What's Your Story?

8 September 2015

We were delighted to catch up with Nicole Brandon who is looking after What's Your Story? for the Scottish Book Trust and ask her a few questions about it so that we could share details of this brilliant opportunity with our young readers, writers and audiences.  Here's what she said:


What is ‘What’s Your Story?’

It’s a writer development programme lasting from November 2015 to June 2016. It will fit in around school, work and other commitments for anybody who takes part but the gist of it is…

There are 10 places on our programme which features:

  • Mentoring from an industry professional who will pass on their knowledge and skills.
  • A weekend creative retreat to beautiful Moniack Mhor.
  • The opportunity to help plan a Young Writers Conference which will be held in June 2016.
  • Helping to imagine and build an online platform that will reach out to other teen writers throughout Scotland.


Why would I want writer development?

Do you have a story to tell? Do you care about being heard as a part of Scotland’s literary scene? If you’re keen to create, to share, and to gain skill & experience as a writer or illustrator – this is an opportunity for you.


So is this just for people who write or illustrate books?

Nope! We’re not just talking novels, storybooks and poems, we’re talking video games, blogs, fanfic, slam poetry and spoken word, TV, movies, comic books, journalism, illustration, zines, song lyrics, web serials and anything you’d like to write.


Alright, what do I need to apply for the programme?

Applicants need…

  • To be aged between 14 and 17 on the closing date, 28 September 2015.
  • To live in Scotland.
  • To be able to come on an awesome weekend retreat from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 Nov 2015.
  • To have or make a sample of creative work to submit (see ‘Application Guidelines’).
  • If you’re under 16, you need to have your parent/carer’s permission to apply.


Do I have to be a really good writer or illustrator already?




Seriously. We aren’t looking for Scotland’s “best teen writers” – whatever that even means! – we’re looking for 10 young people who want to explore what creative writing & illustration can do for them and for other teens. Don’t worry if the things you’ve created to date aren’t good enough for publication, or even for a good grade at school, that is totally not the point of ‘What’s Your Story?’ and it isn’t how we’re selecting our 10 participants.  

Show us that you care, and why you care. You’ll have lots of opportunity to show us this in the online application process. Effort is more important than expertise for us, right now.


And yet I see that you are asking for a creative work sample with my application…

Effort does actually involve trying! You must have done something about this creative feeling you’ve got. Show it to us. Make it the best you can, make sure it meets our guidelines, then add it to your online application and hit ‘submit’.

That’s what we need.


Where can I go to learn more about ‘What’s Your Story?’ or to apply online?

Head over to www.thestoryis.co.uk for more information, including how to submit if your creative work isn’t in English. You can also ask questions directly by e-mailing [email protected] or filling in our online contact form.  Please do get in touch and apply! J


What’s the deadline for applying?

Monday 28th September 2015 at noon. You’ll have time to enjoy the first brilliant weekend of Wigtown: The Fest before hitting submit! (Or you can just submit early, of course.)