Scottish Book Trust launches free online workshops and opens submissions for national writing campaign

Scottish Book Trust launches free online workshops and opens submissions for national writing campaign

Kirstin Innes / credit: Becky Duncan

Scottish authors Kirstin Innes, Malachy Tallack, Alison Irvine and Samina Chaudry to host digital writing workshops ahead of the Trust's 'Your Stories' campaign

The Scottish Book Trust have officially launched their national writing campaign 'Your Stories', which will ask members of the public to submit true stories from their own life around the theme of 'future'. By envisioning the future and the many possibilities it holds for us all, people are encouraged to imagine what a better world might look like, or what they'd like the next chapter of their life to hold.

Submissions can be up to 1,000 words; written in English, Scottish or Gaelic; and in any form they choose, whether it be a story, a play, a comic strip or a letter. The campaign is open to everyone, even those who do not have any previous writing experience. The deadline for submissions is Fri 5 Jun.

In order to help us get the ideas percolating, even under lockdown conditions, Scottish Book Trust will be launching a series of free online writing workshops run by a number of Scotland's brightest authors, each of whom will also be contributing stories to the collection. These include Not the Booker Prize award-winner Kirstin Innes, whose novel Scabby Queen is due for release later this year; New Writer award-winner and Robert Louis Stevenson fellow Malachy Tallack, author of The Valley at the Centre of the World; Saltire Award-nominated author Alison Irvine, author of This Road is Red; and Next Chapter award-winner Samina Chaudry.

The workshops will centre around a variety of prompts and methods for story writing. Moreover, poet and performer Marjorie Lofti Gill will be posting writing prompts every Tuesday around this theme via the Scottish Book Trust's website and social media platforms in the lead-up to the deadline.

By moving the workshops onto a digital platform, Scottish Book Trust will not only be able to engage with as wide an audience as possible, but also abide by the lockdown measures and social distancing rules imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the stress and anxiety of this current climate, staying creative and connected to others has never been more important to one's mental wellbeing.

Other contributors to the campaign include author Cairistìona Stone and poet Griogar MacThòma, as well as poet and writer Tam Clark, who will be providing his own interpretation of the theme in Scots.

Marc Lambert, the CEO of Scottish Book Trust says, '2020 is a landmark year, and "future" is the perfect theme to reflect the ongoing social and cultural change happening right now. We want to hear your story: even if you've never written about yourself before. Hopes, fears, dreams – Scottish Book Trust welcomes them all.'

Submissions to the Your Stories national writing campaign are due Fri 5 Jun, and can be made online.

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