Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) has announced a new project that gathers stories from and for people across Scotland in response to Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. The year will spotlight, celebrate and promote the wealth of stories that are written or created in or inspired by Scotland.
Scotland’s Stories Now, that is supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of Stories 2022, is a mass participatory project that will see people of all ages and from all backgrounds creating and telling stories about Scotland today. EIBF will not only work with community groups across the country but is also calling for the public to submit stories of their own experiences of life in Scotland.
The 500-word stories responding to the prompt ‘On this day’ can be fiction or non-fiction; prose, poetry, songs or play-scripts and can be submitted in a range of formats including text, sound files, video files or images. Storytellers can draw inspiration from any number of uniquely Scottish sources, from the landscape to myths and legends, or tackle the current issues that matter most to them.
Director of EIBF Nick Barley said “Stories are entwined in Scotland’s DNA. This project teases out some of the reasons why stories remain relevant to our lives today, not only explaining where we’ve come from but helping us make sense of the challenges ahead.’
Additionally, EIBF will embed Writers in Residence with community groups in five of Scotland’s Local Authorities during which Eleanor Thom and Ryan Van Winkle will work with groups in Edinburgh; Andrew O’Hagan will do so in East Ayrshire; Mae Diansangu in Aberdeenshire; Bea Webster in Clackmannanshire and Roseanne Watt in Shetland. Working with partners, including Stepping Stones, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh and HMP Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire, the EIBF will gather stories from those who often do not have a voice.
The project will culminate at the EIBF, held at Edinburgh College of Art in August 2022, where visitors will be able to create and share stories, as well as hear the stories that have already been told through the open submissions process. The community groups working with the Book Festival’s Writers in Residence will contribute their own reflections to produce a rich and multi-layered tale of Scotland in 2022.
Submissions open on 16th February and close on 3rd April. All stories should be uploaded onto the On The Road blog page of the Book Festival website –ontheroad.edbookfest.co.uk/scotlands-stories-now/.