Scottish Book Trust Launches Search for Teen Writers And Illustrators

Published: 21 Dec 2016

Teen girl reading in book shop

Scottish Book Trust has launched a search for Scottish teens who want to develop their talents in creative writing or illustration in any form, and help to build the teen literary scene in Scotland.

The charity is seeking seven young people aged between 14-17 with enthusiasm for writing or illustration for its What’s Your Story? programme.  Forms of writing can include prose, poetry, storytelling, illustration, graphic novel writing, song-writing, scriptwriting, editing, journalism, blogging and criticism. Applicants whose work is not in English are also encouraged to apply and one Gaelic-language place, funded by The Gaelic Books Council, is part of this year’s group.

What’s Your Story? was created by Scottish Book Trust in response to Time to Shine, Creative Scotland’s arts strategy for young people, and is intended to celebrate and nurture the talent and ambition of young writers of all backgrounds, to connect them with others across the country who hold similar interests and to help them shape the future of writing in Scotland.

The first nationwide programme of its kind in Scotland, What’s Your Story? 2017 includes a residency in The National Library of Scotland, professional mentoring, a creative retreat, a two-day creative writing conference and a feature showcase event. It is free to apply and take part, and interested 14-17 year-olds from all over Scotland are encouraged to apply.

Nicole Brandon, Young Writers Co-ordinator at Scottish Book Trust, said: “As we head into our second year of ‘What’s Your Story?’ we’re confident in our belief that teenagers are important contributors to Scotland’s literary scene right now and in the future. This programme is all about encouraging, supporting and celebrating teenage creators by helping them to connect with each other and to access professional support and opportunities that it is hard to get anywhere else. Last year’s teens inspired and helped to build our online magazine, received professional mentoring, planned and hosted a creative writing conference for nearly 200 teenagers, and have had their work showcased in the launch issue of our magazine. For 2017 we are searching for teens who care deeply about the potential benefits that creating literature has for them, and for their peers. If that’s you, no matter how “good” you think you are at writing and illustrating, we really hope you’ll apply.”

Aly Barr, Acting Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing, Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to support Scottish Book Trust to nurture another group of young writers following the success of the previous programme. These are the voices of Scotland's future, and we look forward to reading their work both in the ‘What’s Your Story’ online magazine and in many other places in the years to come.”

Jackie Cromarty Manager of Web and Public Programmes at the National Library of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Scottish Book Trust on this innovative project to encourage and support young writers in Scotland. The National Library exists to support learning and to inspire engagement, and ‘What’s Your Story’ is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate how collections like ours can be used creatively by young people.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our group of budding writers to the National Library and to sharing with them the richness and variety of our collections, from older books and manuscripts to modern magazines, maps and film. I hope they find things which are amazing, surprising and inspirational, and can’t wait to see what they create from what they uncover here.”

Any young writers who are interested in taking part should visit for more details. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 3 January 2017.

Notes to Editors

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. Scottish Book Trust believes that books and reading have the power to change lives. As a national charity, we inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure.

  • We give free books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • We work with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classrooms activities, book awards and author events programme
  • We support Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities
  • We fund a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promote Scottish writing to people worldwide
  • We work for a Scotland where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive through literacy
  • @scottishbktrust

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  Follow us @creativescots and

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. For further information please visit:  Follow the latest from Time To Shine @TTSYoutharts.

Gaelic Books Council is the lead organisation with responsibility for supporting Scottish Gaelic authors and publishers, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic Books in Scotland and internationally.

National Library of Scotland is a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots - an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture.

The Library’s collections are of world-class importance. Key areas include digital material, rare books, manuscripts, maps, music, moving images, official publications, business information, science and technology, and the modern and foreign collections. The Library holds more than 25 million items dating back over 1000 years. This includes over four million books, eight million manuscripts, two million maps and over 45,000 films and videos. Every week it collects around 4,000 new items. Around 80% of these are received free of charge in terms of Legal Deposit legislation. Further information is available at

Media Contact

Helen Croney, PR Manager, Scottish Book Trust / 0131 524 0175