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Alison Napier - a brief biography

alison napier

 I was born in Fife but moved with my family to the Highlands of Scotland when I was ten years old. When asked that difficult question, "Where do you come from?" I will answer, "From the Highlands of Scotland." This is where I always return to even when, like so many Scots, I frequently leave. At the moment I live in Perthshire where I run a lunch club for a social enterprise called CheckIn and I also supervise social care students.

I have a degree in Sociology from Aberdeen University, a Diploma in Social Work from the University of the West of England (Bristol) and an MA in Creative Writing from Exeter University.  For twelve years until 2008 I worked as a social worker in the Highlands.

My cv has the usual gaping holes in it when I was either unemployed (this was the ‘70s and early ‘80s when one could ‘choose’ to be unemployed in order to do things like go to Greenham Common or write novels with only the occasional Restart interview to worry about) or was a veggie cook or a waitress or a bar person or a volunteer in a hostel, or was just wondering what to do next.

A range of newspapers and journals have accepted various non-fiction articles and features over the years (details on NON FICTION page) but although I had also been writing fiction since I was in my teens I had never owned up to this until I attended a writing group in Lairg in Sutherland in 2007. The encouragement from the writing group gave me the confidence to take my fiction seriously and to send it out into the world. Which I did (details on FICTION page).

In 2012 I was a guest reader at the Ullapool Book Festival, in 2014 my short story 'In Stitches' was included in Zoe Strachan's LGBT anthology 'Out There' (Freight Books) and in 2015 my novel 'Take Away People' was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize.