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New funding awarded to organisations in the Borders, Edinburgh and Stornoway as part of Time to Shine

Published: 18 May 2015

Young Writers Conference 2012 (photo: Rob McDougall)

Funding enables more young people to flourish and achieve, in and through the arts and creativity

Scottish Book Trust receives £95,000 to deliver national Young Writers Programme

£95,000 awarded to Borders based, ‘Voice of My Own’ to enable young people in the region to create, film and broadcast multi art form projects

An Lanntair receives £89,000 to create youth ‘arts hubs’ in the Western Isles


Scottish Book Trust recruiting a full-time Young Writers Co-ordinator

Over £283,000 has been awarded to organisations based in the Borders, Edinburgh and Stornoway to create opportunities for young people to flourish and achieve, in and through the arts and creativity.

Targeted Funding has been awarded to the Scottish Book Trust in Edinburgh (£95,000), Voice of My Own in Selkirk (£99,712) and An Lanntair in the Western Isles (£89,000) as part of Time To Shine, Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy.

The funding aims to create enhanced access opportunities for Scotland’s young people to take part in creative activities. Find out more about the vision and key recommendations set out in Scotland’s national youth arts strategy here.

Scottish Book Trust will deliver a new national programme to increase opportunities for young writers across Scotland.  The Young Writers Programme will be delivered in partnership with Youth Arts Hubs and literature organisations across Scotland.  The programme will include a conference, development of writers groups across Scotland, and an online platform to showcase work by young writers.

Jenny Niven, Portfolio Manager for Literature, said: “The creation of a national programme for young writers is something that will be hugely welcomed by the literature sector in Scotland. While there are pockets of activity for young people, this is the first programme running nationwide which will offer the opportunity for young people both to explore and develop their individual talent, but crucially to be better connected to others across the country with similar interests. 

“The enjoyment of writing and reading is something adults enjoy collectively all the time, through reading or writing groups, attending book festivals, readings or events, or joining discussions online and its terrific to see this begin to be developed more specifically for younger writers and readers. The combination of mentoring, writing groups, the writers conference and the online platform is a a real step forward in provision for young people interested in writing and literature.”

Caitrin Armstrong, Head of Writer Development at Scottish Book Trust said:  “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded Time to Shine funding to support young writing talent. Scottish literature organisations are doing some brilliant work with young people, but there is currently no clear pathway for young writers, and not enough opportunity for them to showcase their work. The Young Writers programme will support young people to co-develop and co-produce their own support, allowing them to shape the future of writing in Scotland.”

Young people based in the Borders will have the opportunity to create, film and broadcast multi art form projects through Arts in the Frame delivered by Selkirk based Voice of My Own (VOMO) in collaboration with local and national youth arts and youth service providers. 

VOMO Project Manager Robert Sproul-Cran, hopes this new arts programming on the web-based VOMO TV will lead to long term benefits for the Borders. He said: “This funding represents not just a cash injection to the Scottish Borders, but an injection of support to communities which have missed out in the past.

“Our young talent has always had to leave to be trained, and then stay away to find a job.  Even worse, many young people couldn’t even get training places because they had no chance to gain the experience they needed for their CVs.

“Now VOMO’s achievements are being recognised, and that’s fantastic news for the prospects of our young people.  The young people will also be able to record music on location and in the studio, and we will have training sessions in audio as well as moving pictures.”

Uncharted delivered by An Lanntair will ambitiously and creatively address access issues to the arts for young people in the Western Isles.  Uncharted will engage young people from primary school age upwards in a programme of arts projects commissions, curatorial opportunities and also establish fully equipped arts ‘hubs’ in four locations around Lewis and Harris.

Joe Mahony, Education and Outreach Officer, An Lanntair said:  “I am incredibly excited that Creative Scotland have invested in An Lanntair to enable us to deliver this exciting youth arts project. Uncharted is an amazing opportunity for young people in the Western Isles to have a real say in arts delivery and provision.

“2015 sees An Lanntair celebrate its 30th anniversary and the project will help us celebrate by providing valuable training and skills as well as providing access and facilities for young people in remote areas.”

Colin Bradie, Youth Arts Programme Manager, Creative Scotland, said:  “In support of the recently established nine Youth Arts Hubs, this new funding is enabling organisations to explore and develop further ways in which the breadth and depth of youth arts engagement across Scotland can be extended.

“The Young Writers Programme will nurture emerging young Scottish writing talent, while Arts in the Frame and Uncharted will create opportunities to creatively address rural access issues in the arts in the Borders and the Western Isles.

“VOMO and An Lanntair will act as regional focal points for youth arts to develop more sustained access for young people through removing social and geographic barriers to participation.

“These ambitious projects, designed to address gaps in provision, will be created by young people, for young people. They will also create valuable opportunities for young people to develop new skills and gain experiences which will benefit their futures in many ways.”

Scottish Book Trust are now recruiting a full-time Young Writers Co-ordinator to develop and deliver the programme. The Co-ordinator will liaise with the young participants and partners, and will monitor work published online. The post will be supported by Scottish Book Trust’s Writer Development Team and Marketing Team and will have access to the wider expertise and support of the staff.  For further details visit: scottishbooktrust.com/vacancies.


Notes to Editors

About Time to Shine

Published on 8 November 2013, Scotland's first National Youth Arts Strategy, Time to Shine – which is centred around the three key themes of creating and sustaining engagement; nurturing potential and talent; and developing infrastructure and support - sets out a vision and key recommendations to enable Scotland’s children and young people to flourish and achieve, in and through the arts and creativity. Follow the latest from Time To Shine @TTSYoutharts.

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us on Twitter @creativescots, Facebook www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland and Instagram www.instagram.com/creativescots.

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