The Bridge Awards is a philanthropic venture that provides funding for the arts. This support is given in the form of annual awards and regular micro-funding opportunities. Details of  current projects and future opportunities can be found on this website.

Who and what we fund

Individuals and organisations involved in the fields of literature, film, visual arts, theatre, dance and music. We also fund selected UK and international cultural heritage and community projects.

Film Script Development Award With Douglas Dougan

The Bridge Awards, in association with Skriva Writing School, is delighted to announce that the winner of our 2016 Film Script Development Award is Jan Smith, with her script Victory Park.

Jan will have her script read and appraised by screenwriter and producer Douglas Dougan and receive an intensive script development session. Douglas said: ‘The standard of all entries was encouragingly high, but we chose Jan because there was a developing original voice in her writing. Her script project – set in the Romany community – was new and different, and Jan’s own journey as a writer is at a stage where she needs an extra jolt to take her where she wants to be. I very much look forward to working with her.’

Originally born in County Durham, Jan has lived in Scotland for more than twenty years. An advertising copywriter and novelist (writing under her penname JJ Durham) she has been screenwriting full time for the past three years, with a number of credits under her belt, including episodes of BBC’s Doctors, and of Irish continuing drama Red Rock. ‘I’m so pleased to have won this award. It’s very hard – almost impossible – for a writer to develop their own voice when they’re writing for existing shows. My session with Douglas will help me take things to the next level.’

More information about Jan can be found here

Also highly commended was our runner-up, Claire Nicol, with her script, The Red Leaf. Claire won a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award (2016) as co-writer on Best Drama – HULA. In 2015, she was commissioned to adapt Janice Galloway’s award-winning memoirs into a feature screenplay and is currently writing a play for Elaine C. Smith.

Douglas Dougan is a screenwriter and producer based in Edinburgh. In 2006 he set up his own film production company and has produced, amongst others, the BAFTA award-winning ‘Run, Tony, Run!’ and ‘Mono’, runner up in the BBC Three Film Award. Douglas also works as a script editor and script consultant on UK film and television productions and is a scriptwriting mentor for the Scottish Book Trust’s writer development programme. He set-up the screenwriting programme at The University of Edinburgh and has taught there since 2003. Douglas helped set up Skriva Writing School is 2012 and is lead tutor on the screenwriting programme. For more information about Skriva Writing School, please click here


Applications are closed.

2016 winner - Heather Parry

Emerging Writer Award 2016

The Bridge Awards and Moniack Mhor are thrilled to announce Heather Parry as the winner of the 2016 Emerging Writer Award. Heather will receive a tailor-made package of support, which will include courses and retreat time at the centre, as well as mentoring.

Heather Parry is a writer and editor who travelled widely for a few years before settling in Edinburgh. Her work has been published in a number of anthologies and magazines, and she is currently writing a novel about constructed reality, self-deception and self-awareness in the modern world. She writes about dystopias, utopias and real life, which is somewhere in between.

Heather’s entry was an extract from her novel-in-progress: Paper Faces. The story follows James, a twenty-something paragon of the Millennial condition; overeducated, underemployed and plagued by both mounting debts and plummeting self-worth as he travels to an unnamed Latin American country.

Heather Parry says:

‘I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this award, especially considering the wealth of young literary talent in Scotland at the moment. I’m excited about working with Moniack Mhor over the next twelve months, and I’m sure that their support will have a hugely positive impact as I push forward with my first novel.’

The standard of this year’s applications was very high, and the judges felt it worth highlighting three additional applications for quality and originality. Sophie Cameron was awarded Runner Up and Flora Johnston and Agneta Maslowska were awarded highly commended.

The Emerging Writer Award (formerly the Bridge Award for New Writing) was established last year. For an update on the progress of last year’s winner, Vicky MacKenzie, please see News.

For more information about Moniack Mhor, please click here


Applications are closed.

Cove Park

Emerging Artist Residency at Cove Park 2016

The Bridge Awards and Cove Park are delighted to announce Sarah Wright as the winner of the 2016 Emerging Visual Artist Residency. This residency enables an emerging visual artist based in Scotland to develop new work at an important point in their career.

Sarah is a Glasgow-based artist. Her work explores a subjective relationship between artist and image, creating a rhythmic language of pictures that function as visual poems, or a sort of graphic stream of consciousness. Central to her practice are the processes of printmaking, collage and assemblage. Wright has had solo exhibitions at Intermedia Gallery, Tramway and Glasgow Print Studio.

Sarah says:

‘Spending four weeks at Cove Park with my own studio, in the middle of the most beautiful Scottish landscape where all I need to do is focus on research, reading and spending uninterrupted time on my work, is such a privilege. The time at Cove Park will allow me to begin developing ambitious new projects for a solo exhibition at Inverleith House in 2017. On top of that, I get to be amongst a small group of other fantastic artists. I can’t wait to begin my residency!’

More information about Sarah and examples of her work can be found here

To learn more about Cove Park, please click here

Applications are closed.

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HOP...E: A new exhibition by Marie Piselli

The Bridge Awards is proud to sponsor HOP…E, a new exhibition by the Paris-based artist Marie Piselli.

The exhibition is running from 10th May 2016 to 16th July 2016 in Draguignan, France and is housed in the town’s Musée d’Art et d’Histoire and the Chapelle de l’Observance.

The inspiration for HOP…E came from Marie’s exploration of a disused prison in her home town of Draguignan. The prison had been destroyed by floods in June 2010, and the atmospheric ruins affected Marie deeply. She began to collect material from the site, including beds and doors, which she would later use to create large-scale installations.

The exhibition also employs photography, painting and sculpture to explore the theme of imprisonment on many levels. Whilst Marie acknowledges that the contemporary world could be seen as experiencing a period of crisis, a ‘state of emergency’, she refuses to see it in this light. Instead her exhibition dares us to see ourselves as living through another Renaissance, a period of upheaval that is leading to artistic, literary, philosophical, scientific and religious transformation. By daring to be hopeful about where we find ourselves, Marie urges us to remember that hope can help us escape all forms of imprisonment, both physical and mental.

More information about Marie and her work is available here



28 May 2016


Update from Vicky MacKenzie—Winner of Bridge Award For New Writing 2015

Vicky MacKenzie, a poet and fiction writer from Fife, was the winner of the 2015 Bridge Award for New Writing. (Now the Emerging Writer Award.)

MacKenzie, who won with her extract from a historical novel, Brantwood, based on the life of art critic John Ruskin, attended two courses at Moniack Mhor and was mentored by acclaimed Scottish Novelist, Janice Galloway.

Vicky MacKenzie says:

‘In February 2015, I got a phone call from Rachel Humphries, the Manager of Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre, to say I’d been selected as the winner of the inaugural Bridge Award for Emerging Writers. It may seem like a cliché to say I couldn’t believe it, but I really was in a state of shock. It’s hard to overstate how much difference getting this kind of support and encouragement makes when you’re writing your first novel.

The Bridge Award has had a huge impact on my life. Janice Galloway was the perfect mentor – encouraging and enthusiastic, but she also pushed me to examine my writing with a critical eye and to make it the best it can be. I’m so grateful to everyone at the Bridge Awards and Moniack Mhor, as well as to Janice Galloway, for their support – it’s been life-changing.’

Janice Galloway says:

‘I have worked extensively as a teacher over my writing career (and well before it) but not acted as a mentor. […]From my perspective, it was a personal delight – I sometimes forget how much I love teaching and how much more I love it when the ‘mentee’ is so flexible and keen to experiment. If it is not already clear, I enjoyed the whole experience very much.’

Vicky has also gone on to win one of the Scottish Book Trust’s 2016 New Writer’s Awards.


02 Apr 2016

Miriam Johnson reports from the Futurebook Conference

Thanks to a generous grant from The Bridge Awards, I was able to attend the 2015 Futurebook Conference in London on December 04, 2015. This was in order to further my doctoral research on how social media can be a slush pile for traditionally published products and how publishing models need to shift to accommodate the rise of the citizen author. You can read more about my research here

The conference is Europe’s largest publishing conference, and it’s a convergence of the digitally-engaged, future looking publishers in Europe. There were sessions across several rooms throughout the day. I chose to attend two Unbound sessions, where publishers such as Booktrack, Quarto, and Own It! were introducing new and innovative publishing products, models, and platforms. Of particular interest was the mention of you-centred books, or unique published products, that gave readers a product that they helped design.

The look at mobile publishing drew my attention to the potential of big data that companies such as Pigeonhole, and dare I say, Amazon, are using to understand a reader’s digital reading habits. This was a session that got me thinking about the future of publishing, which was ideal for engaging with the presentation of the BookTech Showcase just before the inspiring final speakers took the stage.


01 Apr 2016

A.D.Bergstrom wins Manuscript Appraisal Award

Lesley Glaister has chosen A.D.Bergstrom as the winner of our manuscript appraisal award. This is what he had to say about his novel-in-progress and winning the award:

My novel The Blue Mountains follows street thief John Boylan, a boy transported from Ireland to Australia at the close of the 18th century. Escaping his British captors with the help of an Aboriginal boy, Boylan becomes the first European to cross the Blue Mountains. This fictitious story is interwoven with historical events and personages, including Captain Caley of the New South Wales regiment, the first European to officially cross the Blue Mountains. Winning the Bridge Manuscript Appraisal Award is thrilling, and a wonderful confidence boost. I look forward to receiving feedback and guidance to assist with the development of my project. Having written creatively most of my life, after years of screenwriting I have recently returned to writing prose. My interests are speculative and historical fiction, and the parallels between them. Edinburgh-based, I hold down a day job to support my writing habit.

Lesley Glaister is the author of thirteen novels, numerous radio dramas and a stage play. She is the recipient of Betty Trask and Somerset Maugham awards, a Yorkshire Post Author of the Year award and a Jerwood Uncovered award. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.





21 Jan 2016

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Arts and Business Scotland

Cove Park

Creative Scotland

Cultural Enterprise Office

Edinburgh City of Literature

Edinburgh College of Art

Foundation Scotland

Freight Books

Glasgow Visual Arts and Craft Award Scheme


Lust and the Apple

Moniack Mhor


Playwrights’ Studio Scotland

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Film Talent Network

Scottish Poetry Library

Scottish Screenwriters

Skriva Writing School

The Creative Retreat Scotland

The WoMentoring Project

Wellcome Trust Arts Awards

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