The Jessie Kesson Fellowship

This award was established in 2009 by Moniack Mhor to honour Jessie Kesson’s inspirational life and work. The successful candidate receives  time and space to develop their work, a weekly stipend and opportunities to expand their practice.


Our 2021 Jessie Kesson Fellow

We are delighted to announce that our 2021 Jessie Kesson Fellowship has been awarded to Daniel Shand.

Daniel Shand is the author of the Betty Trask Prize-winning novel Fallow and the Encore Award-shortlisted Crocodile, both published by Sandstone PressHe has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and teaches at Napier University. His short fiction has won several awards and he was the recipient of the Saltire Society’s Literature Travel Bursary. Daniel was born in Fife in 1989 and has lived in Edinburgh for the last ten years. His third novel, A Model Citizen, will be published by Corsair Books in Spring 2022.


The 2020 Jessie Kesson Fellow 

The 2020 Jessie Kesson Fellowship was awarded to Ken Cockburn, a poet, translator, editor and writing tutor based in Edinburgh. After several years at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, since 2004 he has freelanced, working in schools, colleges, care and community settings, and collaborating with visual artists on book, exhibition and public art projects. His most recent collection is Floating the Woods(Luath, 2018). He also runs Edinburgh Poetry Tours, guided walks with readings of poems in the city’s Old Town.

Shortlisted for the Jessie Kesson Fellowship 2020

Cath Drake, an Australian who lives in London, has been published in anthologies and literary magazines in UK, Australia and US, and performs her work widely. She has been short-listed for the Venture Poetry Prize and the Manchester Poetry Prize, and was second in the 2017 Resurgence Poetry School eco-poetry prize (now called Ginkgo) and highly commended in 2019. Sleeping with Rivers won a Mslexia/Seren poetry pamphlet prize and was a Poetry Book Society choice. The Shaking City, her first full collection, is out in 2020 with Seren Books. Her work has included environmental writing, award-winning journalism and teaching mindfulness.

Shortlisted for the Jessie Kesson Fellowship 2020

Judith Ross Napier was brought up in Easter Ross. She studied English Literature at Aberdeen University before returning north to work as a news reporter, covering many land and crofting issues.  In 2018 she completed her first book, The Assynt Crofter, a biography of renowned crofter Allan MacRae who led to victory Scotland’s first land buy-out. It was published by Acair and subsequently shortlisted for the 2018 Highland Book Prize.  Now based in Aberdeenshire working for the National Trust for Scotland, she is currently researching Highland estate factors, and wonders if there might be a book to be written about that.

To read more about the centenary celebrations we ran in 2016 click here.

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