Marianne’s memories of Leith win her place in book

Marianne Paget's story is to be published in a collection entitled My Favourite Place
Marianne Paget's story is to be published in a collection entitled My Favourite Place
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A LOCAL writer has been chosen by the Scottish Book Trust to be included in a special anthology celebrating Scotland’s most cherished locations after winning a national writing competition.

Edinburgh resident Marianne Paget, 45, who works for Edinburgh City Council, will share the pages of the anthology with 22 other writers, including celebrities like Michael Palin and Alexander McCall Smith, in a book titled My Favourite Place.

The anthology is a collection of stories, poems and songs by the people of Scotland about the places that mean the most to them.

The content was chosen in a competition sponsored by the Scottish Book Trust in partnership with BBC Radio Scotland. They asked participants to pen 1000 words on their favourite place in Scotland.

Ms Paget’s piece, titled Leith, 1974, is an autobiographical essay about Leith in the 1970s from the perspective of a seven-year-old girl. Ms Paget says the child is a slightly fictionalised version of herself at that age.

She grew up in Leith until she was ten, when her family moved to another district in Edinburgh.

It’s a bit of a change for Ms Paget, who began writing a few years ago, as until recently she has mostly written short stories.

Ms Paget’s stories have earned her a place in the Edinburgh Book Festival for the past few years.

She said her piece didn’t really come together until she took a bus ride to Leith. “The sites and sounds, even with the changes in Leith over the past years, sparked memories of my childhood,” she said.

“It even brought back the soundtrack of my youth with the music of the 1970s playing in her head, evoking the time. I don’t listen to music from the 70s now, but there it was as I walked through Leith,” she said.

More than 150,000 free copies of My Favourite Place will be gifted in celebration of the very first Book Week Scotland, taking place from November 26 to December 2. The book will be distributed to local bookshops, public libraries, National Trust and Historic Scotland properties, workplaces, ferry terminals, train stations and more than 60 Specsavers stores nationwide.

A selection of stories from the collection will also be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland during Book Week Scotland. The anthology will be available in book from and as an e-book and all the entries are available to read online at the Scottish Book Trust website.