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The Book Festival has announced a new project gathering and creating stories from and for people across Scotland in response to Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, which aims to spotlight, celebrate and promote the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland.
The project, called Scotland’s Stories Now, invites people of all ages and from all backgrounds to create and tell stories about their lives in Scotland today by submitting their own 500-word tales responding to the prompt, ‘On this day’.
Storytellers can draw inspiration from any number of uniquely Scottish sources, from the landscape to myths and legends, or tackle the current issues which matter most to them from climate change to the country’s post-Covid recovery.
Director of the Book Festival, Nick Barley, says, “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.”Noëlle Cobden, Communities Program Director at the Book Festival, adds, “At Edinburgh International Book Festival we believe everyone has a story to tell and that through stories we can make sense of our world. As we emerge from the pandemic we want to gather Scotland’s Stories Now.
“We are calling on people across the country to help us build an online story archive and create a series of events at this year’s festival to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories.
Seeking stories from all genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comic and drama, we will accept submissions in both written and recorded (audio or video) formats. We would also encourage speakers/users of both indigenous and non-indigenous languages to submit their story.”
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The project will also see The Book Festival work with community groups across the country is additionally supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of Stories 2022.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, says, “We are delighted to be supporting Scotland’s Stories Now as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.
“From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.
“Scotland’s Stories Now will be at the heart of an engaging, celebratory nationwide events programme.”Additionally, the Book Festival will embed Writers in Residence with community groups in Edinburgh; Eleanor Thom and Ryan Van Winkle will work with groups across the Capital gathering stories from those who often do not have a voice.
The project will culminate at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2022, at Edinburgh College of Art, where visitors will be able to hear stories from the project.
Stories can be submitted in a range of formats including text, sound files, video files or images with the window for submissions now open and running until April 3 All stories should be uploaded onto the On The Road blog page of the Book Festival website, here
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.