We are delighted to hear that one of our Library Assistants, Anna Stewart, has won a New Writers Award from the Scottish Booktrust. Anna will now receive a £2,000 cash award, allowing her to focus on her work, as well as a tailored professional development package which can include mentoring from writers and industry professionals, training in PR, performance and presentation training, and the opportunity to showcase work to publishers and agents.
Anna's stories have been published in Riptide Journal, New Writing Dundee, and Gutter: The Magazine of New Scottish Writing. In 2015 her story, ‘A Composed Man’ was shortlisted for Bloody Scotland's Short Story Competition, and she won 'The Dragons’ Pen' at Edinburgh International Book Festival back in 2010. Her play 'Nan' was part of 'Reclaim The F Word' at the Tron Theatre in 2013, and 'Point Blank Hotel' performed at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington in 2008.
Anna also runs a Creative Writing Lab at Central Library and recently helped them launch a new zine of short stories, ‘Patchwork Memories’, at Dundee Central Library as part of National Short Story Week. She has performed in Saabruken, Germany and The Act Festival in Bilbao with her devised sci-fi solo performance 'Contact'. In 2013 she was invited to take part in The National Theatre of Scotland's development week at Cove Park where she spent time working on her play, 'Story of The Deer'. She gained an MLitt in Creative Writing with Distinction from The University of St. Andrews in 2010, and a BA (hons) degree in Theatre from Dartington College of Arts in 2004.
Judy Dobbie, Head of Library and Information Services said
“We are delighted and very proud of Anna’s achievements. We know just how talented Anna is through the work she has undertaken mentoring the Creative Writing Lab at Central Library. So It comes as no surprise that she has now be recognised nationally for her own writing and I would like to wish her every success going forward.”
"I’m so grateful to The Scottish Book Trust, not only for this award but for all the valuable work that they do. Working in a library, I see first-hand the impact that the Scottish Book Trust is having on a new generation of readers, and writers. Knowing how important their work and their resources are, I’m mindful that the gift of a New Writers Award should be used wisely. This year I will work to better my craft, consider process, share ideas, listen, read and write, write, write."
A number of previous New Writer awardees have been published by publishing houses including HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Harvill Secker, Atlantic Books, Vintage Books, Freight Books and Sandstone Press. Other writers have won literary awards and prizes including the Manchester Fiction Prize and The Dundee International Book Prize.