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2014. Her poems have won the James Kirkup Prize, the William Soutar Prize and the Nairn Books & Arts Festival Writing Prize.
In 2018, a Cove Park residency prompted A.M. to consider ways of bringing visual artwork and poetry together.
A.M. lives in Argyll with her partner and two children.
A.M. is working on a poetry collection titled ‘The Water Cure’, exploring the watery history, geography and life of the area where she lives – the rivers, lochs and ‘Inner Seas’ of the West Coast of Scotland. She is especially interested in the voices of women, myths and the natural world. She plans to further develop the structure and shape of the collection, as well as giving attention to the fine detail, editing and production. This will include some further research, and seeking feedback to focus and strengthen the poems.
"I’m honoured and delighted! I hope very much that the work will live up to the faith shown in the project by the 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 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. She was the first Gaelic Associate Artist with the National Theatre of Scotland in 2011 and her first radio play for the BBC, based on her novel Samhraidhean Dìomhair, was broadcast in December 2012.
Catriona was Writer in Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in 2013. Her first play, Doras Dùinte, was produced by Theatre Gu Leòr and toured in 2014, followed by a stage adaptation of her father, Tormod Caimbeul’s novel, Shrapnel, which toured Scotland in March 2016. Other theatrical works include Às an Dorchadas (Glasgow Life, 2015) and Cèilidh (Theatre Gu Leòr, 2018). Her first short film, Na Saboteurs – which she wrote and directed – was produced by The Woven Thread and the European Broadcast Union, and broadcast on New Year’s Eve on BBC ALBA. Her next book for children, Òran mo Sheanair (My Grandfather’s Song), will be published in 2020.
Catriona is very excited to be working on a screen adaptation of her father, Tormod Caimbeul’s debut novel, Deireadh an Fhoghair (The End of Autumn). Published in 1979, Deireadh an Fhoghair tells the story of the last inhabitants of a community on a Hebridean island as they prepare to face the winter. Told over a day and a night, the story offers a unique insight into a world that has now vanished; capturing it’s simplicity and richness of spirit with great humour and poignancy. It will be a challenge and joy to bring his work to life in a new medium.
"I am so delighted to be a recipient of the Ignite Fellowship. This incredible support from the 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!"
Colin McGuire is a poet and writer from Glasgow, who lives in Edinburgh, who continues to develop a reputation as a dynamic, engaging performer and actor. He is also an ESOL teacher and a qualified mindfulness meditation teacher. His most recent collection of poetry 'Enhanced fool disclosure' was published by Speculative Books in 2018. He won the Out: Spoken award for the 'film poetry' category and best poetry overall in London in 2018 for his poem ‘The Glasgae Boys’.
His long-form spoken-word theatre performance 'The Wake-up Call' has been performed at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Lyceum (through Flint & Pitch) and at the Hidden Door festival in Edinburgh 2018. He had his first three-day run of the show at the Roxy Theatre as part of the Assembly Festival in 2019. He is currently studying an M.Sc. Studies in Mindfulness at University and designing and running a Mindful Writing course which combines mindfulness and expressive writing practices, which is set to be run at the Scottish Poetry Library in February 2020.
Colin's project will explore the converging themes of grief, mindfulness and well-being and working with sudden loss, while discovering creatively what it means to be mortal and continue to affirm life.
The Fellowship will support a poetic and prose enquiry exploring mindfulness and well-being in the face of human fragility.
"I am enthralled! 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 the Scottish Book Trust too. Great encouragement!"
A.M. Havinden photo credit A Sobiegraj
Colin McGuire photo credit Aimee Skelton