A 22 years-old English teacher from Fraserburgh is just one of 25 young authors to have a short story published in a special anthology.
Iona MacCall graduated in June last year with an MA in English Literature with Creative Writing and is currently still at the university studying on the PGDE English teacher training course.
In summer 2016 Iona’s tutor at Aberdeen University emailed here details of a publishing company which was accepting submissions for its anthology.
The anthology was to comprise 25 authors, all of whom would be under the age of 25 and it would cover the whole of the UK.
“I submitted one of my short stories which I had written for my dissertation - the Wolf of Moscow,” Iona told the Herald/.
“I ended up forgetting I’d even entered the story after a few months passed and I hadn’t heard anything.
“However, in October I received an email saying I’d been shortlisted out of hundreds of applicants.
“I was delighted with the achievement and waited with bated breath to hear if my story would be taken any further,” she said.
In late November, she received the exciting neews that she was to be one of the 25 authors.
“I was overjoyed that my story had been loved by others and felt immensely proud of my achievements,” said Iona.
“I was amazed to discover I was the only Scottish writer to be included in the anthology - the vast majority being from England.
“I hope this will encourage other young Scottish writer stars to get their work out there. It’s a difficult industry to get into and is one that I desperately want to crack.
“My goal is to use this achievement to help me take the first steps into the publishing world and hopefully have my work published.
“I have written novels which I have shared with family and friends and I’m working on something new at the moment, so I hope this year and this recentsuccess will help me finally see my books in published print,” she said.
Iona’s story is based around the life of Russian serial killer Vasili Kmaroff and his wife Sofia who was sentenced to death under the implications that she knew about her husband’s activities and Iona speculates in the story as to whether or not that may have been true.
The story is written in a reverse narrative from Sofia’s point of view, starting at the point of her execution and moving back through time to when she meets Vasili.