Located in the Pathfoot Building at the University of Stirling, we house the English Studies BA Programme and the MLitt in Creative Writing. Previous graduates include Iain Banks and Jackie Kay, with previous staff including Norman MacCaig and Kathleen Jamie. Our writing heritage is woven into the fabric of the building, with part of the eclectic Art Collection being the ‘House of Words’ which has poems from previous writing fellows displayed on the windows.
Hosting the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship allows us to broaden our creative community, with the Fellow welcomed into a space in which staff and students everyday engage in a learning conversation which includes a lively exchange of creative ideas.
Our hope is that the selected writer will find this a productive and stimulating environment, although we are keen to facilitate this residency as a mixture of remote, hybrid and in-person, as shaped by the writer.
For 2024, the chosen theme for the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship is “Heritage”.
This should be interpreted not only as an opportunity to look back and reexamine history, memory and the relationship between place and identity but also as a way of exploring potential legacies of the present moment.
This theme connects with the University’s research and outreach work on the historical heritage of Central Scotland and our own cultural identity as a relatively recent institution (founded in 1967) set against the histories of Stirling itself, as represented by Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, and Stirling Old Bridge.
The Division of Literature and Languages has long facilitated conversations about the creative flexibilities of place and commemoration in such an historic environment, and this Fellowship comes at a point when we are closely collaborating on the ‘Stirling 900’ project, with Stirling Council, to mark nine centuries since Stirling became a Burgh. This milestone is contested by strict historians, but has an irresistible imaginative appeal.
We will work with the chosen Fellow to plan a year of activity which helps them achieve their goals and take their work to the next level, offering a bespoke package of support and development opportunities which align with their needs and goals. Included within this could be events hosted by the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy, as well as engagement with our MLitt in Creative Writing Programme, and with other writing fellows on campus, including the Charles Wallace Indian Writing Fellow and the Royal Literary Fund Fellow.
Whilst we are keen that the chosen writer engages with literary heritage it should be noted that this is not an academic position and that we are keen to receive applications from those unfamiliar with or inexperienced within a University context. To help the Fellow find their own sense of ‘place’ at Stirling, the resources of our Accessibility and Inclusion Team will be available.
As well as possible engagement with the ‘Stirling 900’ events mentioned above, the chosen writer will be offered the opportunity to host a public event during their time with us, hand-print a commemorative page on our historic 19th Century Columbian Press, and foster links with the cohorts of both Undergraduate and Postgraduate Creative Writing students they will be sharing a campus with over the course of the year.