What’s Your Story? Showcases Scotland’s Young Writers and Illustrators

What's Your Story ambassadors
Category: Press Releases

Scotland’s top teen creatives presented their latest work at a showcase in Edinburgh last night. Scottish Book Trust partnered with Neu! Reekie! to present the work of the What’s Your Story? ambassadors.

This year the programme worked with seven Scottish teenagers, picked to develop their talents in creative writing or illustration, and involved them in building the teen literary scene in Scotland. The teens, aged 14-17, were selected from all over Scotland, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Oban and Orkney.

The event was held at the National Library of Scotland, whose collections are open to the young writers and illustrators to aid research for their own creative work.

Neu! Reekie! guided the teens through the process of programming live events and advised them on how to bring their work to life. The showcase included performances, theatre, an illustration installation and live music. Stina Tweeddale, from Glasgow-based band Honeyblood, was a guest performer. An invited audience including friends of the What’s Your Story? ambassadors and representatives from Scotland’s literary scene attended the showcase, which marked the end of their time with the programme.

What’s Your Story? was originally funded by Time to Shine, Creative Scotland’s national youth arts strategy and is the first nationwide programme of its kind in Scotland. It celebrates and nurtures the talent and ambition of young writers and illustrators of all backgrounds, connecting them with others across the country and helping them shape the future of writing in Scotland. This year the programme was funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund. Other generous supporters included the Gaelic Books Council, which funds a Gaelic-language place.

The teens' year with What’s Your Story? included a residency in the National Library of Scotland, professional mentoring, a creative retreat, programming the teens creative writing conference StoryCon, and the feature showcase event.

Applications are currently open to take part in next year’s What’s Your Story? programme, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start programme. It is free to apply for and take part in, and interested 14-to-17-year-olds from all over Scotland are encouraged to apply. Travel expenses will be covered for all participants.

Any young writers or illustrators who are interested in taking part in the What’s Your Story? programme should visit www.thestoryis.co.uk for more details. The closing date for applications is Monday 16 October 2017.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“The What’s Your Story? showcase demonstrated the enthusiasm and creativity of the Scottish teenagers that took part in the second year of the programme. We were delighted to work with Neu! Reekie! to bring the work of these young people to life. The event marks the end of their time with What’s Your Story? but the beginning of an exciting journey into the world of writing and illustration.”

Michael Pedersen of Neu! Reekie! said:

“One of our primary objectives is keeping an eye on the future of Scottish literature. We spend a lot of time looking around for new writers, young writers, writers that are evolving out of genres or boundaries they have worked in before. Working with the ambassadors of What’s Your Story? we were happy to get the high quality of literature to sculpt into this showcase. Without a shadow of a doubt, the future of Scottish literature is in solid and sustainable hands.”

Beth Banerjee-Richards (pictured below), What’s Your Story? ambassador from Orkney, said:

What’s Your Story? has offered me more opportunities than I could have imagined. From the mentorship to interviewing authors that I’ve loved for a long time at the Edinburgh International Book festival, it’s been absolutely amazing and I can’t think of anything else like it. What Nicole is doing for young writers and illustrators is incredible and I hope What’s Your Story? will go on for many years!”

Photo: Kat Gollock
Photo: Kat Gollock


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Keara Donnachie, Press Officer, on keara.donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com or 0131 524 0184.

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.

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

Neu! Reekie!

A multi-arts collective run by Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson, based in Edinburgh. Neu! Reekie! showcase culture all over Scotland and internationally.

National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland is a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots - an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture.

The Library’s collections are of world-class importance. Key areas include digital material, rare books, manuscripts, maps, music, moving images, official publications, business information, science and technology, and the modern and foreign collections. The Library holds more than 25 million items dating back over 1000 years. This includes over four million books, eight million manuscripts, two million maps and over 45,000 films and videos. Every week it collects around 4,000 new items. Around 80% of these are received free of charge in terms of Legal Deposit legislation. Further information is available at www.nls.uk

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 www.creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

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. www.gaelicbooks.org