Old boy credits English teacher after scooping award

Basil W. Davies. Photo by Rob McDougall.
Basil W. Davies. Photo by Rob McDougall.

A Lancaster Royal Grammar School English teacher has been credited by a former pupil after he is one step closer to his dream of getting his work published.

Basil W. Davies, from Fairfield in Lancaster, has been named one of 10 recipients of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award 2015 and will receive a £2,000 cash award to enable him to concentrate on his work.

He will also receive a package which includes mentoring from writers and professionals, training in public relations and the opportunity to show his work to publishers and agents.

His interest in writing all stemmed from his old English teacher Dave Novell, when Mr Novell got his students to start thinking and talking about what they were reading.

Basil’s enthusiasm for writing then began.

Basil, 23, said: “I’m just starting out, and this affirmation has given me the confidence to trust my instincts when I sit down and write.”

After growing up in New York, Chicago and then Lancaster, Basil then graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2014 where he studied a creative writing degree.

As a child he also won the Orange New Voices Junior Prize and now lives in Edinburgh, working at a deli during in the day while spending the evenings writing.

Basil is now working on a set of stories based on his encounters hitchhiking around the USA.

The award he has received is run by Scottish Book Trust in association with Creative Scotland, which aims to provide 10 talented, unpublished writers with financial and professional support so they can move towards publication.

Caitrin Armstrong, head of writer development at Scottish Book Trust, said: “We are very excited about the 2015 New Writers Awardees and look forward to working with them.

“We hope to see Basil’s work published in the near future.”