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 cultural heritage, conservation and community projects, both in the UK and abroad.
Emerging Writer Award 2017
We’re delighted to announce Rue Baldry as the winner of the 2017 Emerging Writer Award. Rue wins a tailor-made package of writing support, which includes writing retreats at Moniack Mhor and one-to-one mentoring.
Having been raised in Essex and Dar Es Salaam, Rue is now a mother of five living in York, England. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of York and an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds University. Her short stories have appeared in Mslexia, The Broken City, The Honest Ulsterman and on the Reader Berlin online showcase. Her scripts have had amateur and Youth theatre productions and professional workshops. Her website is ruebaldry.wordpress.com and her Twitter account is @R_E_Baldry.
Rue’s winning entry was an extract from the work-in-progress novel Uncle Raymond, which tells the life story of an ex-alcoholic trans woman stage magician, now working as a children’s entertainer, recollected as she performs at a party on the Saturday after the EU referendum.
Rue had this to say: ‘I’m incredibly pleased and proud to have won this award, both because of the tremendous opportunities offered by the prize, which will be hugely helpful to me in getting this novel completed, but also because of the recognition. Having prestigious, knowledgeable people like those at The Bridge Awards and Moniack Mhor telling me that my writing is worthwhile, and worth supporting, helps me to assure myself that it really is.’
Applications are closed.
Pyromania Bursary Programme 2017
The Bridge Awards is proud to support Pyromania, a new bursary programme developed by Fire Exit, the award winning theatre company set up in 2002 by artistic director David Leddy.
The bursary will enable playwrights based in Scotland to develop their skills in experimental writing. Highly-acclaimed writer and director David Leddy will mentor two playwrights over the course of a year, supporting them to develop a new script.
The recipients of the 2017 bursaries are Amy Conway and Maryam Hamidi.
Amy Conway is a theatre maker and performer based in Glasgow. She trained at the University of Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In the past 18 months, I-Happy-I-Good, her immersive one-to-one performance about deafblindness, toured to On The Verge, Liverpool in associaton with Conflux. 30:60:80, a verbatim show exploring maternal histories and intergenerational difference, toured Scottish theatres with support from Creative Scotland. Super Awesome World, an interactive show that invites the audience to become Amy’s fellow adventurers in her quest for good mental health, completed a second stage of development with support from the Tron and Platform, culminating in a work-in-progress performance at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Super Awesome World will premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017. Amy has just finished working with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company supported by a Federation of Scottish Theatre Assistant Director Bursary. She assisted Gill Robertson on Pondlife and Bed, a new development with National Theatre Scotland.
Maryam Hamidi trained as an actor at Queen Margaret University College and for over 10 years she has followed a multidisciplinary path as a writer, director and actor on stage, screen and radio.
As an actor she has worked with the National Theatre of Scotland, 7:84, Tron Theatre, The Paper Birds and BBC Scotland, to name a few. She is an associate of A Moment’s Peace Theatre company with whom she co-created the Amnesty Award nominated The Chronicles of Irania. Most recently, her play The Builders has had readings at Tron Theatre and Theatre 503 and she was awarded a TronLab bursary to develop Archaeology, a simulated archaeological dig unearthing the otherness of the diasporic experience. She is also in post-production with her first short film as Writer/Director, Bloody Love, funded through the SFTN 5@Five scheme.
Maryam co-founded Boost, a grassroots iniative to promote ethnically diverse voices across the stage and screen industries.
Pyromania will reopen for applications in 2018.
More information about Pyromania and Fire Exit can be found here
Applications are closed.
Emerging Artist Residency at Cove Park 2017
The Bridge Awards and Cove Park are delighted to announce Florrie James as the winner of the 2017 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.
Florrie James is a painter and film-maker based in Glasgow. She has been working with experimental film and loosely defined narrative for several years, occasionally working alone but often in the context of collaborative projects with other writers or film-makers. Her recent film works have included Mountaintop Administration (2014), Brighthouse (2014), O.k. Rick (2015) and new works filmed in Havana, Cuba, with Ross Little.
At Cove Park, James will focus upon a new film, Four Day Weekend Underground, developed with writer Sam Bellacosa. The film concerns the journey of a young traveller from Glasgow to the Isle of Eigg in the year 2044. James and Bellacosa have described the work as ‘…a travelogue regarding the kindness of strangers. It is a road movie in the absence of money (and) sets out to depict, through a speculative alter-future, conditions of migration, individualism, corporatism,and land use, as well as the romantic appeal of WROL (Without Rule of Law) in popular imagination.’
The residency will provide time for James to edit and reflect upon the footage produced to date, in order to formulate new ideas and filming techniques. Throughout the research and pre-production process, it has been important for James to continually re-assess the work in development and allow improvisation to occur within the making of the film, a requirement this residency can support.
Florrie says: I am very excited to have been awarded the Bridge Awards residency at Cove Park. It is perfect timing for me to have access to film locations on the west coast, and I will spend much of the time on an extended focused edit of footage I will have recently shot for my new film Four Day Weekend Underground. I am sure the environment and calm surroundings will enter into the work itself during the edit.
More about Florrie’s work here
To learn more about Cove Park, please click here
Applications are closed.
Echoes of The City
This exciting project, developed by Miriam Johnson in association with Edinburgh City of Literature and funded by the Bridge Awards, is now available to be downloaded and enjoyed.
Using Podwalk, a new social, geo-locational, podcasting app, Echoes of the City: Edinburgh’s Hidden Stories, has taken the work of fifteen shortlisted authors and placed it throughout the city using the geo-locational interface via Podwalk’s app and the Echoes website. The project highlights the voices of new and up and coming writers and gives unique, creative angles to some of the most interesting sites in Edinburgh.
By geo-locating the stories in unique places throughout the city centre, the project engages listeners by taking them on a journey of stories and poetry, exploring sides of the city they might not have found through conventional means.
Echoes of the City can be downloaded via Podwalk here
18 May 2017
Hands-On Cove Park
The Bridge Awards are proud to support Hands-On Cove Park, a programme of creative events, workshops and talks for people in Argyll & Bute led by current and former residents of Cove Park, Scotland’s international artists residency centre.
Helen Voce, the Hands-On Programme Producer at Cove Park, had this to say about Pier to Pier, a recent Hands-On project:
‘Pier to Pier, a partnership project, mobilised young people in three areas of Argyll & Bute through and to a variety of quality creative experiences. The Bridge Awards’ support of Hands-On enables artist-led creative excursions for young people in the vicinity of Cove Park and thus made Pier to Pier possible.
Circling the Firth of Clyde, at the southern reaches of Argyll & Bute, are three of Scotland’s arts and cultural centres – Cove Park, Dunoon Burgh Hall and Rothesay Pavilion. Goings on at Cove Park can be very different and distant to those at Dunoon Burgh Hall, which in turn are different again from Rothesay Pavilion. And so on.
All former partners in Argyll Youth Arts, the venues are committed to providing opportunities for children and young people in our local and regional community to engage in, explore and develop their creative, cultural and heritage interests through high quality, appropriate experiences.
What also connects us is the Clyde Firth. But this stretch of water also presents the challenges of geography and time. Pier to Pier faced these challenges head on through creativity to connect and bring together young people from our three locations.
Taking as its starting point the historical piers of Kilcreggan, Dunoon and Rothesay, participants travelled primarily by ferry to each centre on three consecutive days to create, experiment and, most importantly, to collaborate, whether en route to or at their destination.
The activity at each venue was appropriate to the arts centre and was led by a locally based professional artist. At Dunoon Burgh Hall, an Andy Warhol inspired workshop – to coincide with the exhibition of his work opening in June 2017 – prompted multimedia artworks. At Cove Park, a collaborative installation explored journey and place through the senses. At Rothesay Pavilion, on the stage of the auditorium currently closed for refurbishment, scenes of colour bombing were choreographed and filmed for a soon to be produced music video.
Funds from The Bridge Awards will support future artist-led creative excursions within the Hands-On Cove Park programme, including the Beach Combing Holiday Art Club with artist Celia Pym and a residential visit for members of our National Art and Design Saturday Club to see their work exhibited at the Summer Show in Somerset House, London.
Hands On Cove Park is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The Robertson Trust. Pier to Pier was made possible with additional funds from Argyll Youth Arts and partners Dunoon Burgh Hall and Rothesay Pavilion.’
17 May 2017
Chelsea Apps Factory
Miriam Johnson, developer of Echoes of the City, paid a research visit to the Chelsea Apps Factory, an industry leader in Mobile and Digital enablement for enterprise. Here’s what she had to say:
‘When I arrived at the Chelsea App Factory on a balmy London day, I was returning to my old stomping grounds where I spent a year after moving to the UK, living in a warehouse and generally experiencing the city.
The first thing to note about CAF is the office. Since my visit they have changed locations, but I’m sure the key features of open plan spaces and lots of brightness to facilitate communication and openness have followed them to their new digs. There’s something about the friendly atmosphere that belies the sheer amount of work that goes on in CAF. My afternoon visit gave only a taste of what they do, but I had two meetings that really opened my eyes about the digital and mobile world.
I first met with Pete Shannon and boy, was that insightful? I have never met with anyone who could brainstorm so many solutions to problems I hadn’t even considered yet. Now, the real issue I had here was to rein in my excitement, as I have had to do with my current research because, as yet, it is based on what is happening, not what could/will happen. However, this first meeting really opened my eyes to the possibilities of placing books within the Internet in ways that haven’t happened yet. The connectivity is amazing and the potential for digital book products is almost never-ending. When I go to write the conclusions of my current thesis, I will be thinking back to this day at CAF and bringing into the conclusions the possibilities of what can, and I believe, will happen in the future of the book.
Guillaume Goujon is a digital strategist for CAF and he introduced me to a concept that I have taken forward in a variety of my working strategies, not just on creating digital spaces, but in working on my research as well. The concept is based on Agility, or Agile methods, where you and the team work hard in sprints and move towards a goal swiftly whilst keeping an open mind to changes that may need to happen to facilitate the project. The end isn’t a perfect iteration of the final project, but it is a working prototype that can be tested and modified in further sprints. Agile publishing methods are something that need to come into effect. Now that the printing and digital technology is available there is no reason that publishers cannot better integrate elements of this working method to test book/story/platform viability as the project moves forwards – ideally taking on board reader considerations.
I will be including what I learned at CAF in my PhD thesis at Oxford Brookes University, where I am focusing on social media as a slushpile for the publishing industry. The key point from CAF that I will be able to include in my thesis is that the publishing industry has a long way to go to shift their business models in order to continue to be relevant in the coming decades. Publishers need to embrace technological ideals, such as user-centred planning, and to consider the root of a work of fiction, the story, as the driving force and connective element between readers and books. The industry needs to reach ahead and embrace the internet of things and think now about how books, readers, and writers, can fit into the world of social technology in order to keep up in the coming years, when new publishing start-ups, who are agile in their business models and what they produce and how they interact with readers, may step in and make the older, larger publishers obsolete.
In addition, I have recently received the post of lecturer in Publishing in the University of Derby’s new programme, where I plan to bring in the knowledge I gained from my time with CAF to the students there, in the hopes of directing the publishing industry towards an innovative and sustainable future that embraces new digital and mobile technologies.’
Read more about Miriam’s research here
More about Chelsea Apps Factory here
02 May 2017
Advice For Aspiring Novelists
As part of the Bridge Awards contribution to the promotion of the Dundee International Book Prize, the UK’s largest literary prize for unpublished writers, Freight Books interviewed published novelists, asking them to offer advice to writers thinking of starting a novel, and writers who had completed a full draft.
Amongst those interviewed were Kevin MacNeil, author of three novels including The Stornoway Way and The Brilliant and Forever; Karen Campbell, author of 6 novels, including Rise and This is Where I Am and J David Simons, author of five novels including A Woman of Integrity and An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful.
Click on the author’s name to hear pithy, pertinent and varied advice on the writing process.
02 Mar 2017
Arts and Business Scotland
Cultural Enterprise Office
Edinburgh City of Literature
Edinburgh College of Art
Glasgow Visual Arts and Craft Award Scheme
Lust and the Apple
Playwrights’ Studio Scotland
Scottish Book Trust
Scottish Film Talent Network
Scottish Poetry Library
Skriva Writing School
The Creative Retreat Scotland
The WoMentoring Project
Wellcome Trust Arts Awards
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