Mary Paulson-Ellis Announced as Dr Gavin Wallace Fellow

Alice Carr
Edinburgh City of Literature Trust

31 January 2023

Edinburgh-based writer to work with Edinburgh City of Literature for one year

We are delighted to announce that Edinburgh-based author Mary Paulson-Ellis has been selected as our appointed Fellow for the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship, funded by Creative Scotland. A writer whose work engages deeply with Edinburgh as a place, Mary Paulson-Ellis will be working with us for one year, focussing on a new writing project and forging valuable creative connections through our international UNESCO Cities of Literature network.

The Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship offers mid-career and established writers time to develop creative work during a year-long residency. Following the sad loss of Dr Wallace in February 2013, Creative Scotland established this annual fellowship in his name to honour his memory and commemorate and continue his good work.

Mary Paulson-Ellis writes across the genres of crime, historical and literary fiction, exploring the world of people who die with no next-of-kin. You may be familiar with her novels The Other Mrs Walker (Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year), The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing, and Emily Noble's Disgrace.

Ali Bowden, Director of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, said:

“We’re so pleased to be hosting Mary Paulson-Ellis, a writer for whom Edinburgh is not only a setting but a character, for the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship as part of our international residency programme. Dr Gavin Wallace was instrumental in Edinburgh securing its UNESCO City of Literature designation and as keen supporter of international exchange, we are honoured to be hosting this fellowship in his name. Our hope is that the diverse and active UNESCO Cities of Literature network will provide a welcoming and creative space, stimulating an international exchange of ideas.”

Mary Paulson-Ellis said:

“I am truly honoured to be the recipient of this year’s Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship, in partnership with Edinburgh City of Literature. As a local author of many years standing, and someone who uses the city as a canvas for my work, this is a very exciting moment for me. I’ve long harboured ambitions to write a big, sprawling, multi-layered novel of Edinburgh, so I’m thrilled to be working with the City of Literature to make this dream come alive on the page.

I’m also looking forward to sharing my experiences as a writer-in-residence in Edinburgh with other authors across the Cities of Literature network, in a vibrant, international exchange of ideas. Fellowship and connection are at the heart of this network, and my new novel, so I’m hugely grateful for this unique opportunity to explore the true meaning of both within my home city and beyond.”

Harriet MacMillan, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said:

“We are delighted that Mary Paulson-Ellis will be this year’s Gavin Wallace Fellow. As an esteemed writer whose work has often engaged with the city of Edinburgh, she is a wonderful fit for this year’s host organisation, Edinburgh City of Literature. We are excited to see how she makes use of the host’s international creative networks and can’t wait to hear about the work she produces during this Fellowship year.”

The Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship is funded by Creative Scotland. The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust gratefully acknowledges the support of the City of Edinburgh Council, and thanks the donors and partners who make our work possible.