Set in Stornoway, the annual Brilliant and Forever short story festival is a much-anticipated event in Kevin Macneil’s novel. The Isle of Lewis he describes in the book is similar to the one we know, except that human and alpaca populations co-exist, usually amicably.

This summer, in the Lews Castle Grounds, An Lanntair brought the festival to life, incorporating a real short-story writing competition.  13 shortlisted writers (including 1 alpaca) presented their stories.  They were: Martin Geraghty; Saoirse Fitzallan; Donald S Murray; June Graham; RM Murray; Steven Christopher McKnight; Ruairidh Maciver; Spencer Woodcock; Dinah Gardener; Hayli McClain; Rachel Carmichael; Louisa McLennan, and Archie the Alpaca.  You can read most of their stories below.

Kevin MacNeil is a leading Scottish novelist, poet, playwright and screenwriter, born and raised in the Outer Hebrides. His most recent novel, The Brilliant & Forever, was published to huge critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Saltire Fiction of the Year Award. Kevin recently edited Robert Louis Stevenson: An Anthology, Selected by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares. Kevin has won a number of prestigious literary awards and he lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Stirling.

Courtesy of BBC An Là

Click here to read Kevin MacNeil’s blog about the Brilliant & Forever festival 2022.

Click here to read shortlisted writer, Steven Christopher McKnight’s blog in anticipation of the festival.

Click here to read shortlisted writer, Hayli McClain’s blog about the day of the festival and being reunited with fellow shortlisted writer Steven McKnight.

For further information on Kevin MacNeil’s work visit his webpage