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Author Susi seeks stories of hope

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By Fiona Reid
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Author Susi seeks stories of hope

SCOTLAND’S Scriever Susi Briggs, a writer and poet based in Dumfries and Galloway, has been commissioned to write a personal story of hope for Scottish Book Trust’s annual non-fiction writing opportunity.

The Scotland’s Stories initiative is now in its 16th year and gives anyone, regular writers and those telling their story for the first time, the chance to have their non-fiction pieces published online.

Some will also be selected to appear in a free book, to be distributed during Book Week Scotland 2024.

This year’s theme of hope ties in with studies that show that creative writing can support mental health and wellbeing, increase happiness, and can even delay or reduce symptoms of dementia.

Susi, who writes in Scots, co-hosts the original story and sang show Oor Wee Podcast with Alan McClure, and is the founder of Music Matters which provides interactive and intergenerational music sessions for people in care homes.

She regularly facilitates workshops for people of all ages and abilities in music and writing, and after being named Scotland’s Scriever in November 2023, she has taken up a year-long residency with National Library Scotland.

Her piece, Reflections is a personal account of her own resilience.

Susi said: ‘My story refers tae the name Diva. It’s a word that has been weaponised by the patriarchy tae mock wimmen wha voice their needs and desires fer basic decency and respect.

“Diva is latin for Goddess. I think it is time we reclaimed the word back and reconnect tae aw that is divine aboot oorsels so we may unapologetically shine and permit others tae dae the same.

“It has taen me decades tae attain a sense o resilience and hope is maintained as much as possible. When aw seems lost I turn tae that voice within that hears me and responds tae me like a trusted freen.’

Meanwhile, Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, is encouraging entries from this area.

He said: “Scotland’s Stories is one of the highlights of Scottish Book Trust’s work, giving a platform to people all over Scotland, no matter their experience as writers.

“It’s a privilege to collect and share these stories from Scotland’s unique and varied voices on the theme of hope, and we’d love to see as many people as possible enjoy the positive benefits of writing for pleasure.”

  • Photo by Kim Ayres

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