News | 2021 mentors announced

26 February 2021

We are incredibly excited to announce the five authors who have agreed to lead our 2021 mentoring programme for writers in Dumfries & Galloway. They will be working with our five mentees over the next few months, and we are thrilled to have such a talented bunch on board! 

Elizabeth Reeder

Originally from Chicago, Elizabeth has lived in Scotland for over twenty years – working and living in Glasgow and Strathspey. She writes fiction (novels and stories), creative non-fiction and hybrid writing that flourishes between forms. She loves writing and working with other writers to create work that can go out into the world with vision and energy. Her most recent novel, An Archive of Happiness (Penned in the Margins), has been longlisted for the Highland Book Prize; a collection of her hybrid work, microbursts (Prototype Publishing), is a collaboration with the artist Amanda Thomson and was published on 8 February 2021. Elizabeth is going to be working with mentee Kathryn Koromilas on her book about memory.

Sara Maitland

Sara Maitland grew up in Galloway and now lives a contemplative life in a house on a moor. Sara’s first novel, Daughters of Jerusalem, was published in 1978 and won the Somerset Maugham Award. A Book of Silence, an autobiographical account of her attempts to lead a solitary life, was nominated for the Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize in 2009, the same year that her short story ‘Moss Witch’ was a runner up in the BBC National Short Story Award. She lectures part-time for Lancaster University’s MA in Creative Writing and is a Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham. In 2004 Sara was listed as one of the Guardian’s ‘101 Female Public Intellectuals’. Sara is going to be working with Ewan Moses to develop his non-fiction work on the River Cree. Sara and Ewan first met after Ewan found her purse and tracked her down to return it to her!

Jan Carson

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has a novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears and short story collection, Children’s Children, (Liberties Press), two micro-fiction collections, Postcard Stories 1 and 2 (Emma Press) and a short story collection, The Last Resort (Doubleday). Her novel The Fire Starters (Doubleday) won the EU Prize for Literature for Ireland 2019, the Kitschies Prize for Speculative Fiction 2020 and was shortlisted for the Dalkey Book Prize 2020. Jan won the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition in 2016 and has been shortlisted for the BBC National Story Prize and Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize. Jan is going to be working on short story writing with Ngan Nguyen.

Kenneth Steven

Kenneth Steven is a well-known Scottish poet, novelist and children's author. Some 40 of his books have appeared over the years: Out of the Ordinary is his newest collection of poems. Originally from Highland Perthshire, Kenneth now lives in Argyll on Scotland's west coast; it’s these landscapes that have inspired the lion’s share of both his poetry and prose. Kenneth is going to be working with Dumfries & Galloway Fresh Voice Award winner Peter Roberts.

Nina Allan

(Photo: Diana Patient)

Nina Allan is an author and critic. Her novels have won several prizes, including the British Science Fiction Award, the Kitschies Red Tentacle, and the Grand Prix de L'imaginaire, while her reviews and criticism have appeared in multiple venues including the Guardian, The Quietus and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She has also been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Hugo Award, and was named in 2018 as one of the Guardian's 50 Writers You Should Read Now. Nina's fiction demonstrates a strong sense of place and is focused around themes such as time, memory and personal loss. Her work often incorporates elements of the fantastic and the strange. Her most recent novel The Good Neighbours, a story of murder and its aftermath set on a Scottish island, is published in June 2021 by riverrun/Quercus. Nina lives and works in Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute. Nina is going to be mentoring Ronald Turnbull on his first work of speculative fiction.

All of our mentors were selected by our mentees in consultation with Wigtown Festival Company.