West coast writers receive Ignite Fellowship awards

Argyllshire poet Anoushka Havinden is one of three awardees.

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Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has announced the second Ignite Fellowship awardees.

The fellowship supports established writers who are embarking on a significant project. Argyllshire artist and writer Anoushka Havinden and poet Colin McGuire, from Glasgow, were selected by a panel including representatives from Scottish Book Trust and a professional writer while Hebridean actor and writer Catriona Lexy Campbell has been selected as the Gaelic Ignite Fellowship awardee, funded by the Gaelic Books Council.

Anoushka plans to use the Ignite Fellowship to work on a poetry collection exploring the watery history, geography and life of the West of Scotland. She will draw on her experiences of living there, and is particularly interested in the voices of women, myths and the natural world.

She said: ‘I hope very much that the work will live up to the faith shown in the project by Scottish Book Trust.

‘I hope to use the opportunity to help seek out and amplify some of the wonderful stories of this part of the world, and to produce a strong, evocative collection.’

Catriona will be working on a screen adaption of her father, Tormod Caimbeul’s debut novel, Deireadh an Fhoghair (The End of Autumn). Published in 1979, Deireadh an Fhoghair, widely regarded as a classic in Gaelic literature, tells the story of the last inhabitants of a community on a Hebridean island as they prepare to face the winter.

For his Ignite Fellowship project, Colin will draw on his work as both a poet and a mindfulness teacher, to explore wellbeing and mindfulness to record the process of loss and grief after the death of his brother. He will research themes of mortality, loss and family legacy while delving into the affirmation of life through the use of mindfulness and expressive writing.

The Ignite Fellows will receive a £2,000 bursary and tailored creative support to suit their individual projects. The fellowship will run for one year, from December 2019 to December 2020.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: ‘Scottish Book Trust was delighted with the high standard of applications for the second Ignite Fellowship.

‘We are sure our awardees will benefit from the tailored advice and support, and all of us look forward to hear more about Colin, Anoushka and Catriona’s fascinating projects.’