Recognising the achievements of talented professional authors, the Ignite Fellowship offers practical and financial support for exploring new avenues or making new breakthroughs. Meet our 2022 Fellows, Meghan Flaherty, Michael Lee Richardson and our Gaelic Fellow Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir / Martin MacIntyre below, or find out more about our previous Ignite Fellows.
Meghan Flaherty is the author of Tango Lessons (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018), which Kirkus Reviews called 'a vibrantly intelligent reading pleasure.' She has an M.F.A. from Columbia University in literary nonfiction.
Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Iowa Review, Psychology Today, Parents, and online at The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.
She moved to Scotland in September 2020 with her Glaswegian husband and two small boys.
Meghan will be working on her second book, a memoir about motherhood, memory, and the self – the stories we tell each other in order to live and how those narratives define us.
'I'm deeply honoured and delighted to be given the extra boost. With two small boys at home, my work is often first to slip from focus. Scottish Book Trust just gave me the support to change that, at least for this year!'
Michael Lee Richardson
Michael Lee Richardson is a writer and youth worker based in Glasgow. Michael's short film, My Loneliness is Killing Me – directed by Tim Courtney – won a BAFTA Scotland Award in 2018. It has been shown on BBC Scotland and at film festivals around the world. Michael's new short, Who I Am Now – directed by Jack Goessens – will be released soon.
Michael currently has film and television projects in development with Kindle Entertainment, Balloon, Projector Pictures, Tigerlily, Bombito and Candle & Bell. Michael's radio drama, The End of the World, aired on BBC Radio Scotland. Their books The Extraordinary Life of Alan Turing and The Extraordinary Life of Freddie Mercury were published by Puffin. Michael is passionate about telling rich, authentic stories about queer and working class lives and culture.
Outside of writing, Michael likes 80s makeover montages, witches, and going to the shops.
Set in Glasgow, Scotland, The Other Team is a young adult novel that follows the trials and tribulations of Mosaic – a ragtag football team made up of young gay, bisexual and transgender men. The Other Team joins Mosaic as they begin to play in the local leagues for the first time. There's no getting away from the fact that they're not very good! Football forms the backdrop for the dramas of the young characters' lives at home, touching on key themes of mental health, sex and relationships, with strong messages of community, friendship and team spirit.
'When I first started out as a writer, I used Scottish Book Trust's website to learn how to write, and to find and apply for opportunities, and they've always been there for me as a writer - from being part of their Labs, to winning the New Writer’s Award, and delivering workshops as part of their Live Literature programme - so I'm delighted to receive this Fellowship and to be working with them again. The Other Team is an idea I've had for a long time, and I'm so, so excited to get started.'
Martin MacIntyre / Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
Martin MacIntyre is an acclaimed author, bard and storyteller, who has worked across these genres for over twenty years; he has written eight works of fiction and one collection of poems.
In 2003, his short-stories in Gaelic and English, Ath-Aithne (Re-acquaintance), won The Saltire Society First Book Award. His novels Gymnippers Diciadain (Wednesday Gymnippers) and An Latha As Fhaide (The Longest Day) were in contention for Saltire's Book of The Year awards in 2005 and 2008. His second story collection Cala Bendita 's a Bheannachdan (Cala Bendita and its Blessings) was shortlisted for both The Donald Meek Award and The Saltire Literary Book of The Year in 2014.
Le taic Ignite, bidh mi a' leasachadh làmh-sgrìobhainn de bhàrdachd, a chaidh a bhrosnachadh an Catalonia is sa Chuimrigh, los gum bi i cho math is a ghahas is gun ruig an cruinneachadh leughadairean ann an suas ri ceithir cànanan: Gàidhlig, Catalanais, Cuimris is Beurla.
With Ignite support of various kinds, I will be honing a new award-winning manuscript of Gaelic poems, inspired by Catalonia and Wales, to maximise their potential reach in up to four languages: Gaelic, Catalan, Welsh and English.
'Tha mi air mo dhòigh glan; 's e cothrom glè fheumail a tha sa phrogram aig an ìre seo nam dhreuchd mar bhàrd agus gu h-àraid a thaobh a' chruinneachaidh ùir amasaich seo.'
'I am delighted; this is a very useful opportunity at this point in my career as a poet and specifically regarding this current ambitious collection.'
Ignite Fellowship 2022 shortlist
The panel would also like to offer their congratulations to the following shortlisted writers:
- Rebecca Smith