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Dougie’s delight at writing award

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By Fiona Reid
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Dougie’s delight at writing award

A WRITER, storyteller and gardener who lives by the River Ae has been revealed as a recipient a New Writers Award 2022.

Dougie Strang is one of ten creatives selected by the Scottish Book Trust for support and funding – and the only one from Dumfries and Galloway.

The cohort of talented writers have not yet published a full-length book or collection but will now get professional guidance to help them move towards publication, as well as £2000.

Dougie writes regularly for the online journal, Bella Caledonia, mostly essays on nature and culture. His work has appeared in other journals and anthologies, including Dark Mountain, In Other Tongues, and Playing for Time: Making Art as if the World Mattered. A recent essay, ‘At Diarmaid’s Grave’, was commissioned for Antlers of Water, an anthology of writing on the nature and environment of Scotland, published by Cannongate in 2020.

He said: “I’m honoured and excited to receive a New Writers Award, and I look forward to working with Scottish Book Trust team and with my fellow awardees. The timing is perfect, as my aim this year is to hone the first draft of my book and prepare to send it out to agents and publishers.”

The judging panel included: Jenny Colgan, Sheena Kalayil and Viccy Adams for fiction and former New Writers awardees include: poet Bridget Khursheed; Sarah Smith, whose debut novel Hear No Evil will be published by Hachette; and Catherine Simpson, whose memoir One Body will be published by Saraband, both in February.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Announcing our New Writer Awardees is a fantastic way to start 2022. Some of this year’s cohort have interacted with other Scottish Book Trust programmes, and we are delighted they have reached this stage of their journey.

“We wish all the awardees best of luck and look forward to seeing their publications in the future.”

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