November 21, 2010 by Tracey S. Rosenberg
You know how someone becomes famous overnight, but in most (possibly all) cases they’ve been slogging away behind the scenes for *mumble* years?
I’m not famous (yet), but I’m overwhelmed to have been awarded a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust. There were eight awards made and over two hundred applicants vying for them. I can’t remember how many times I applied unsuccessfully in the past, but I’ll go with ‘two’. Which, frankly, is fine, as I never had a particularly good project before, and it proves something about hard work and perseverance, but I’m too busy squeeing to come up with a witty proverb just now.
I think the awards used to be administered by the Scottish Arts Council, which is now part of Creative Scotland – or, as their logo seems to say if you look too fast, Creative Land Scot – but anyway, it’s the SBT who left me a message at ten to five, and I was talking to my dad later that night, saying things like ‘I think I won an award but I’m not sure yet! Don’t say anything!’
Rather bizarrely, given that Edinburgh is a village, I can’t recall ever crossing paths with any of the other New Writer Awardees, though I’m sure we must have. It’s the sort of ‘city’ where you can’t walk through a graveyard at two in the afternoon without meeting someone you know. (NB I do not often walk through graveyards, though I generally enjoy it when I do.)
My profile, including ‘Cancer Villanelle’ and a rare public photograph, can be found here. Picture courtesy of the practically omnipresent Chris Scott. (If you go to a literary event in Edinburgh and spot a large, interestingly-colored man behind a camera, that’s probably Chris.) I do still look like that, though I’m no longer wearing either the hair wrap (courtesy of a twelve-year-old girl of my acquaintance) or the radio harness (courtesy of the Edinburgh International Book Festival – and yes, I’m standing in front of a yurt).
As I mention, I’m unsure if I’ll ever be a Scottish writer, but I’ve been here nine years (and have no plans to depart), and it’s wonderful to be given an award that allows me to dig in to the literary community here. Nice to have a home again.