Writers booked in for schools project

Author Janis McKay
Author Janis McKay
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Two Edinburgh schools have been chosen to receive an author residency from Scottish Book Trust.

Janis Mackay will work with Craigentinny Primary School and Claire Askew will work with Craigroyston Community High School.

Author Claire Askew

Author Claire Askew

Scottish Book Trust is offering ten Scottish schools fully-funded author residencies this year to inspire a lifelong love of reading and writing and support learning professionals with their practice.

The Live Literature School Residency Programme is funded by Walter Scott Giving Committee and delivered by the trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing.

Walter Scott Giving Committee is the sole funder of the Live Literature School Residency Programme and this is the second year they have financed it, following last year’s successful pilot. This catalogue includes almost 700 professional writers, poets, playwrights, illustrators, performance poets and storytellers.

Janis Mackay is a children’s author and storyteller and lives in her home town of Edinburgh, after five creative years by the sea in Caithness. Her novel, The Accidental Time Traveller, won the 2013 Scottish Children’s Book Award. Janis also works for Edinburgh University.

She said: “I am very much looking forward to working with Craigentinny Primary, round the corner from where I grew up. I have done many author sessions in schools, the contact and creativity can be so much richer when there are several sessions to engage with.”

A spokesman for Craigentinny Primary School said: “We are so excited to have been chosen to be part of this project. We can’t wait to work with our resident author and we look forward to the children producing and publishing some brilliant short stories.”

Claire Askew is a poet and writer who lives in the Capital. In 2012, she won the inaugural International Salt Prize for Poetry. Her work has been twice shortlisted for an Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, in 2014 and 2016, and This Changes Things was shortlisted for the 2016 Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award.

Claire said: “I can’t wait to start work with the brilliant pupils and staff at Craigroyston.

“I hope they’re also excited to get their teeth into some weird and wonderful reading, writing, game-playing and poem-making activities.”

Marc Lambert, chief executive of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Bringing authors into the classroom makes books and storytelling come alive for pupils, and inspires their own writing and creativity.

“These residencies are a wonderful opportunity for the school community to work closely with a talented author over a period of time and create activities that can have lasting impact for the pupils. We are looking forward to seeing the work they produce and hearing about the experiences they have during the residencies.”