The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship: 2019 Fellows
Supported by Creative Scotland, we’re delighted to offer places for four published writers on the programme. Each writer will enjoy a month-long residency at the Hôtel Chevillon International Arts Centre at Grez-sur-Loing in France.
The Fellowship gives writers the time to concentrate on and develop their work in an inspiring environment. The residency also allows writers to spend time with other artists and absorb fresh cultural experiences. Click here to learn more about the Fellowship.
We're delighted to announce that the following writers will receive a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2019:
Bernard MacLaverty was born in Belfast (14.9.42) and lived there until 1975 when he moved to Scotland with his wife, Madeline, and four children. He has been a Medical Laboratory Technician, a mature student, a teacher of English and occasionally a Writer-in-Residence (Universities of Aberdeen, Augsburg, Liverpool John Moore’s and Iowa State). After living for a time in Edinburgh and the Isle of Islay he now lives in Glasgow. He is a member of Aosdana in Ireland.
He has published five novels and five collections of short stories most of which are gathered into Collected Stories (2013). He has written versions of his fiction for other media - radio plays, television plays, screenplays, libretti.
In 2003 he wrote and directed a short film ‘Bye-Child’. His most recent novel, ‘Midwinter Break’ won Novel of the Year in Ireland (2017). Bernard MacLaverty was awarded The Sunday Herald’s ‘Writer of the Year’ (2018) in Scotland.
“I am honoured and delighted to have been awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. To be away from the everyday routine of home, among visual artists, in rural surroundings in France sounds an ideal situation for making progress on a new book of short stories. Stimulation and full time focus - what could be better?”
At present, Bernard is working on a new book of short stories, as yet untitled. he hopes to make progress on this collection during his month as a Rober Louis Stevenson Fellow.
Linda Cracknell is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and occasional radio drama as well as a self-employed teacher of creative writing in various settings including a regular workshop in the Moroccan Sahara. Landscape, place and memory are key themes in her work.
She was editor of a non-fiction anthology on the wild places of Britain and Ireland, A Wilder Vein (Two Ravens Press 2009). Following two published collections of short stories, her novel 'Call of the Undertow’ was published in 2013 (Freight). It concerns a female cartographer who befriends a talented local boy and is described as a ‘haunting tale of motherhood, guilt, myth and redemption set on the rugged coast of Caithness at Scotland’s furthest edge’.
'Doubling Back: Ten paths trodden in memory', published in 2014 (Freight), is an account of a series of walks Linda took, each following a story from the past – personal, biographical or communal. It was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week on publication. She has continued to write about walking in magazine pieces for the Walkhighlands online magazine and is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Stirling University. An extract from a new novel now seeking a publisher can be read here. Find out more on her website
“This is a wonderful gift of space and time in which to recharge my own writing journey whilst drawing on the legacy of Robert Louis Stevenson, whose spirit of adventure and creativity inspired by travel were such a driving force in his writing as they are in my own.”
Linda aims to use this distraction-free time to initiate some completely new work, including radio drama proposals and a non-fiction project which, fittingly to RLS, involves sea and ships and even some pirates.
Maria Fusco is an interdisciplinary writer born in Belfast and based in Glasgow. Legend of the Necessary Dreamer - a novella made as a durational work of place writing in a crumbling palacio in Lisbon - is described by Chris Kraus as “a new classic of female philosophical fiction.”
Her experimental radio play, Master Rock, performed and recorded inside Ben Cruachan in Argyll and Bute, is commissioned by Artangel and BBC Radio 4 has been experienced by three million listeners, and nominated by Frieze magazine as one of the best works of 2015.
She is the author of five books of fiction, two screenplays, three radio broadcasts and one theatre play. She is Professor at Northumbria University and tutor at Arvon and Faber Academy. Her work is translated into ten languages. Find out more on her website.
“I am absolutely chuffed and so grateful to receive the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. The air, pace and serenity at Hotel Chevillon will make an immeasurable difference at a crucial time to my writing life.”
Maria will be completing her debut novel, Heart of a Peach, about surveillance and forgetfulness.
Philip grew up in the north of England, and moved to Scotland in 1992 to attend Edinburgh University. He has been a newspaper journalist since 1997, and worked for The Glaswegian, for The Scotsman as Arts Reporter, as Scottish Art Correspondent for The Sunday Times, and since 2002, has been Arts Correspondent of The Herald. He has twice been named Arts Writer of the Year in the Scottish Press Awards.
He is the author of two published books, The Blue Horse (2015) and All The Galaxies (2017), and his poetry has been published online and in print.
“‘I was so delighted and surprised to be told I had been chosen for this Fellowship. My writing time has for many years been squeezed into the gaps between journalism and life, and this brilliant opportunity will give me time and space to concentrate on it alone. This is my first residency, and I am determined to use it to the full. Thank you to Scottish Book Trust and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship for this, a wonderful gift.”
Philip plans to make some progress on a ‘big’ book, The Moving Glass, but also complete a new novel, The Spook School, which is set in the Scottish art world.
He would also like to edit and revise some poems and gather them together in a collection, tentatively titled Children.
Image credits: Bernard MacLaverty by Jude MacLaverty, Linda Cracknell by Robin Dance. Maria Fusco by Ross Fraser McLean (studioRoRo), Philip Miller by Ryan McGoverne.