The Lanarkshire writer is set to benefit from a new initiative for first authors ahead of the first book

A Lanarkshire writer has been selected for an initiative to help new authors ahead of the launch of her first book.

Elissa Soave will be part of First laboratory which supports writers whose first work published after December 2019 has been impacted by the pandemic.

Unveiled today by the Scottish Book Trust, First laboratory is funded by and in collaboration with Creative Scotland.



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Elissa, from Uddingston, says she is delighted to have been selected for the program as she looks forward to her first novel, Ginger and Me (HQ, Harper Collins) which will be published in July this year.

Local writer Elissa has published articles in various journals and anthologies including Gutter, New Writing Scotland and the Glasgow Review of Books.

She won the first Primadonna award in 2019.

Elissa told Lanarkshire Live: “I am delighted to be taking part in the Debut Lab, organized by Scottish Book Trust, in collaboration with Creative Scotland.

“I look forward to learning more about professional relationship building, marketing, and funding opportunities – all vital for a first author like me, who would otherwise dive headfirst into the unknown.”

Offered remotely via a series of seven live Zoom workshops and a range of additional online resources, Debut Lab will support writers impacted by the pandemic during this transitional stage of their careers.

The workshops will include networking, marketing, author events and funding opportunities, and will be led by industry professionals including Mairi Oliver, owner of Lighthouse Bookshop, and writers Maisie Chan and Helen Sedgwick, as well as the Creative Scotland literature team and the staff of the Scottish Book Trust.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Scottish Book Trust is pleased to support eighteen authors through our new initiative, First laboratory .

“Being a first author is daunting enough, but the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has made it incredibly difficult for authors to promote their work.

“We hope to shine a light on this fantastic range of books, from children’s novels to collections of poetry. Our thanks to Creative Scotland for making this possible and enabling us to provide essential support to this cohort.”

Katalina Watt, Literature Manager at Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to be working with Scottish Book Trust on this vital initiative for early writers affected by the pandemic.

“Through a series of live online workshops and additional resources led and facilitated by industry professionals, the First laboratory will shine a light on the wonderful variety of works and support these authors in the next exciting steps of their journey as an author.

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