Creative writing lecturer wins top Fellowship

David Bishop awarded prestigious Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship by Scottish Book Trust

Date posted

29 May 2017

10:42

Last updated

22 September 2017

An Edinburgh Napier lecturer in creative writing has been awarded a prestigious Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship by the Scottish Book Trust.

David Bishop is one of four to receive the accolade, with poet Liz Lochhead, Nalini Paul and David Manderson also part of the charity's 2017 announcement.

The Fellowship was initiated in 1994 by Franki Fewkes, a Scottish Robert Louis Stevenson enthusiast, and is intended to give writers a chance to escape the routine and distraction of everyday life to devote time to writing.

David will take up residence at the Hotel Chevillon International Arts Centres at Grez-sur-Loing in France for a month in July where he will dedicate his time to explore an idea for a novel. All travel and accommodation costs are covered by the Fellowship, alongside a grant of £300 per week for living expenses.

His planned project for his residency is a novel set in Renaissance Florence where a captain working for the most powerful criminal court in the city finds that his sexuality makes him a criminal in the eyes of the law.

Grez-sur-Loing is a place that holds special significance in Robert Louis Stevenson’s life; he first met his future wife Fanny Osbourne here before returning for three successive summers after finding its community of writers and artists both inspiring and attractive.

Alongside lecturing at Edinburgh Napier, David Bishop is an award-winning screenwriter and author of 20 published novels. Born and raised in New Zealand, his screenplay, Danny’s Toys, won first prize at the Page International Awards in Los Angeles and he has also written plays for Radio 4 and episodes of the BBC TV drama Doctors.

He said: “I’m honoured and, let’s not deny it, more than a little amazed to receive a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship. I have spent more than a decade researching a historical novel that refused to leave my imagination, but never been able to set aside the time for it. Being an RLS Fellow gives me a whole month to write and read and think about nothing else. It’s a gift beyond words, but one I plan to repay with as many words as possible.”

Marc Lambert, CEO at Scottish Book Trust, said: “Congratulations to our four Fellows for 2017, we hope they all find their residences an inspiring and creative opportunity. Each of them has an exciting project in place to work on and we are very pleased to be able to provide the time and space for these talented individuals to further their artistic goals.”

The Robert Louise Stevenson Fellowship is led by Scottish Book Trust and supported by Creative Scotland. Fellows include Janice Galloway, Jo Clifford, James Robertson and Louise Welsh.

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