Writing the North

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Shetland's literature will take centre stage in a major new project, 'Writing the North', that was launched in Edinburgh on Saturday.

The project, which also involves authors from Orkney, will culminate in spring 2014 with a specially designed exhibition at Shetland Museum and Archives. It will include activities for school pupils, new contemporary writing and a series of public events. There will also be a website about writing from the northern isles and Museum and Archives staff will work with schools to develop new education packs. Contemporary authors from Shetland and Orkney have also been signed up to collaborate with leading academics in the creation of new pieces of writing, some of which will draw inspiration from old stories and poems from Shetland and Orkney.

Writing the North is a partnership between Shetland Museum and Archives and the University of Edinburgh, who have been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant of £114,000. The project is led by Dr Penny Fielding, head of English at Edinburgh, and Dr Mark Smith of the Shetland Archives.

Mark Smith said: "We're very pleased to be working with Edinburgh University on Writing the North. It's also 200 years since Walter Scott visited Shetland and Orkney, so it's a good chance to explore his legacy. The funding allows us to do lots of stuff we wouldn't ordinarily be able to do, and we hope people will enjoy coming to the events and exhibition we'll be putting on."