Lanarkshire writer set to benefit from new initiative for debut authors ahead of first book

A Lanarkshire writer has been selected for an initiative to help new authors ahead of the launch of her first book.

Elissa Soave will be part of Debut Lab which supports writers whose debut work published after December 2019 has been affected by the pandemic.

Unveiled today by the Scottish Book Trust, Debut Lab is funded by, and in collaboration with, Creative Scotland.

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Elissa, from Uddingston, says she is delighted to have been selected for the programme as she looks forward to her debut novel, Ginger and Me (HQ, Harper Collins) which will be published in July this year.

The local writer Elissa has had stories published in various journals and anthologies, including Gutter, New Writing Scotland, and the Glasgow Review of Books.

She won the inaugural Primadonna Prize in 2019.

Elissa told Lanarkshire Live : “I am delighted to be taking part in Debut Lab, organised by Scottish Book Trust, in collaboration with Creative Scotland.

«I look forward to learning more about building professional relationships, marketing, and funding opportunities – all vital for a debut author like myself, who would otherwise be diving headfirst into the unknown.”

Delivered remotely through a series of seven live-on-Zoom workshops and a range of additional online resources, Debut Lab will support writers affected by the pandemic during this transitional stage in their careers.

Workshops will include networking, marketing, author events and funding opportunities, and will be led by industry professionals including Mairi Oliver, owner of Lighthouse Bookshop, and writers Maisie Chan and Helen Sedgwick, as well as Creative Scotland’s Literature Team and Scottish Book Trust staff.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust said: “Scottish Book Trust is pleased to support eighteen authors through our new initiative, Debut Lab .

«Being a debut author is daunting enough, but the pandemic and following lockdown made it incredibly difficult for authors to promote their work.

«We hope to shine a light on this fantastic range of books, from children’s novels to collections of poetry. Our thanks to Creative Scotland for making this possible and allowing us to give essential support to this cohort.”

Katalina Watt, literature officer at Creative Scotland, told us: “Creative Scotland is so pleased to be working with Scottish Book Trust on this vital initiative for debut authors impacted by the pandemic.

«Through a series of live online workshops and additional resources led and facilitated by industry professionals, the Debut Lab will highlight the wonderful variety of works and support these authors in the next exciting steps of their author journeys.”

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