Announcing the 17 writers for Story Shop 2017

Announcing the 17 writers for Story Shop 2017

June 23, 2017

In partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Trust is delighted to announce our Story Shop writers for 2017.

Story Shop is a series of daily short story readings by local emerging writers, all at various stages of their early writing career. Some are taking their first steps, some have publications to their name, some are switching what they’re doing, all are hungry to make the next step.

After much debate, deliberation and a lot of notes in greenpen, the final selection has been made. Huge congratulations to the winning entrants, who you’ll be hearing a lot more from in the coming months.

So, drum roll please, here are the Story Shop 17 for 2017…

  • Jen McGregor
  • Debbie Bayne
  • Norma-Ann Coleman
  • Hannah Kelly
  • Angela Hicks
  • Simon Brown
  • Douglas Brunton
  • Mark Wightman
  • Kristin Pedroja
  • Felicity Anderson-Nathan
  • Jane Anderson
  • Rose McDonagh
  • Emily Prince
  • Caroline von Schmalensee
  • Becky Carnaffin
  • Bethany Anderson
  • Joanne Bell

Over 80 people applied for Story Shop for the chance to enjoy a professional development workshop, and to read at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The standard was incredibly high, with tales spanning all genres and taking us across Scotland, the world and even the universe. Just over half of the entries were long-listed, and then a shortlist of 30 were discussed by the judges.

Unfortunately, the judges aren’t able to give individual feedback but some general notes were gathered on why some stories made the cut:

  • Some entries didn’t take the time slot of Story Shop into account. We were looking for stories which could be enjoyed in the afternoon by a range of ages, and a number of stories were rejected because they were too violent for a family audience.
  • There were other entries which were beautifully written but either took too long to get going, or didn’t have enough of a story to really hook in a listener. A few stories were fairly complicated to follow while reading, and it was decided they would be too tricky for an audience to grasp what was going on whilse listening.
  • The winning entries were chosen because they combined good writing with a story we thought would be interesting to listen to. Some were autobiographical, some more fantastical, some were funny and some tragic but all had a neat narrative and left us with a strong emotional reaction.

To see the winning stories performed, come along to the Book Festival each day at 3pm for our free Story Shop event in the Charlotte Square Spiegeltent. Keep an eye on cityofliterature.com for more details about the selected writers in the coming weeks.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their words – the future of Edinburgh as a City of Literature is in safe hands! If you were unsuccessful this year, please consider reapplying in the future.

More will be revealed about our writers in the coming weeks, and keep an eye on our social media for a full reading schedule.