‘Arts & Culture’

Aberdeenshire writer appointed Scots Scriever with a mission to promote Doric

By Published On: 7th September 20222.7 min readCategories: Arts & Culture Featured

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The National Library of Scotland has appointed a new Scots Scriever to champion local language of the North East.

Writer and performer Shane Strachan has been awarded the prestigious position of the Scots Scriever residency, hosted by the National Library of Scotland

This year, the post has been designed to promote North East Scots, or Doric as it is known locally. The residency provides an opportunity to explore the richness of the National Library’s Scots language collections, as well as giving Shane the space and time to produce original work in Doric.

‘Shane Strachan at the National Library of Scotland. Credit/ Neil Hanna’

Shane Strachan at the National Library of Scotland. Credit/ Neil Hanna

A published writer, with a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Aberdeen, Shane is already highly active in creating new works in his native Aberdeen exploring the stories of the North East of Scotland and beyond.

“I’m fair trickit tae be this year’s Scots Scriever, especially gettin tae promote the Doric o my hame region Aiberdeenshire tae folk that bide ere and aabody else online,” said Shane.

“Broucht up in the fishin toons o Fraserburgh and Peterheid, I’ve been spikkin Doric aa my life and scrievin in it for 16 years, sae it’s an honour tae haud this affa rare position wi the National Library of Scotland across the neist year.”

The 12-month Scots Scriever residency is funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

‘Arts & Culture’

National Librarian Amina Shah welcomes Shane Strachan, Scots Scriever for 2022-23. He is about to undertake a year-long writer's residency at the National Library of Scotland. Credit/ Neil Hanna

“We are delighted with the progress made through the Scriever programme. It really has helped to showcase the diversity and breadth of the Scots language.,” said Amina Shah, National Librarian.

“Last year, Orkney Scriever Alison Miller’s exploration of new genres alongside championing Orcadian writing both locally and further afield celebrated Orkney as a stronghold of contemporary Scots.

“Now, with the appointment of Aberdeenshire Scriever, Shane Strachan, we are excited to welcome a fresh, dynamic voice to celebrate Doric as yet another facet in modern, vibrant and contemporary Scots writing.”

Shane, who holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Aberdeen, has published fiction and poetry widely, and staged work with the National Theatre of Scotland and Paines Plough.

Following the award of a Scottish Book Trust Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, he exhibited his spoken word project ‘The Bill Gibb Line’ at Aberdeen Art Gallery, which celebrated the Aberdeenshire fashion designer. He has facilitated creative workshops in communities and schools across the North East, and published Doric Scots translations as part of Itchy Coo’s fairy tale collections.

Alan Bett, Head of Literature and Publishing at Creative Scotland said: “The Scriever is a rare opportunity for a writer to be provided time and support to create new writing in Scots. Shane Strachan is an excellent choice, able to create work in a range of literary disciplines, the ability to tap into the literary heritage of the language and produce exciting creative work sure to connect with a broad contemporary audience.”