Ignite Fellowships Announced: Supporting Writers in Scotland

The Scottish Book Trust has announced the writers who have been awarded the Ignite Fellowship: Anoushka Havinden,Colin McGuire and Catriona Lexy Campbell as the Gaelic Ignite Fellowship awardee. This is only the second year of the awards which support established writers who are embarking on a significant project.

The Ignite Fellows will receive a £2000 bursary and tailored creative support to suit their individual projects. The fellowship will run for one year, from December 2019 to December 2020.

Colin McGuire

Colin McGuireColin McGuire is an award-winning poet and writer from Glasgow and is now based in Edinburgh. His most recent collection of poetry ‘Enhanced fool disclosure’ was published by Speculative Books in 2018. He is also currently studying for an MSc in Mindfulness Studies and will be running a Mindful Writing course at the Scottish Poetry Library in early 2020.

Colin’s long-form spoken-word piece ‘The Wake-Up Call’ has been performed at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Lyceum Theatre, Hidden Door Festival and at the Edinburgh Fringe. His poem ‘The Glasgae Boys’ won the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry and the Film Poetry Award in 2018.

Colin McGuire said:

“I’m enthralled to be awarded the Ignite Fellowship. I’m so happy I took the leap and applied. I really believed in my proposal and I am so glad that it was believed in by Scottish Book Trust too. Great encouragement!’

For his Ignite Fellowship project, Colin will draw on his work as both a poet and a mindfulness teacher, to explore wellbeing and mindfulness to record the process of loss and grief after the death of his brother. He will research themes of mortality, loss and family legacy while delving into the affirmation of life through the use of mindfulness and expressive writing.

A. M. Havinden

Writer and visual artist A. M. Havinden’s poems have won competitions including the James Kirkup Prize, the William Souter Prize and the Nairn Book & Arts Festival Writing Prize. Anoushka, who is based in Argyll, undertook a residency at Cove Park in 2018 which prompted a shift in her work to consider ways of bringing her visual artwork and poetry together.

A.M. Havinden said:

“I’m honoured and delighted! I hope very much that the work will live up to the faith shown in the project by Scottish Book Trust. I hope to use the opportunity to help seek out and amplify some of the wonderful stories of this part of the world, and to produce a strong, evocative collection.”

AM Havinden photo by A Sobiegraj

photo by A Sobiegraj

Anoushka plans to use the Ignite Fellowship to work on a poetry collection exploring the watery history, geography and life of the West of Scotland. She will draw on her experiences of living there, and is particularly interested in the voices of women, myths and the natural world.

Catriona Lexy Campbell

Catriona Lexy Campbell headshotCatriona Lexy Campbell has worked as a theatre artist, actor and writer for many years, primarily in her native Gaelic. She has published numerous works over the years, including two novels for adults, two novels for Gaelic learners, a novel and book of short stories for children, a trilogy of novels for young adults and three plays.  Catriona’s plays have toured widely, and she has produced radio plays and short films that have been broadcast on BBC Alba. Her next book for children, Òran mo Sheanair (My Grandfather’s Song), will be published in 2020.

Commenting on the award Catriona Lexy Campbell said:

“I am so delighted to be a recipient of the Ignite Fellowship. This incredible support from Scottish Book Trust will enable me to develop my skills as a writer while working on a project that is very close my heart. I can’t wait to get started!”

During her Ignite Fellowship, Catriona will be working on a screen adaption of her father, Tormod Caimbeul’s debut novel, Deireadh an Fhoghair (The End of Autumn)Published in 1979, Deireadh an Fhoghair, widely regarded as a classic in Gaelic literature, tells the story of the last inhabitants of a community on a Hebridean island as they prepare to face the winter.

Last year’s inaugural Ignite Fellows have used the award to focus on diverse projects. Annie George is currently developing a treatment for a screenplay with her mentor Producer Alby James. Marjorie Lotfi Gill is working on a first draft of her project exploring the process of assimilation into a new culture. Gaelic Fellow Ruairidh Maclean has been working with mentor George MacPherson to reinterpret a body of traditional Gaelic legends.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

 “Scottish Book Trust was delighted with the high standard of applications for the second Ignite Fellowship. We are sure our awardees will benefit from the tailored advice and support, and all of us look forward to hear more about Colin, Anoushka and Catriona Lexy’s fascinating projects.”

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