Douglas Stuart, author of the Booker Prize for his wonderful Shuggie Bain, has teamed up with Scottish Book Trust to ask Scots to submit their real-life stories.

The Your Stories initiative is open to everyone and this year’s theme is Celebration. The hope is to focus on some positive stories in what is, and has been, a difficult year. Your Story could be about yourself, a loved one or sharing ways in which you celebrate.

Douglas Stuart said: “As someone who grew up in a home without books, I understand the importance of stories. They bring together families, friends and communities. Your Stories is an opportunity for the people of Scotland to pick up their pen and share their experiences: from the small steps to the bigger milestones. Our nation is rich with culture, language and traditions, and this is the perfect time to celebrate and treasure them.”

Douglas Stuart PHOTO Martyn Pickersgill

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust said: “Sharing stories is a great Scottish tradition: whether over a drink or around the dinner table, we have a long-established culture of telling tales for comfort or entertainment. For many, Your Stories has been the tentative first step of sharing their writing. At Scottish Book Trust, we look forward to hearing about what you have celebrated over the last year, from the small successes to the bigger milestones.”

Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, said:  “This year’s theme challenges us to find reasons for celebration in the midst of adversity. We hope Gaelic speakers will embrace the invitation to celebrate their language and tell their own stories – with some to be published alongside Morag and Eòghan’s pieces in this year’s Book Week Scotland publication. We are delighted once again to be working with Scottish Book Trust to encourage everyone to love reading and try their hand at writing.”

Your Story of up to 1,000 words can be written in English, Scots or Gaelic in any form – a story, poem, comic strip, play or letter. It must be submitted online or by post by 22 June 2021. Every entry will be published on the Scottish Book Trust website and some will appear in a book to be distributed free to libraries and schools during Book Week Scotland 2021.

The charity has also commissioned some authors – including Elle McNicoll, Courtney Stoddart, Morag Law, Eòghan Stewart and Ross Sayers – to share their stories marking Celebration.

Scottish Book Trust will share a variety of prompts through their website and social networks to help inspire those hoping to submit. There will also be free, digital workshops run by poet Alice Tarbuck, writer Samina Chaudhry, playwright and poet Hannah Lavery, and film and TV writer Michael Lee Richardson.

The digital nature of the workshops will allow the writers to engage with an audience no matter their location, allowing the opportunity to be as inclusive as possible. Given the current climate, online workshops can provide the public with a safe space to be creative, supporting positive mental health and wellbeing. For more information and to sign up to a workshop, visit Eventbrite

Submissions can be made online via Scottish Book Trust’s website or via post to: 

Celebration, Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, Trunk’s Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR.