As our Book Festival is only a week away we thought we’d get you in the mood by giving you a ‘who’s who’ of writers appearing at the festival!
We’ve given short biographies for all our writers below, along with details of some of their publications. Books and publications will be available to purchase during the festival itself – although of course you might want to get started with some reading before then!
During the festival we will be joined by other writers from Orkney for the two open mic sessions at 8pm on Friday and 3.30pm on Saturday.
Hope to see you at the festival – for details of all the events check out the programme.
Robert Alan Jamieson is a Shetland-born writer, author of five novels and two collections of poetry, and has been a tutor of Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh since 2001. His most recent book, macCloud Falls is a novel set in British Columbia, and was published by Luath Press in 2017.
Sara Bailey: author, consultant and lecturer, I’ve worked with writers from Southampton to Shetland and various points in between. Currently working on my second novel, The Incomer, and writing the Creative Writing Degree for UHI launching in 2018. Non-Fiction: Writing the Horror Movie (Bloomsbury in 2013). Fiction: Dark Water (Nightingale 2016).
Sarah Jane Gibbon is a lecturer at the UHI Archaeology Institute. Her interest in Orkney’s heritage began in childhood, as she was brought up in a family steeped in stories of Orkney’s folklore, history and culture. She is currently researching pilgrimage in the North Atlantic, particularly looking into the cult of St Magnus.
Gabrielle Barnby moved with her family to Orkney in 2011. She writes in a variety of styles and enjoys being involved in local writing workshops and events. Her novel The Oystercatcher Girl and her collection The House with the Lilac Shutters and other stories are both published by ThunderPoint.
Amy Liptrot grew up on a sheep farm in Sandwick. Her memoir, The Outrun (2016, Canongate), was a Sunday Times bestseller, Radio 4 Book of the Week, won the Wainwright Prize for nature and travel writing and the PEN Ackerely Prize for memoir, and is being translated into 12 languages.
Jane Harris’s best-selling debut, The Observations, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and chosen by Richard and Judy as one of 100 Books of the Decade. Her novel, Gillespie & I, was shortlisted for the National Book Awards. Jane’s work is published in 20 territories. Sugar Money is her third novel.
Edinburgh-based Christine De Luca writes in English and Shetlandic, her mother tongue. She was Edinburgh’s Makar for 2014-2017. Besides children’s stories and a novel, she has had seven poetry collections and four bi-lingual volumes published (French, Italian, Icelandic and Norwegian) and participated in festivals e.g. in Canada, India, France, Norway and Iceland.
Morag MacInnes is a writer and lecturer. She returned to Orkney to find it very different from the way she remembered it, and continues to be fascinated by the changes.
Simon W Hall is the author of The History of Orkney Literature, which was joint winner of the Saltire Prize for Scottish first book of the year in 2010, and has been translated into Japanese. He also writes poetry and fiction, some of which has been published recently by Abersee Press.
Emma Grieve has lived in Harray for her whole life (apart from her years at university), and is inspired by place and belonging. She teaches English and writes poetry in both Standard English and Orcadian dialect, with the themes of identity, affinity, and articulacy recurring in her work.
Harry Giles is from Orkney and lives in Edinburgh. Their latest publication is the collection Tonguit from Freight Books, shortlisted for the 2016 Forward Prize for Best First Collection. They were the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion, co-direct the live art platform ANATOMY, and have toured participatory theatre across Europe and Leith. www.harrygiles.org
Letters are a magic window into the past and, for Jocelyn Rendall, “Letters Home” from Orcadians who went overseas to make a living in the 18th and 19th centuries are the starting point for her research. Jocelyn, from Papay, is currently writing about the experiences of Orkney men in the Caribbean.
Tim Morrison grew up in Orkney and worked in various parts of the UK before moving back to Stromness, where he completed an MLitt with UHI. An active political campaigner and blogger, Tim has written poetry and prose. Now based in Sanday, his first novel Queer Bashing was published by ThunderPoint in 2016.