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New Writer 2020: Lyndsey Croal

Children's and YA

Lyndsey is passionate about writing - with a particular love for science fiction - and spends her free time dreaming up new worlds with eccentric and diverse characters. She has written three novels and was runner up in Shoreline of Infinity and Cymera Festival’s short story competition in 2019. During the next year she plans to work on her YA project ‘In Search of Mercury’, a story of a young woman who sets off on a rescue mission across the galaxy with her cat in tow.

She currently works for WWF Scotland, advocating for climate and nature policy in the Scottish Parliament, and enjoys exploring environmental and political themes in her writing.

As the Feature Writing Editor for the Young Geographer Magazine, she had the opportunity to travel to Sweden across land and sea last year to meet and interview Greta Thunberg, following which she co-authored a piece for upcoming Canongate publication Imagine a country (March 2020).

Follow Lyndsey on Twitter(this will open in a new window).

Writing sample

It was busy for a Wednesday night. Traffic was heavy, so it was like a game of chicken when she tried to cross at the pedestrian zones. At least the humidity was lower than it had been for the past few weeks; though the news had said the heatwave was set to last for another month, so this was likely just a short respite. Soon the prolonged mugginess would bring sandstorms and the luxury of walking into town without protective clothing would disappear. She found herself yearning for the virtual worlds she and Mercury explored in Aperta: exoplanets with clear skies and greenery, forests full of birdsong and insect cries. The illusion of freedom at the push of a button. A feeling lost in an instant.

Shaking the image away, she skirted past the bustle outside Dreich Market and turned into Radius Square, where a group of children were playing in the waterjet display that pulsed like ventricles from the concrete amidst a sphere of shrubbery and succulents. Finally, she took her familiar route down an alleyway to a relatively inconspicuous shop with a hologram sign reading: ‘Origami – for tech better than Cranes.’

The door jingled as she entered and cold air welcomed her. Newton was used to a different climate on his home planet, so he always kept the shop in a fridge-like state. The high-tech cooling system that he’d designed himself would, however, cost hundreds of Q-Creds to install in her own apartment.

‘Hey Newton,’ she called towards the back.

A stout figure appeared behind the metal Dutch door, perfectly camouflaged except for his big yellow eyes. Pushing through the panel towards her, he raised his two upper arms like he was truly happy to see her—though his lower ones remained typing away on his portable Q-Comp.

Lyndsey says:

“Writing has been an outlet for me for as long as I can remember, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work towards turning my passion into a career. I’m extremely grateful to Scottish Book Trust for the support, resources and mentoring this award will provide. I can’t wait to get started!”