Showcase for Scotland’s Young Creative Stars

The 2018 What's Your Story participants
Category: Press Releases
  • Culmination of a nine-month support and mentoring programme
  • New programme open for applications 

The teenagers from the What’s Your Story? programme presented their latest work last night at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh. The programme is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, and funded by Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start programme, The Badenoch Trust and Kiran’s Trust. Other trusts and private donors also contribute to the programme, and a Gaelic place is sponsored and supported by the Gaelic Books Council.

Scottish Book Trust partnered with Neu! Reekie! to train the teenagers on presenting their creative works, including illustration, storytelling and poetry. Seven teens were involved in the What’s Your Story? programme, selected from locations across Scotland including: South Ayrshire, East Lothian and East Renfrewshire. They have been partnered with mentors who are experts in their chosen creative field, and the showcase offered the opportunity to perform and display their current work.

The showcase was a celebration of the work achieved by the young writers, illustrators and storytellers, and was attended by family, friends and invited guests from Scotland’s literary scene. The event also marks the end of the young people’s time on 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. As well as the showcase, the teens were given the opportunity to join a retreat with their mentors at Moniack Mhor, allowing them dedicated time and space to improve their skills, and an induction programme with the National Library of Scotland. They were also involved in planning and organising Storycon, Scotland’s biggest creative writing and illustration convention for young people, which was attended by more than 120 participants in June.

Applications are currently open for next year’s What’s Your Story? programme, for interested 14 to 17 year olds from across Scotland. Itis free to apply for and take part in, and 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 for more details. The closing date for applications is Monday 12 November.


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: 

“It’s wonderful to celebrate the third year of the What’s Your Story? programme with a showcase demonstrating the enthusiasm and progress of the young people involved. Throughout the year, the ambassadors have had opportunities to improve their confidence, and receive dedicated advice from experts in their field. Scottish Book Trust wish them all the best of luck for their future projects, and we know that they will be an asset to Scotland’s creative scene. Many thanks to our funders, Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start, The Badenoch Trust, Kiran’s Trust and the Gaelic Books Council, for making this programme possible.”


Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “Young Start empowers young Scots to pursue their hopes and aspirations while also building skills and confidence for the future. I am delighted that young writers and illustrators from across Scotland have been able to develop and showcase their talent on the What’s Your Story? Programme.”


Holly Edgar from Giffnock, said: “What’s Your Story? has been such an amazing opportunity, allowing me to meet other young creators and learn so many new skills. It’s helped me become more confident and proficient as a writer and I would recommend it to everyone who likes to create. Everyone has a story to tell, and without What’s Your Story?, so many of them would remain unheard.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Keara Donnachie, Press Officer, on 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.   @scottishbktrust


Creative Scotland

In addition to general fundraising, Scottish Book Trust receives Creative Scotland support through Regular Funding. 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


Young Start, Big Lottery Fund

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8.5 billion to projects across the UK that change the lives of millions of people. We supported communities to deliver 13,000 projects across the UK last year, thanks to National Lottery Funding.
  • In September 2011 the Scottish Government formally issued instructions to the Big Lottery Fund to distribute dormant accounts funding for the benefit of Scotland’s voluntary and community sector.
  • Dormant accounts are defined in the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008 as those which have seen no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £37 billion has been raised for Good Causes funding over 510,000 projects.


The Badenoch Trust

The Badenoch Trust has made grants to a wide-range of UK organisations since its inception. It is a long-standing supporter of the arts, community, education and sports, and seeks to raise the aspirations and improve the life chances of young people.


Kiran’s Trust

Kiran’s Trust was founded in 2009, in memory of Kiran and celebrating the creative arts and sports, which she held dear. The Trust recognises this passion in other young people and provides support to help them advance in further education and participation in these areas.

Kiran’s Trust provides support to young people through schools and organisations to learn different types of art. Some of this support is in creative art, specifically to introduce ideas, techniques, skills and media which helps students to visually express themselves. Other support is in performance arts, providing opportunities for writing, music, drama and dance participation.


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.


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.