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A mull-based author is hoping that a Scottish Book Trust Award can help turn her ambition to inspire children through her writing into a reality.
Sally Costelloe is one of 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.
Born in Essex, Sally spent 20 years as a journalist and editor for tattoo art magazines. She is currently editing the manuscript of her first children’s novel. Sally is passionate about writing for the seven-to-10 age group as she feels that is when a life-long love of reading can begin.
‘I am so excited to receive a New Writers Award,’ she said.
‘The support and mentoring will be invaluable as I hone my technique, settle into my style and hopefully edge towards publication. If my writing inspires just one child to carry on reading, that would be the ultimate achievement.’
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.
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.
‘As always, the standard of the applications were very high and we look forward to future publications from this group.’
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, March 31. Information about tickets will be available on Scottish Book Trust’s website soon.