2024 Compass Mentees

8 January 2024
A person is sitting at a desk with a pen in their right hand writing in an open notebook.

2024 Compass Mentees

Congratulations to the 2024 Compass Mentees

Each Compass Mentee will be paired with an author for professional and creative support in the coming weeks.

Larry Winger sitting in a chair holding a cat. Large windows behind him.

Larry Winger

Larry had just popped down from the New Galloway Town Hall clock tower to rest during some mechanical sorting of the clock, when the Compass award notice arrived. An intrepid volunteer, after a career in biomedical research, he’s an incomer to the village, but as an active member of the area’s WriteOn group, enjoys helping out in whatever capacity is needed.

A self-published author of three science fiction novels now languishing on the Amazon/KDP platform, and an indefatigable blogger, his current passion is literary fiction, veering down romantic and historical avenues to explore marginalised voices and differently-abled characters. He’s seeking constructive critique of all of the novelistic elements that should conspire to develop a worthwhile, marketable story from his latest 102,000-word effort.

Cameron Phillips  standing in front of a garden.

Cameron Phillips

Cameron Phillips started writing fiction around the age of 13 after finding out it amused his English teacher. Many of these early works were heavily influenced by science fiction TV shows and Japanese anime. To a degree they still are.
In 2004 he was part of a writing team nominated at The Royal Television Society Awards under the Student non factual category. This short film called 'Advice2Go' detailed the story of different people using a self help website.
In 2013 his short film script 'Robotics' was filmed in The Netherlands. It went on to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival that same year before touring other European festivals later.
More recently he was part of The High Street Multiverse project ran by The Stove Network in Dumfries. For six months in 2022 Cameron's story 'Through The Stars Dumfries' could be heard when scanning a QR code placed in the town centre.
During the Compass Mentoring scheme Cameron is hopeful to gain advice on how to further develop the book he's currently working on. It's a science fiction story set in Dumfries & Galloway and is described as part War of the Worlds, part Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and part tourist guide.

Headshot of Sue Swift  holding her hand on her face wearing rings, a black cat sits in the foreground.

Sue Swift

Sue graduated from Leeds Polytechnic with a degree in Fine Art and Performance. Since then she has trained as a wrestler, exhibited her paintings, collaborated in a variety of Art Sound Performance pieces, ran a small Greeting Card company with her partner and for a time ran a Scifi, Comics and Poetry Bookshop in Wigtown. Her love of the Arts inspires her writing with its ability to reflect and recreate the world, to take us to hidden worlds beyond the marble floor perspectives and distant windows. If we could only walk into that painting, step through that mirror, would it be heaven or all our hells? She has written one novel, ‘A Letting of Blood’ and is half way through the second, ‘Blood of the Stone.’ As for many people, the last few years have taken their toll. Taking part in the mentoring programme offers the chance to gain a better focus on creativity and achieve something positive.

Robin Leiper holding a glass of wine sitting outside with hills in the background.

Robin Leiper

Fresh Voice Award Winner 2023

Robin Leiper is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist (largely retired now) who was born and raised in Glasgow and Paisley. He has lived in Vancouver, London and Cape Town and now stays put in Galloway.

Having read poetry all his life he only started writing it seriously out of boredom when living in rural South Africa in 2016. He has undertaken an assortment of writing courses since then and has a post-graduate certificate in creative writing from the Open University. His poetry has been published in various magazines and anthologies in Scotland and South Africa including:

Anthologies: The Darg (Poets Republic); Glasgow Just Is (Seahorse); Poets' Time (Seahorse); McGregor Festival 2021 (African Sun); Through the Lens Crichton Writers); KenWords (Catstrand)

Magazines: Northwords Now; Southlight; Stanzas; Dreich; Wet Grain; Glasgow Review of Books; Klecksograph; Writers' Cafe; PoetryMap Scotland

His pamphlet Wake – Looking Forward, Looking Back was published by Seahorse as winner of Seahorse Pamphlet Competition 2022.

He is looking both to develop his poetic practice generally and to work towards putting together and publishing a first collection.

Compass for Young Writers

We're passionate about supporting the next generation of Dumfries and Galloway storytellers, so each year we award two spaces on the Compass Scheme to young writers. Our 2024 young awardees will be paired with mentors selected to help develop their journey as emerging writers.