Heather Parry is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor and was the recipient of Cove Park’s 2017 Emerging Scottish Writer residency. Her work has been published in several magazines, most recently The Stinging Fly, and she has performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and at a number of other storytelling events in the UK and abroad.

Heather’s work explores self-deception, transformation and identity, as well as the extent to which we all construct our own realities. She applied to Cove Park in 2016 with the aim of working on her second novel, Mingulay. The novel is set on a remote Scottish island and explores themes of isolation and the psychological impact of unfamiliar environments.

‘I guessed that Cove Park would be the ideal place in which to write, allowing me the opportunity to feel a little of what my character would be feeling. I hoped to perhaps write half of a first draft over the four weeks I had there, and to allow the concepts to ferment a little in my mind. What I found, however, was that freed from the distractions of my home-based workspace, I settled into a routine like never before, writing 3000-4000 words every morning. By the end of the month I had a completed 70,000-word first draft—as well as several new short stories, and the first ten pages of a play!

I found the site absolutely perfect for reflection and contemplation, with the stunning scenery and the long walks (to pilfer blackberries) giving me time to consider my themes. For someone who struggles with distraction, having a workspace disconnected from the internet was ludicrously helpful, and I allowed myself afternoons and evenings of research and relaxation up at the Artists Centre. It was a joy to be amongst such a talented, diverse group of artists, several of whom inspired me to new challenges, and the social aspect brought a lot to my time at Cove Park.’

Heather is now workshopping her first novel and preparing to start on a third. She is also writing a play and a feature film script, as well as a number of short stories. More information on Heather’s work is available here.