Kenneth Paul Stephen receives New Writer Award from Scottish Book Trust

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09 March 2011
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imports_WRI_0-6b6q2pba-100000_51935.jpg Kenneth Paul Stephen receives New Writer Award from Scottish Book Trust
Writing Magazine subscriber Kenneth Paul Stephen was one of eight new writers in Scotland to receive a coveted Scottish Book Trust New Writer award. Over 200 applications were received by the Edinburgh-based organisation for the awards. ...
Writing Magazine subscriber Kenneth Paul Stephen, a journalist and PR consultant,  is one of eight new writers in Scotland to receive a coveted Scottish Book Trust New Writer award. Over 200 applications were received by the Edinburgh-based organisation for the awards.

‘I applied to the Scottish Book Trust for a similar award last year and was unsuccessful so I wasn’t exactly hanging on the telephone, waiting,’ says Kenneth. ‘I was elated, therefore, when I heard the results this time.

‘Whenever you get a disappointment or a rejection, it is natural to feel your efforts are somehow worthless but I suppose the key is to try to react positively to disappointment and use it to propel you along, even if it is to prove people wrong.
‘To be part of this programme now, albeit a year on, is fantastic. It is a great award and helps new writers on their way towards publication, which is surely most people’s goal. When I received the call to say I had been successful, it was one of those Elvis moments – you always remember where you were when you heard the news. On this occasion, I was in the garden.

‘As well as help with the writing itself through mentoring, there are opportunities to meet with key figures in the publishing world and also to network with other new writers on the programme and share experiences. The annual showcase event invites the writers to read their work to an audience, which helps develop skills most 21st century authors need to help market themselves and their work.

‘There are some excellent short story writers in Scotland at present and many are personal influences. It will be enormously rewarding to work with the Scottish Book Trust mentors and people with their fingers on the pulse when it comes to what type of books are on the publishing world’s hitlist.

‘My fiction focuses on characters and events in the forgotten places outside Scotland’s Central Belt. I’ve had stories published in Chapman, Cinnamon Press Anthology, New Writing Dundee and the Scots Language Centre website. I won the 2010 David Toulmin Short Story prize and will now work closely with Scottish Book Trust mentors as I finalises my first collection. In my spare time, I have a penchant for running up high hills.’
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