As part of the 2016 RLS Day celebrations, Scottish Book Trust have announced that the 2017 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship for professional writers is now open for applications.
Scotland-based writers who would benefit from time away from their usual environment to develop their work are encouraged to apply.
The Fellowship was initiated in 1994 by Franki Fewkes, a Scottish RLS enthusiast then living in France, and is supported by Creative Scotland. It provides residencies for four fellows for one month each, in a self-catering studio apartment at the Hôtel Chevillon International Arts Centre at Grez-sur-Loing. Travel and accommodation are paid for, and there is a grant of £300 per week to cover living expenses.
Grez-sur-Loing is situated at the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau, France, and was chosen because of its connections with Robert Louis Stevenson who first visited in 1875. It was there, at the Hôtel Chevillon, that he met his future wife Fanny Osbourne. Stevenson found both the place, and its well established community of writers and artists, highly attractive and he returned to Grez-sur-Loing for three successive summers.
Author James Robertson, a 2008 Fellow, found the experience hugely valuable in terms of his writing development. He said: “I was, and remain, very grateful for the opportunity I had to live and work in a place so closely associated with Robert Louis Stevenson, one of my literary heroes. The RLS Fellowships are wonderful gifts to writers. They provide what the committed writer needs more than anything else – in fact, along with food and shelter, the only things a writer really needs: the time and the space to write.”
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “The purpose of these residencies is to free writers from the interruptions of everyday life, and give them space to clear their minds. It is hoped that by being transported to the beautiful surroundings of Grez-Sur-Loing, they will find the inspiration to begin a new writing project or finish a long-neglected one. We look forward to finding out what 2017 will bring.”
Ali Bowden, Director of Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, said: “With RLS Day in its sixth year, this is the perfect time to talk RLS in Edinburgh and around the world. The RLS Fellowships are an amazing opportunity for Scottish writers to experience Grez-sur-Loing as Stevenson did, to immerse themselves in their work and come out a better writer ready to show the world what they can do.”
Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing, Creative Scotland, said: “The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship offers time and space for writers to explore their craft in a new environment – three things essential to the creative process but the hardest to come by in the course of daily life.
“Creative Scotland is delighted to support this renowned residency, which has already enabled some of Scotland’s most talented writers – including Michael Pederson, James Robertson and Janice Galloway – to step away from the everyday and be free to concentrate, dream and create.”
See the Scottish Book Trust website for details of how to apply for the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship.
The closing date for applications is Wednesday 1st February 2017.