National Library of Scotland to Host 2015 Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship

Monday 24 August 2015


The National Library of Scotland has been selected to host the third Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship, it was announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this evening.

The news came immediately ahead of an event celebrating the publication of A Portable Shelter, the new book by Scottish writer Kirsty Logan - the product of the first Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship, hosted in 2013 by the Association for Scottish Literary Studies. The Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship offers writers the opportunity to spend dedicated time to develop their practice in partnership with literary organisations.  Fellows receive a stipend of £20,000.  Fellowship hosts receive £5,000.

The Fellowship at the National Library of Scotland will explore the theme of the recorded memory of Scotland.  The Fellow will be invited to explore, and be inspired by, the ways in which the Library’s collections record the memory of Scotland. Further details on how to apply will be announced in the coming months.

“We are delighted to have been chosen to host the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship in the coming year,” said National Librarian, Dr John Scally.  “One of the Library’s key priorities is to act as the guardian of the published and recorded memory of Scotland in all its forms, from mediaeval manuscripts to home movies, from Victorian business archives to personal websites, from private letters and diaries to books which sold millions of copies.  In collecting, we are not simply accumulating piles of paper and other formats, but preserving material that can come alive in the hands of today’s readers and writers. We look forward to welcoming the writer who wins the fellowship to the Library and the collections.”

Speaking of her own experience as a Fellow, Kirsty Logan, said: “It's an honour to be able to give thanks for all the support and encouragement Gavin gave me over the years. This book would not exist without the Gavin Wallace Fellowship, and all the hard work and enthusiasm of Gavin's family, friends and colleagues. I'm glad I can honor Gavin's legacy, even in this small way.”

Duncan Jones from the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, said:  “Gavin was a true friend and a staunch supporter of ASLS, and it was our privilege to host the first Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship. We could not be more proud of the final result: Kirsty Logan’s collection of elegant, haunting short stories, A Portable Shelter. A great enthusiast for all of Scotland’s literatures, past and present, Gavin would, we are sure, have been delighted to see how Scottish traditional tales inspired Kirsty to write this book. Gavin’s legacy is the strength and creativity of contemporary Scottish writing, which he did so much to nurture: we present A Portable Shelter as our tribute to his life and work.”

Aly Barr, Acting Head of Literature at Creative Scotland, said: “Kirsty Logan is a huge talent. From short stories, to longer fiction, like a stick of rock if you were to break her in half, she would have ‘storyteller’ written right through her. There couldn’t be a more appropriate young writer to take up the inaugural Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship than Kirsty.”

Emma Turnbull, Literature Officer for Creative Scotland, said: "The Dr Gavin Wallace fellowship offers valuable time and space for a writer to develop their own work as well as building a relationship with the host literary organisation. With its wide and varied collections, the National Library of Scotland presents a wonderful opportunity and will provide a rich seam for the next Fellow to mine."


Notes to Editors

Further details about how writers can apply to become the next Dr Gavin Wallace Fellow will be announced in the coming months.

Kirsty Logan

In A Portable Shelter, Kirsty Logan explores themes of family relationships, loss and the sea, taking threads from Scottish folk and fairy tales, and weaving them in to settings both mundane and extraordinary, where wolves, bears and dragons rub shoulders with fishermen, tour guides and children’s entertainers.  By turns artful, funny, dark, and moving, these thirteen stories are accompanied by illustrations from the award-winning artist Liz Myhill.  Kirsty is also the author of a short story collection, The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt, 2014), and a novel, The Gracekeepers (Harvill Secker, 2015).

Dr. Gavin Wallace was a central figure in Scotland's literature world for many years. Gavin joined the Scottish Arts Council in August 1997 as Literature Officer and later moved on to become the Head of Literature, a position he held for eight years before being appointed as Portfolio Manager for Literature, Publishing and Language at Creative Scotland in June 2010. Gavin previously worked as a teacher, lecturer, critic, journalist, editor and broadcaster, and was an Associate Lecturer in Literature and the Humanities at the Open University in Scotland from 1991-2001. He carried out graduate and postgraduate study, in English and Scottish Literature, at the University of Edinburgh. For more information about Dr. Gavin Wallace, please visit:

Poet, Jen Hadfield was appointed as the second Dr Gavin Wallace Fellow undertaking her Fellowship in partnership with creative writing centre, Moniack Mhor.  Hadfield is developing work using the idea of flotsam and jetsam, to explore themes of place and identity.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit  Follow us @creativescots and

About the National Library of Scotland:

  • The National Library of Scotland is a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots - an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture.
  • The Library’s collections are of world-class importance. Key areas include digital material, rare books, manuscripts, maps, music, moving images, official publications, business information, science and technology, and the modern and foreign collections.
  • The Library holds more than 24 million items dating back over 1000 years. This includes over four million books, eight million manuscripts, two million maps and over 45,000 films and videos. Every week it collects around 4,000 new items. Around 80% of these are received free of charge in terms of Legal Deposit legislation. For further information please visit:


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