News | Mentoring awards for writers in Dumfries & Galloway

Wigtown Festival Company announces this year's mentees

12 January 2021

We are very pleased to announce the latest awards for our mentoring programme for writers in Dumfries & Galloway. Between them they represent what the region’s vibrant writing community has to offer, and this year especially, in the midst of the pandemic, we're looking forward to working with all of these talented writers over the next few months. 

This year's mentoring programme will be delivered digitally.

Kathryn Koromilas

Kathryn Koromilas is a writer and educator. She is the author of Palimpsest, a novel, holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Creative Writing, and creates writing-for-wellness and self-transformation experiences focusing on, for example, meditative journaling and memory writing. During this mentorship, Kathryn will be writing and developing her anti-memoir. In The Happy House, she will explore ideas of childhood creativity, identity, and home in conversation with adult memory and identity which oftentimes is fragmented and/or interdependent on others. With her mentor, she hopes to clarify what writing a memoir can be (can there be such a thing as pure memoir?) and also to sharpen both her blunt memory as well as her writing style. Follow her progress on Twitter @KathrynKoromila.

Ewan Moses

Ewan graduated with a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Aberdeen, where he also won the University’s George Bruce Prize for Creative Writing for his collection of short stories and poetry. Since then he has taught English in Asia and Scotland, as well as doing a short internship with the US Navy History and Heritage Command. Ewan currently lives in Galloway where he is a supply English teacher and smallholder. His interests lie somewhere between fact and fiction, and he is currently researching the stories connected to the River Cree, for what he hopes will be a book. He applied for the mentoring scheme as he appreciates the value of critical feedback and the focus this can give, especially concerning style and voice. 

Ngan Nguyen

Ngan Nguyen is a Vietnamese writer who moved to Kirkcudbright with her local husband after completing her Mlitt in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen. She has published 10 books in Vietnamese. One of her travel books was the first ever book about Scotland to be published in Vietnam. Ngan is now working to achieve her challenging goal of publishing her first work in English. Ngan and her husband cycled from Vietnam to London in 2015 which gave her lots of inspiration for her writing. Besides writing, photography is her passion which she shares on Instagram @nguyenngan1310. Ngan is hoping mentoring will help her to find her authentic voice for her first collection of short stories in English. 

Peter Roberts

Peter is the Dumfries and Galloway Fresh Voice Award winner in the 2020 Wigtown Poetry Prize. He spent his working life in local government, community arts and the workers' co-operative movement. In 2015 he led Moniaive's successful bid for a Creative Place Award, and helps deliver Big Lit, Stewartry's annual book festival. He started writing at Moniaive Poetry Workshop, set up as part of the award programme. His work has been published in anthologies and magazines. “The Fresh Voice Award gives me some solid ground to stand on as a writer,” he says, “and I’m looking to develop my grasp of form, and skill in writing more with less”.

Ronald Turnbull

Ronald is an established outdoor writer, officially retired but still working, the author of 31 guidebooks and other books about hills and hillwalking – including a guide to the Galloway Hills. For several years he's been working on a science fiction or alternative reality fantasy, based on a mountaineering expedition through the various circles of Dante's Inferno. Lockdown was an opportunity to pick up again his existing draft of 130,000 words, which he thinks is full of plot holes, and the characters all over the place (and not in a good way). He's trying to find the skills and motivation to wrestle it into shape.

Congratulations to our five mentees! 

Many thanks to everyone who applied for this year’s scheme, and we hope to hear from you again. Applications for our next round of mentoring will be invited in autumn 2021. In the meantime, enjoy your writing year!