Moray Playwright picks up major North East Fellowship

Shane Strachan (Creative Learning), Morna Young, Morag Joss, Kaite Welsh (Creative Scotland) and Kate Latham (Creative Learning) (Pic: Nicola Whyte)

MORAY PLAYWRIGHT AND ACTRESS Morna Young has been appointed to the 2017 Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship, hosted by Creative Learning at Aberdeen City Council.

The Fellowship, inaugurated by Creative Scotland in 2013, provides a writer with time and support to develop their work in partnership with a host organisation.

It was established in memory of Dr Wallace who committed his entire professional life to helping writers and literature organisations in Scotland.

Now Morna will produce a full-length play exploring under-represented female voices in the North East of Scotland. She will do this by conducting grass-roots interviews and research in the area. She also hopes to engage with Creative Learning’s wider work, including supporting emerging writers through their The Writers’ Room CPD programme and other engagement opportunities.

The Fellowship marks the next major step in Morna’s burgeoning career, following on from successful Scotland-wide tours of her plays Neverland and Netting, as well as many collaborative projects with other artists and organisations as a theatre maker and producer.

Morna said: “I am truly delighted to have been appointed as the 2017 Dr Gavin Wallace Fellow. It is a privilege and one that I still can’t quite believe.

“This Fellowship marks a new chapter for my writing and I am honoured to be working alongside Creative Learning – a vibrant team with shared interests and ambitions for the North East.

“The theme of ‘The Folk, Language and Landscape of the Northeast’ is ever present in my work and I will use this opportunity to examine the under-representation of female voices. I also look forward to engaging with the wider community to embrace peer learning and creative exchange.

“Dr Gavin Wallace’s memory echoes throughout Scottish literature and his support of writers remains celebrated and vital. I am immensely grateful to the Creative Learning, Creative Scotland and to Gavin’s family for awarding me this invaluable opportunity.”

Kate Latham, Artistic Pathways Manager at Creative Learning said: “While we had a lot of very strong candidates at the interview stage, Morna shone through as a writer who shares the values and aims we have at Creative Learning in terms of engaging with, and giving voice to, under-represented communities through creativity and culture.

“We’re very excited to work with Morna throughout 2017 and to support her to take her work to the next level through focused time on a full-length play project. We are also delighted that Morna will launch her Fellowship by performing excerpts of her work at our Literary Salon at the Lemon Tree on Saturday, February 18 as part of our Inspiration Point project.”

Kaite Welsh, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, added: “We’re delighted to appoint Morna Young as the 2017 Gavin Wallace Fellow. The way her writing is infused with the folk, language and landscape of the North East makes her a perfect choice to work with Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Learning team on what we’re sure will be an exciting, electric piece of writing.”