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New Writer 2019: Angela Drinnan


New Writers Awardee 2019 Angela Drinnan

Angela Drinnan has been hooked on stories from a young age. Writing her own stories was a natural progression. Her writing began as poetry, and on realising she was trying to write a short story in the form of a poem she began to lengthen what she was writing. This was a slow process involving taming an undermining self, but she has now managed to write two novels. She won a prize in a Chapter One poetry competition in 2008 and had a poem appear on the Arvon website.

Her interest in peoples’ stories led her to train first as a Clinical Psychologist then as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist. She works in the NHS and private practice in Edinburgh. Her own life story continues to surprise her – she recently moved back to Edinburgh after almost twenty years in London in a plot twist she hadn’t anticipated.

Writing Sample

Excerpt from a novel in progress:

It was an uncanny moment: Rose walking towards us, my only sister, my only surviving sibling, for the first time in fifteen years. My smile was composed of many layers: one layer was a coating superficial as lipstick, beneath this there were many dark layers of unhappy memories and sharp-elbowed and unresolved rivalries, but there was also a real smile, a genuine tear in my eye to see my sister at last. What a tangle. But then she was upon us and greeting us in theatrical, stagey ways, all loud and exaggerated. I was pleased to see that, although in many ways, she seemed unchanged, time nevertheless had made its passing known. It was probably all the sunshine that had taken its toll; I was delighted that her skin was showing more signs of wrinkles than mine. I discovered this on making a detailed exploration of her face during the journey home, utilising her reflection in the rear-view mirror as well as direct glimpses when she turned to address us directly, regally, in the backseat. I think I may actually have counted the lines in her face and graded them for length and depth. I was satisfied that anyone looking at the two of us side by side would have thought me the younger sister. God knows what she made of me when she gave me that look of hers, sweeping up and down the length of me like a seamstress about to make alterations.

Angela says:

"I am delighted and extremely grateful to be given this fantastic opportunity by Scottish Book Trust. Writing can be an insular business and I am looking forward to connecting with other writers.”