University names writer-in-residence

LEADING Scottish writer James Robertson has been named the first writer-in-residence at Edinburgh Napier University.

In a new post funded by the Binks Trust, Mr Robertson, author of The Testament of Gideon Mack and the award-winning historical novel Joseph Knight, will spend two or three days a week writing and advising students at the Craighouse Campus.

Mr Robertson will hold the position for a year. He has already served as the first writer-in-residence at the Scottish Parliament.

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The Angus-based writer has also worked as a translator into Scots of works from Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox to a No.1 Ladies Detective Agency book for younger readers by Alexander McCall Smith.

He will work with students on the university's new MA course in creative writing.

"Over the years, I've been a publisher's sales rep, bookseller, editor and publisher, and as a writer my work has also been diverse, so I hope I can offer useful insights and advice to the students," he said.

The course covers fields such as science fiction, fantasy and crime writing and was the first in the UK to offer specialist modules in writing for computer games and comics.

The Testament of Gideon Mack earned a place on the shortlist for the Richard & Judy Book Club Best Read of the Year in 2007. The Land Lay Still, Mr Robertson's fourth novel, is published later this year.