• Published on: 30th November 2015
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An Lanntair is delighted to announce the second segment of the “Between Islands” project, which aims to collectively promote the arts and arts practitioners from the Northern and Western Isles.  On this occasion three talented Island writers have been commissioned to each produce a short story based on the Between Islands theme. Kevin MacNeil (Western Isles), Alison Miller (Orkney) and Roseanne Watt (Shetland) will also have the opportunity to access the local authority museum and archive and library services across the three Island groups, including the new museum and Archive at Lews Castle, which will provide the writers with a wealth of related resources.

This latest initiative has been funded by “Bealach”, which is the Creative Place Awards project won by Lewis and Harris earlier this year. Led by An Lanntair, the project represents a partnership of arts, heritage, tourism and business organisations.

Alex MacDonald, Between Islands Project coordinator, said “The theme offers many possibilities so we are really looking forward to reading what these very talented writers will produce, and in the spirit of the project we also hope to print the stories collectively for distribution on all three islands.”

Trish Campbell Botten, Principal Officer Libraries & Heritage, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar added, “It will be very exciting to see how these three writers use our collections and archives as a stimulus for exciting new works for audiences on the islands and beyond. We expect and hope to be challenged by their ideas and that their involvement with libraries, museums and archives will create gateways for new audiences who will enjoy the dynamic fusion of arts and heritage as a catalyst for new writing.”  


Kevin MacNeil was born and raised on the Isle of Lewis. He has taught creative writing at the universities of Uppsala, Edinburgh and Kingston and has performed his work internationally. Among his awards are the Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize and a JB Priestley award. MacNeil’s books include novels, poetry collections and anthologies. He is also a lyricist, screenwriter, Buddhist and a keen cyclist. His latest novel is The Brilliant & Forever (Polygon, March 2016).

Alison Miller was born and grew up in Orkney and is a graduate of the Creative Writing Degree from Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities. Her novel Demo was published by Penguin and shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award in 2006, and among her writing interests are the themes of inequalities, languages and dialects, and a sense of place. She has written stories for BBC Radio 4 and is completing a novel set in Orkney.

Roseanne Watt is a Shetland-born filmmaker and poet. She completed an MLitt in Creative Writing in 2014, specialising in film-poetry, and is currently undertaking an AHRC-funded research project at the University of Stirling, supervised by Professor Kathleen Jamie and Dr Sarah Neely. Her doctoral thesis investigates new ways of negotiating time and tradition within the literature of Shetland – particularly in how to approach writing contemporary poetry.

About Bealach

Bealach is a transformational project that represents Stornoway as the gateway and passage into the Gaelic culture, creative communities and landscape of the Outer Hebrides. Bealach is a two year initiative supported by Creative Scotland’s Creative Place Award and led by An Lanntair which is commissioning cultural projects across Lewis and Harris. Check out the project blog to find out more about what’s happening – or contact Creative Place Awards Coordinator Catherine Maclean

Notes to Editor