Mentoring: Our 2018 Mentors

Matching three writers with three experienced mentors, our mentoring programme aims to help professionals expand into new areas, make creative breakthroughs and prepare for new challenges.

Discover our 2018 mentees and meet their mentors below.


Sophy Dale Portrait
Sophy Dale | Mentoring Claire MacLeary

Sophy Dale is a writer, editor, coach and mentor based in a small Scottish seaside town just outside Edinburgh. She has worked with a huge range of writers, including Margaret Atwood, Ian Rankin, Janice Galloway, Ali Smith, John Burnside, Jackie Kay and Naomi Alderman. She’s worked for publishers, including Canongate Books and Frances Lincoln, for Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Poetry Library and has run the BBC Short Story Award. Along with the novelist Alan Warner, Sophy set up Long Lunch Press, which published Irvine Welsh, James Meek, Elizabeth Reeder and Jen Hadfield. Four years ago she set up Spark for Writers - a mentoring and editing service for writers.

Sophie says:

"Claire's already a successful crime novelist, so I'm really looking forward to working with her on the shift into a different genre - I know she's really ready to rise to a new challenge."



Carl MacDougall portrait

Carl MacDougall | Mentoring Jack O’Donnell

Carl MacDougall has written three prize-winning novels, two collections of short stories, three works of non-fiction, two collections of folktales for children and edited four anthologies, including the best selling The Devil and the Giro. For 14 years he was The Herald’s Chief Fiction Reviewer, contributed a local history column to the Evening Times for eight years and has written essays, reviews and travel pieces for The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times and the Daily Record.  Carl has worked extensively in radio and television, has written and presented two television series, Writing Scotland and Scots: the Language of the People, and The Great Scots Road Trip for BBC-2 and BBC-4, is President of Scottish PEN and sometimes teaches at the University of the West of Scotland. A collection of stories Someone Always Robs The Poor was published last year.

Carl says:

“When I read the sample of Jack's writing I could see he is a very good writer, so I'm looking forward to working on what could be a very good book."


Malachy Tallack portrait

Malachy Tallack | Mentoring Morna Young

Malachy Tallack is from Shetland, and currently lives in Glasgow. His first book, Sixty Degrees North, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award. His second, The Un-Discovered Islands, was named Illustrated Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award 2017. His third book, a novel entitled The Valley at the Centre of the World, is published by Canongate in 2018. Malachy has received a New Writers Award and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from the Scottish Book Trust. As a singer-songwriter, he has released four albums and an EP, and has performed live in venues across the UK. He is contributing editor to the online magazine The Island Review, and has written for many other publications, both online and in print. 

 Malachy says:

"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with Morna on this fascinating and ambitious project."


Malachy Tallack photo by Paul Bloomer