A GALASHIELS Academy teacher has been awarded a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for work in Scots.

And he is determined to repay their faith in him by working hard to develop as a writer.

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Craig Aitchison has been writing poetry and prose in both English and Scots for many years and has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Stirling.

He has had short stories published in Northwords Now, Tangled Web, Pushing Out The Boat, Southlight, Wyldblood and in the Fly on the Wall Press anthology, 'Demos Rising'.

Peeblesshire News: Craig Aitchison Photo Rob MacDougall

His poetry has featured in Poetry Scotland and he was commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library to write a poem to celebrate 250 years of Sir Walter Scott.

His work in Scots has featured several timed in Lallans magazine and has won the Scots Language Centre's Sangschaw Prize.

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In 2022 his poem in Scots, 'Sea Room', was shortlisted for both the Wigtown Prize and the Wigtown Scots Prize.

Craig is a Scottish Mountaineering Creative and regularly writes poetry for the matchday programme of Gala Fairydean Rovers Football Club where he also volunteers.

He said: "The Scottish Book Trust is a fantastic charity which supports reading in writing, doing all sorts of projects from providing free books to children to finding readers for people with dementia.

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“I feel extremely privileged to be the beneficiary of their funding. I plan to repay their faith in me by working hard to develop as a writer.

“I’m really excited about receiving mentoring and matching up with more established writers.

“Writing is about connecting the past and present, the personal and universal, the local and global, the traditional and contemporary.

“I want people to connect with writing in Scots and find challenge and enjoyment in its possibilities.