A NEW writing prize inspired by the work of Nan Shepherd has been launched by the leading publisher Canongate, with the Nan Shepherd Estate and the University of Aberdeen.

The winner of the Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing will receive a book deal with Canongate, including an advance of £10,000, and the option of literary representation with Jenny Brown Associates.

It opens for entries on 24 June.

Applications are restricted, however, to previously unpublished writers "who consider themselves underrepresented in nature writing, be that through ethnicity, disability, class, gender, sexuality or any other circumstances."

The prize will be judged by a panel comprising Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun, literary agent Jenny Brown, Chitra Ramaswamy, author of Expecting and Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Canongate Publishing Director Francis Bickmore will act as chair.

Entrants are asked to submit a one-page synopsis and sample chapters totalling no more than 10,000 words, along with chapter outlines and a biographical note.

Submissions will be accepted until 10 September, with the winner announced in November.

Erlend Clouston of the Nan Shepherd estate said: "Bravo, Canongate. In these dark days when we are re-assessing our relationship with the Earth, each other, and, to be frank, common morality, the more honest, original thinking applied to our place in the universe the better. Nan would be proud to be associated with this project."

Aberdeen University, from which Shepherd was an early graduate, will offer the Nan Shepherd Prize for Younger Writers.


A ONE-off rehearsed reading of David Harrower's Knives in Hens is to be performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh to raise money for the Pauline Knowles Scholarship Fund.

The fund, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, will benefit from the show on 11 June, which will be performed by 25 actresses in the role of Young Woman.

Reuniting many of the original team from the acclaimed 1995 production, the performance will be in tribute to the late Pauline Knowles, who "embodied the lead role of Young Woman."

Lewis Howden and Michael Nardone will reprise their roles as Pony William and Gilbert Horn respectively

The fund will support a Scottish or Scotland-based BA Acting student throughout their training at the Conservatoire and help relieve the burden of the expenses of a Higher Education degree

With twenty five women - from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students Shyvonne Ahmmad and Natalie Mitson, to celebrated Scottish actresses including Sally Reid, Gabriel Quigley and Nicola Roy, to Margaret Bennett, mother of Martyn Bennett who wrote the original score for the production - playing the central role of the Young Woman, together and independently, the production further includes the live performance of the Mr McFall’s Chamber arrangements of Martyn Bennett’s music, first developed in 2005.

Knives in Hens was first produced in 1995 at the Traverse Theatre before transferring to the Bush Theatre, London.

Since then, the play has been produced across the world and translated into more than twenty-five languages.


Scottish Youth Theatre have received funding to develop, stage and tour An Act of Repair, a new production about Brexit.

Directed by Brian Ferguson, An Act of Repair will feature a group of 20 young actors between 16–25 years, and will tour across Scotland "raising awareness of Scottish Youth Theatre and encouraging aspiring young actors to become involved, regardless of background or circumstance."

Mahri Reilly, creative producer of Scottish Youth Theatre said: "We are delighted to have been awarded Creative Scotland Open Project Funding for the production and tour of Act of Repair.

"This major financial investment will enable us to realise the scale and ambition of the country’s only national touring company for young artists who have something to say, as we continue to drive our new National Artistic Programme and cultivate the next generation of Scottish theatre makers, innovators and activists."

The project is one of 42 projects across Scotland sharing £800,000 in Open Project Funding from Creative Scotland.

Each received between £1,000 and £100,000 to develop their projects.