Stronsay Junior High School is one of 10 schools across Scotland who will receive fully-funded author residencies to inspire a lifelong love of reading and writing. The residencies will also give professional writers the opportunity to build relationships with the school and work together on a creative project.
The Live Literature School Residencies Programme, now in its fourth year, is funded by the Walter Scott Giving Group and delivered by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing.
Sarah Evans, Class Teacher at Stronsay Junior High School, said:
“We are thrilled about our successful application for a Live Literature Residency and excited about getting underway. We could never have dreamt of funding an opportunity such as this without the support of Scottish Book Trust. It will be wonderful to see how the pupils build on their literacy skills in this project and we hope it will further increase their confidence.”
Orcadian Harry Josephine Giles will be working with the students. Their poetry collections Tonguit (2015) and The Games (2018) were both shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, and Tonguit for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Harry Josephine was the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion, founded Inky Fingers Spoken Word, and co-directs the performance platform Anatomy.
Harry Josephine Giles said:
“I’ll be working with the Stronsay school in Orkney on speaking confidence and working with dialect. It’s my dream project, working with primary children on using local language with pride — exactly the kind of thing that Scots and Scottish language and literature needs right now, and also the most joyful kind of work!”
Schools across the country were invited to apply to the programme which brings professional authors into the classroom to inspire and engage pupils.
Each school taking part in the programme will receive 12 fully-funded residency sessions carried out by an author from Scottish Book Trust’s author directory. It includes over 600 professional writers, poets, playwrights, illustrators, performance poets and storytellers.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:
“It’s wonderful to see schools across the country, from the Scottish Borders to Orkney, taking up the opportunity of a Live Literature residency. Every year, we see the fantastic work that writers, illustrators, storytellers and more achieve during the term, and the long-lasting and positive impact a residency can have on pupils and the wider reading culture within a school. Thank you to the Walter Scott Giving Group for continuing to fund this inspirational programme.”
The other successful schools in Scotland are:
- Slains Primary School, Aberdeenshire, working with writer and storyteller Alex Nye
- Hermitage Park Primary, Edinburgh, working with journalist and writer Daniel Gray
- All Saints RC High School, Glasgow, working with author and playwright Cathy Forde
- Haghill Park Primary School, Glasgow, working with playwright and screenwriter Kate Davidson
- St Mungo’s Academy, Glasgow, working with writer Martin Stewart
- Croy Primary School, Highlands, working with poet and playwright Skye Loneragan
- Lossiemouth High School, Moray, working with poet and playwright Hamish MacDonald
- St Joseph’s Primary School, Scottish Borders, working with storyteller and writer Janis Mackay
- Raploch Primary School, Stirling, working with writer David MacPhail
The residencies will run across the 2019-20 school year and finish by Easter 2020. The Walter Scott Giving Group is the sole funder of the Live Literature School Residencies Programme and this is the fourth year they have financed it. As well as an author residency, schools will receive a resources grant of £500.
Each school’s project will be showcased on Scottish Book Trust’s website, alongside suggested learning resources and helpful tips to make the most of the residency sessions.