Joanna Bremner Smith
Biography to follow
Ron Butlin is the current Edinburgh Poet Laureate (Makar). In 2009 he was made the first Honorary Writing Fellow by the University of Edinburgh, together with Ian Rankin.
His works have won several Scottish Arts Council Book Awards. The Sound of My Voice was the winner of the Prix MillePages and Prix Lucioles (both for Best Foreign Novel), and was included in the recent Guardian’s 1000 Books You Have To Read. A play based on this novel was presented by the Glasgow Citizens Theatre and ran throughout last year’s Edinburgh Festival.
This year sees the production of his new opera with Lyell Cresswell, The Money Man, for Scottish Opera.
His most recent novel is Belonging, ‘A gripping read . . . a real page-turner’ (Guardian), and was a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime. His most recent collection of short stories, No More Angels, was described as ‘an emotional roller-coaster . . . If you love great books, read this, then everything Ron Butlin has penned.’ (Daily Record)
He lives in Edinburgh with his wife, the writer Regi Claire, and their golden retriever.
Polly Clark was born in Toronto in 1968 and brought up in Cumbria, Lancashire, and the Borders of Scotland. She pursued a number of careers including zoo-keeping at Edinburgh Zoo, teaching English in Hungary and publishing at Oxford University Press.
Her first collection Kiss (Bloodaxe 2000) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Take Me With You (Bloodaxe 2005) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her third collection Farewell My Lovely is published in January 2009. In 1997 Polly received an Eric Gregory Award for her work.
Between 2000 and 2004 Polly was poet-in-residence for the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton, a unique collaboration between a poet and newspaper that was shortlisted for an Arts and Business Award. In 2004 she produced a tour by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Ford in theatres across the south of England, chairing and presenting his talks.
Since moving back to Scotland in 2005, Polly has developed Poet to Poet, a translation exchange programme hosted by Cove Park, Scotland’s international artist residency centre. She has also published short stories in Comma Press’s Hyphen and Elipsis series. She is a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Edinburgh University and she can be found on the internet on Polly Clark's personal web page.
Ron Grosset has 30 years of experience in full trade and mass-market book publishing and production, initially with Wm Collins Sons & Co Ltd Glasgow and London, where he was Head of Product Development, and now as the publisher of Geddes and Grosset, specialising in reference and children’s books, for export and domestic markets, and Waverley Books, publishing books of Scottish interest.
Ron is a consultant to paper mills and print groups in Europe and Asia, a paper designer and as a production buyer, sources pre-press, book and magazine work in volume, using conventional and digital printing processes in various countries around the world.
A specialist in vendor development, Ron advises on economic product design for print media; materials development, procurement and production buying and lectures on these and related subjects in the UK and overseas. Ron chairs the Training Committee of Publishing Scotland and is a Trustee of the Edinburgh Unesco City Of Literature organisation.
Diana Hope is an artist, teacher and arts commentator. Trained at Edinburgh College of Art, she exhibits regularly throughout Scotland, and is represented by The Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh. She has been a council member of the SSA, is a board member of ESSA, and is currently President of Visual Arts Scotland. As a teacher, she has extensive experience in community projects, schools and colleges with a particular interest in fostering creative writing alongside the visual arts. She has been a regular contributor to the Times Educational Supplement Scotland, BBC Scotland, The Scotsman and other broadsheets. For over 10 years she has been involved with the Edinburgh International Book Festival as an experienced Chair.
Claire Malcolm has been the Director of New Writing North, the writing development agency for the North East of England, since it began in 1996. For New Writing North she personally oversees writer development strategies and the annual Northern Writers' Awards alongside project management of festivals and events, theatre production and publications. The agency promotes theatre and literary events, supports and develops writers and undertakes project work in the fields of public art, education and in the community www.newwritingnorth.com. New Writing North projects include Read Regional www.readregional.com, The Story Engine www.thestoryengine.com and Durham Book Festival www.bookfestival.org.uk
Previous consultancy work includes the judging of the John Whiting Award and the Raymond Williams Award for Arts Council England and judging/panel work for Northern Film and Media. Claire has also worked as a mentor for the National Association of Literature Development. In 2007 she received an Encouragement of New Writing Award from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain. She has an MA in Cultural Leadership from City University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Claire is a board member of Bridge and Tunnel Voices, Hexham Book Festival, Café Culture North East and is Chair of Mslexia Publications Ltd.
Ann Matheson was Keeper of Printed Books in the National Library of Scotland until 2000. She was Chairman of the Literature Committee, Scottish Arts Council, from 1987 to 2003. She is Secretary-General of the Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER); and a member of the Literary Awards Panel of the Saltire Society. She has been a member of Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (The Gaelic Books Council); and until 2007 she was Chairman of the Consortium of European Research Libraries. She is Secretary of the General Council of the University of Edinburgh; and Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Library, Isle of Skye.
Marianne Mitchelson was born and brought up in Fife. She has worked in a variety of roles in the public and voluntary sectors for over 30 years mostly in the field of health and social care, latterly having significant responsibilities for strategic and operational planning, service development, performance monitoring and organisational governance.
Since 2006 she has been actively involved in the work of Itchy Coo - a project specialising in the production of Scots language books for children and young people and the provision of related education and outreach services.
She has been an active member of the Literature Forum for Scotland since 2007; Scottish Co-ordinator for the National Association of Literature Development during 2008/2009, she has been Reader in Residence at HMP Perth since May 2009.
She has been a member of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland since the 1980s and has an active interest in traditional music and dance as well as a particular interest in the literature and languages of Scotland.
Marianne lives in Angus.
Judy Moir has worked in various roles in the Scottish publishing sector since 1981 – Director of the Scottish Publishers Association, freelance editor and book reviewer, lecturer in Publishing at Napier University, Editorial Director of Canongate Books and most recently for Penguin Scotland. She now works as a literary agent and as a consultant.
Alan Riach: Chair of Scottish Literature, Glasgow University; General Editor of Collected Works of Hugh MacDiarmid (15 volumes to date); poet (collections include This Folding Map, An Open Return, First & Last Songs, Clearances); author of Representing Scotland in Literature, Popular Culture and Iconography (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Hugh MacDiarmid's Epic Poetry (Edinburgh University Press); President, Association for Scottish Literary Studies; publishers' reader; author and presenter of radio series The Good of the Arts (Radio New Zealand Concert FM) and other radio programmes broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Radio Scotland, etc. Specialist in Scottish Literature, Modern literature; poetry; literature in education; literature, painting and music.
Biography to follow