Success for StoryCon Return

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Category: Press Releases

Creative writing conference for teens took place in Glasgow


A creative writing conference for budding authors, poets and illustrators took place at the weekend and was hailed a huge success.

Scottish Book Trust ran the free event for the second year, with around 150 teenagers attending the two-day conference in Glasgow.

Contributors to StoryCon this year included Marc Pye, a BAFTA award-winning author and scriptwriter; Kate Leiper, an artist and illustrator who has worked for the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Royal Lyceum Theatre; Laura Lam, a Young Adult author and creative writing lecturer; and Keith Gray, an award-winning author of children and Young Adult fiction.

StoryCon is part of What’s Your Story? a national Young Writers Development Programme funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund and individual supporters, and in partnership with the Gaelic Books Council and the National Library of Scotland.

The event was open to teen writers, illustrators and creators aged between 13 and 19 years old, living in Scotland. Activities included workshops on screenwriting, illustration, creating great villains, Gaelic creative writing and how to blog like a professional.

The only nationwide programme of its kind in Scotland, What’s Your Story? is intended to celebrate and nurture the talent and ambition of young writers and illustrators of all backgrounds, connect them with other teens across the country who hold similar interests, and help them shape the future of literature in Scotland.

This year, What’s Your Story? supported a team of seven teenage writers and illustrators with professional mentoring support, publishing dozens of Scotland’s teens in the programme’s regular online magazine, and running events such as StoryCon – providing multiple ways for teens across Scotland to access development opportunities and a community of their peers with a love of creative writing and illustration.

The seven teenage What’s Your Story? ambassadors were appointed in January 2017 to help develop the programme for their peers, in collaboration with Scottish Book Trust and partners.

Their role includes the development and hosting of this year’s StoryCon, building on the work of their predecessors from the pilot year of the programme and responding to feedback from StoryCon 2016’s attendees.

The support of The Gaelic Books Council has aided this goal through specific provision for a teen participant working in Gaelic, and assistance with programming the Gaelic features of StoryCon’s programme. The National Library of Scotland has supported our ambassador team’s professional development through the programme’s first Teen Writers in Residence programme, and the Prince’s Trust generously welcomed StoryCon back to their Wolfson Centre facility in Glasgow.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“After a brilliant first event we are delighted that this second StoryCon has been such a success. Building on last year’s conference, we empowered teenagers to plan and host parts of StoryCon so we could be sure it would reflect the interests of their peers.

“The weekend is a great opportunity for teenagers who not only have the chance to learn from award-winning contributors at workshops, but also spend time with other creative young people, having fun, building networks and sharing ideas.”

Sasha de Buyl, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland said: “StoryCon is a valuable addition to the ecology of emerging writers in Scotland. Creating a peer-programmed space for young writers to meet, form communities and develop the tools to take their writing seriously can only be a good thing for the future of Scottish writing.”



Notes to editors

StoryCon has been created by teen creators, for teen creators, and is a collaboration by Scottish Book TrustThe Gaelic Books Council, the National Library of Scotland, and the generous support of our funders including Creative Scotland.

For media enquiries please contact Lindsay Clydesdale, Media and PR Manager, at or 0131 524 0175.


About Scottish Book Trust

  • 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.

Find out more about us online at:   @scottishbktrust

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit  Follow us @creativescots and

About The Gaelic Books Council

The Gaelic Books Council is the lead organisation with responsibility for supporting Scottish Gaelic authors and publishers, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic Books in Scotland and internationally. Find out more on Twitter @LeughLeabhar and their website

About the National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland is a reference library with world-class collections. It is also Scotland's largest library and one of the major research libraries in Europe. Their collections range from rare historical documents to online journals, covering every subject. The Library specialises in Scotland's knowledge, history and culture.