Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship 2018

I am one of four writers selected by Scottish Book Trust for the 2018 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. In November, I will be in residence at the Hôtel Chevillion International Arts Centre in Grez-sur-Loing in France to work on a new novel project inspired by the life and career of Scottish fashion designer Bill Gibb.

Muriel Spark 100

I was selected by Creative Scotland and the National Library of Scotland to create new short stories in celebration of Muriel Spark's centenary in 2018. These stories were published as Nevertheless: Sparkian Tales in Bulawayo (amaBooks) inspired by Spark's time in Africa and by my own experiences of visiting Aberdeen's Zimbabwean twin city, Bulwayo. Find out more about the selected projects here. You can purchase a print or e-version of the book via African Books Collective.

Queer Words Project Scotland

In 2018, I mentored emerging writer Christina Neuwirth as part of Queer Words, coordinated by Ryan Vance and Michael Lee Richardson. The other mentors were Jo Clifford, Harry Josephine Giles and Kirsty Logan. Work from the project will be published by 404ink on 31 January 2019 as part of a new anthology, We Were Always Here. You can find out more about the project here and can pre-order a copy of the book here.

A Mother's Journey (2015) and #BUKA (2016)

In conjunction with the global research initiative, IMMPACT, I wrote a play to raise awareness of transport issues for women in labour in low- and medium-income countries. This was performed at the 2015 May Festival to a sold-out audience and guests from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Read all about the project on my blog.

On an exchange visit to Bulawayo in November 2016, I worked with Sue Fairburn (Gray's School of Art), Sally Thomson (Grampian Hospital Arts Trust), Cliford Zulu (National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo) and six local artists to create a new arts-in-health collective in Bulawayo, #BUKA (look at), through which the artists created new work in response to, and in enhancement of, maternal health environments. Read more about the project here.

Unreal Estate: Reflecting and Redressing Aberdeen City (2016)

As part of the 2016 Look Again Festival of Visual Art and Design in Aberdeen, Unreal Estate was a project created by artist Gabrielle Reith which invited visual artists, writers, school pupils and the general public to reflect on, and redress, Aberdeen City and its cultural and architectural heritage. I was commissioned to write new works about five of the ten chosen buildings on Union Street. These works were exhibited in the Bon Accord Shopping Centre from the 28 April – 2 May to over 3,100 people, alongside new writing and music from Fitlike Records (Charley Buchan) and new works by ten visual artists. Find out more about my involvement via my blog.

Write Aberdeen - Write Regensburg (2013-15)

I founded and coordinated this twin city writing project in conjunction with Aberdeen City Council and the Volkshochschule (VHS) in Regensburg, Germany. After running competitions and writing workshops in both cities, a collection of winning works entitled Passages was launched at the 2015 University of Aberdeen May Festival. Read more about the project here.

100 Words Doric and Gaelic project (2012-13)

Alongside two visual artists, I worked as a Doric Language Specialist, running community workshops and a Twitter campaign (@100wordsABDN) to help find Aberdeen's favourite Doric and Gaelic words. These words were then transformed into works of art exhibited at Aberdeen Arts Centre and Seventeen.