Scottish Book Trust Announces Next Chapter Award Recipient

Category: Press Releases

8th February 2017  

For immediate release

 

Scottish Book Trust Announces Next Chapter Award Recipient

An aspiring author from Old Kilpatrick, West Dunbartonshire has been announced as the recipient of Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award 2017, which is intended to support a talented yet unpublished writer over the age of 40 for whom finding time and space to write has proved especially challenging.

 

Julie Rea (40), works for NHS 24 and has recently completed a Creative Writing Course at Strathclyde University. A previous graduate of the University of Glasgow’s Creative Writing Course and Strathclyde University’s Blaze Online Creative Writing Course, her writing accomplishments include having a short story shortlisted for The Quotidian magazine and winning a Haiku Competition for Chicago Literati.

 

The Next Chapter Award will provide her with a £2000 bursary, nine months of mentoring and two weeks on retreat at creative writing centre Moniack Mhor, with the aim of developing her colection of short stories to publication standard.

 

Commenting on the award, Julie said:

 

“I was stunned and delighted to win the Scottish Book Trust Next Chapter Award. I’m still pinching myself! The recognition of winning this award is a huge confidence boost. I’m grateful for the wonderful opportunity to learn from a mentor, and very excited about what the following year will bring.”

Caitrin Armstrong, Head of Writer Development at Scottish Book Trust, said:

 

“We are delighted that Julie applied for the Next Chapter Award – we believe that her writing shows great promise and I can’t wait to see how collection of short stories develops.”

 

Gail Honeyman, recipient of the inaugural Next Chapter Award in 2014, will have her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, published in May by HarperCollins (UK). Harper Collins paid a six-figure sum for the rights of the novel after a fierce eight-way auction. The novel has also secured deals for five other language publications: French (Fleuve), German (Bastei Lübbe), Italian (Garzanti), Dutch (Cargo/Bezige Bij) and Serbian (Vulkan).

 

Commenting on the impact of the Next Chapter Award on her writing career, Gail said:

 

“I was delighted to be selected as the first recipient of the Next Chapter Award. I received lots of incredibly useful, practical support and advice throughout the year, for which I'm very grateful. It was a fantastic experience.”

 

Extract from Julie’s Short Story ‘Tongue’:

The room was quiet since she’d had the ventilator removed. The rhythmic hissing of it had been our soundtrack. Whoosh - pause – whoosh - pause. The bulky dressing was still on her left hand. A nurse picked at the gauze, careful not to wake her. It’s all healing well, she said, your girlfriend will be out of here in no time. I nodded; then left the room while the nurse changed her diaper.

                                                                        *

It was a frosty night in January; we were sitting in the parking lot of the high school. She’d seen a flyer taped to a streetlight about a Cardio class in the school gym, every Friday, 9.30pm. Fleetwood Mac was on the radio-something from Tusk, I think? I should remember that. She was trying to soften the leather of her sneakers; they were digging into the fleshy part of her heel. A couple of women, with stretch leggings and their kids’ backpacks on, filed through the glass doors. Why the hell are you doing this? I asked. ‘Cause, she said, clutching a tiny flap of skin at her waist. Yeah, I nodded, you’re huge. She elbowed me in the ribs. The clock on the dashboard glowed 21.33; she grabbed her bag. That sharp elbow nudge was to be a frail piece of driftwood that I’d cling to; it would be the last time she would touch me for many months after.

 

A blast of cold air filled the car as she got out; the sky looked like a cracked black mirror. She gave a brief wave without looking back. A thumbnail moon was above the football field in the distance; oily blackness, empty bleachers. I was about to drive off when I heard a rap of knuckles on the window. She pointed to the glove compartment; her water bottle. Feel the burn, I said. She grinned, and flipped me the bird. I noticed goose bumps on her arms as she ran back, tightening her ponytail. This is the point I return to, the point where I make her get back into the car instead.

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Notes to Editors:

 

•             Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. Scottish Book Trust believes that books and reading have the power to change lives. As a national charity, we inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure.

-              We give free books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.

-              We work with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classrooms activities, book awards and author events programme.

-              We support Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities

-              We fund a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promote Scottish writing to people worldwide

-              We work for a Scotland where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive through literacy.

www.scottishbooktrust.com   @scottishbktrust   www.facebook.com/scottishbktrust

•             A photograph of Julie is available on request from miriam.morris@scottishbooktrust.com.

 

 

For interview requests and further information, contact Press Officer, Miriam Morris: miriam.morris@scottishbooktrust.com   T: 0131 524 0160