Showcase for Scotland’s young creative stars

The teenagers from the What’s Your Story? programme presented their latest work last night at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh.

The programme is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, and funded by the Hugh Fraser Foundation, Badenoch Trust and Kiran’s Trust.

Other private donors also contribute to the programme, and a Gaelic place is sponsored and supported by the Gaelic Books Council.

Seven teens were involved in the What’s Your Story? Programme, selected from locations across Scotland including the Highlands, South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. They have been partnered with mentors who are experts in their chosen creative field and the showcase offered the opportunity to perform and display their current work.

The showcase was a celebration of the work achieved by the young writers, illustrators and storytellers, and was attended by family, friends and invited guests from Scotland’s literary scene. The event also marks the end of the young people’s time on the programme.

The teens are aged from 14 to 17 and were selected by a judging team, which included one of the previous What’s Your Story participants, and representatives from Creative Scotland, The National Library of Scotland, The Gaelic Books Council and Scottish Book Trust. Participants were selected on the enthusiasm and dedication they expressed for teenage participation in creative and literary culture.

As well as the showcase, the teens were given the opportunity to join a retreat with their mentors at Moniack Mhor, allowing them dedicated time and space to improve their skills, and an induction programme with the National Library of Scotland.

They were also involved in planning and organising Storycon, Scotland’s biggest creative writing and illustration convention for young people, which was attended by more than 120 participants in June.

The full list of the What’s Your Story? participants is as follows: Performance poet, Beccie White, from Edinburgh; Performance poet, Devin McRoberts from Paisley; Short story writer, Nicole Foreman, from Dornoch; Illustrator, Sara Oussaiden, from Isle of Skye; Author, Skye Ailun Peng, from Glasgow; Author, Andrew Pettigrew, from Hamilton; and Gaelic writer Ailbhe Murphy, from Glasgow.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: ‘It’s wonderful to celebrate the fourth year of the What’s Your Story prgramme with a showcase demonstrating the talent and enthusiasm of the young people involved. Throughout the year, the teens have had opportunities to receive dedicated advice from experts in their field, and Scottish Book Trust wish them the best of luck in their future projects. We know that they will be an asset to Scotland’s creative scene. Many thanks to our funders for making this programme possible.’​

Andrew Pettigrew from Hamilton, said: ‘Getting chosen for the What’s Your Story? programme has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me – and I’m not exaggerating! It’s been endless fun, visiting the National Library of Scotland, staying over at Moniack Mhor, and making some fantastic friends. Not only has the programme given me all this, my mentor, Alex, has been a continuous source of encouragement and advice. I’ve learnt lots from her, and I truly feel I’ve become a much better poet and writer as a result.’

Applications are currently open for next year’s What’s Your Story? programme, for interested 14 to 17 year olds from across Scotland. It is free to apply for and take part in, and travel expenses will be covered for all participants.

Any young writers or illustrators who are interested in taking part in the What’s Your Story? programme should visit for more details. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 27 November.

Find out more about the Scottish Book Trust HERE.