Article Source: Scottish Book Trust
First Published: 1 February 2021 9:25
Updated: 1 February 2021 9:25
Scottish Book Trust today announces the 11 recipients of the New Writers Awards 2021, which provide a selection of talented writers who have not yet published a full-length book or collection with professional guidance to help them move towards publication, as well as financial support. Funded by Creative Scotland and run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, the awards have supported over 100 creative individuals since 2009.
Two Glasgow-based authors have received a New Writers Award: poet Nasim Rebecca Asl and Gaelic writer Beth Frieden. Nasim, originally from Tyne and Wear, was selected for the BBC’s Journalism Trainee Scheme in 2017 and now works in the realm of political television. Beth moved from New Hampshire, US and is an Associate Artist at Theatre Gu Leòr in Glasgow and a member of the Workers Theatre cooperative.
Nasim Rebecca Asl said: “Receiving a New Writers Award has been a real beam of light during a pretty dreary time. I’m very grateful to have been selected by Scottish Book Trust. To have this support and encouragement in my poetry is so exciting, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”
Beth Frieden said: “I am so pleased and excited for the mentoring process and the opportunity for more writing that this New Writers Award will give me in 2021.”
The prestigious judging panel included Scots Makar Jackie Kay, Niall Campbell and Colin Waters for poetry; Tendai Huchu, Janice Galloway, Denise Mina and Alan Bett judging fiction; and Dean Atta, Lari Don and Hannah Sycamore (Scottish Book Trust) judging Children’s and YA entries. The Gaelic Books Council selects the two Gaelic New Writer Awardees.
Former New Writers awardees include Nicola White, whose novel The Rosary Garden (Profile) was re-released in January; Helen Sedgwick’s third novel Where the Missing Gather (Oneworld) will be published in May 2021 and Man Booker Prize shortlistee Graeme Macrae Burnet will release Case Study (Saraband) in October 2021.
The 2021 awardees are:
Nasim Rebecca Asl
Children’s and Young Adult
Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction
Each of the 11 recipients will receive a £2,000 cash award and support tailored to their needs including mentoring from writers and industry professionals, training opportunities, and the platform to showcase their work to publishers and agents.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to celebrate and discover new writers in Scotland. Working within COVID restrictions, Scottish Book Trust will support the awardees through online training, workshops and mentoring. As always, the standard of the applications were very high and we look forward to future publications from this group.”
Alan Bett, Interim Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland said: “The list of past winners speaks for itself and gives us all reason to expect that the names on this year’s list will be on bookshelves across the country in future. It was a pleasure to sit on the fiction panel and the wealth of talent, while hugely encouraging, made decision making a near impossible process.”
Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, said: “The Gaelic Book Council’s on-going partnership with Scottish Book Trust allows us to give Gaelic writers this valuable opportunity early in their careers to work with experienced mentors and develop their craft, and we are excited to be working with new writers of Beth and Roddy’s calibre this year as they work towards their first publications.”
The New Writers Showcase, a celebration of work by last year’s awardees, will be held online through Scottish Book Trust’s social media accounts on Wednesday 31 March. Information about tickets will be available on Scottish Book Trust’s website soon.
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