Bonnyrigg writer selected for new national initiative after debut novel

A Bonnyrigg writer has been selected for a new initiative to support writers based in Scotland whose debut, full-length work was impacted by the Covid pandemic.

Bonnyrigg author Colin Burnett.
Bonnyrigg author Colin Burnett.

Colin Burnett from Bonnyrigg, whose debut novel, A Working Class State of Mind (Leamington Books) published in June 2021, has been selected for Debut Lab, which is funded by, and a collaboration with, Creative Scotland.

He said: “This is a very exciting opportunity and I cannot wait to learn more about the publishing industry. A fantastic initiative and I feel so lucky to selected as one of the participants.”

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Delivered remotely through a series of seven workshops and a range of additional online resources, Debut Lab will support writers affected by the pandemic during this transitional stage in their careers.

Workshops will include networking, marketing, author events and funding opportunities, and will be led by industry professionals including writers Maisie Chan and Helen Sedgwick.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust said: “Scottish Book Trust is pleased to support eighteen authors through our new initiative, Debut Lab. Being a debut author is daunting enough, but the pandemic and following lockdown made it incredibly difficult for authors to promote their work.

"We hope to shine a light on this fantastic range of books, from children’s novels to collections of poetry. Our thanks to Creative Scotland for making this possible and allowing us to give essential support to this cohort.”

Katalina Watt, literature officer at Creative Scotland said: “Creative Scotland is so pleased to be working with Scottish Book Trust on this vital initiative for debut authors impacted by the pandemic.

"Through a series of live online workshops and additional resources led and facilitated by industry professionals, Debut Lab will highlight the wonderful variety of works and support these authors in the next exciting steps of their author journeys.”