Award-winning author, Kerry Hudson, will look to inspire people across Renfrewshire as part of her tenure as Artist in Residence at the Paisley Book Festival. Kerry, whose first novel won the Scottish First Book Award in 2012, will use the power of written and spoken word to make literature and a love for writing more accessible to communities.

The Paisley Book Festival, which is delivered by OneRen, is set to run over four days from Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, February 19, 2023 and will bring some of the best writers to the town for discussions and events.

Kerry, who lives in Glasgow but is originally from Aberdeen, will bring taster sessions to communities across Renfrewshire. She explained: “I think that Writer in Service would be a more appropriate title, as I really believe that when you take on a role like this, you then work for the people in that community. I want to create an environment that is safe and enjoyable, especially for those who might be completely new to writing and live literature, empowering people along the way.

“It can be incredibly intimidating to step into a space where you’re expected to simply create, learn or experiment if you haven’t done so before – and I know that from my own personal experience. Through our informal taster sessions, often held in unexpected places, we can help people to experiment with writing, exploring their imagination, and hopefully building their confidence and creativity.”

OneRen’s Louise Oliver, producer at Paisley Book Festival, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Kerry to the team and I have no doubt that she will be a huge hit with the people of Renfrewshire. One of the core aims of the festival is to bring the joy of literature and writing to our communities and we know that the only way we can do that is by reaching out to people. Kerry is not only a widely acclaimed and accomplished author, but she is a teacher with a strong history of working with communities both at home and abroad.

“Kerry knows about the barriers that sometimes come with emerging creativity and she knows how to help people to find their own love for the written and spoken word. I would urge everyone to look out for Kerry’s workshops and taster sessions in the months ahead.”

Full details of Kerry’s sessions at locations across Renfrewshire will be announced from late November into January. Make sure you are following the Book Festival’s social media for regular updates.

The Paisley Book Festival is supported by Future Paisley, the wide-ranging programme of events, activity and investment using Paisley’s unique and internationally significant cultural stories to transform its future. It is delivered by OneRen and funded by Renfrewshire Council. Further info can be found at www.paisleybookfest.com

Twitter: @bookpaisley

About Kerry Hudson

Kerry’s first novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma, was published in 2012 by Chatto & Windus (Penguin Random House) and was shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, Author’s Club First Novel Prize and the Polari First Book Award. Kerry’s second novel, Thirst, was published in 2014 by Chatto & Windus and won France’s most prestigious award for foreign fiction, the Prix Femina Étranger. It was also shortlisted for the European Premio Strega in Italy.

Her latest book and memoir, Lowborn, takes her back to the towns of her childhood as she investigates her own past and what it means to be poor in Britain today. It was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, a Guardian and Independent Book of the Year. It was longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and Portico Prize and shortlisted in the National Book Token, Books Are My Bag Reader’s Awards and the Saltire Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

Kerry was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2020. She founded The WoMentoring Project and Breakthrough Festival. She has written for Grazia, Guardian, Observer New Review, Big Issue and the Metro newspaper. She was a writer in residence for the British Council in South Korea and Latvia, mentored with IdeasTap Inspires, TLC and Curtis Brown Academy, teaches for the Arvon Foundation.