Morvern Cal­lar au­thor takes on univer­sity post

Arts: Warner to lec­ture in cre­ative writ­ing

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY NEIL DRYS­DALE

NEW ROLE: Alan Warner is ‘very ex­cited’ by his new Aberdeen Univer­sity po­si­tion.

One of Scot­land’s most renowned au­thors has taken up a new post as se­nior lecturer in cre­ative writ­ing at Aberdeen Univer­sity.

Alan Warner, whose ac­claimed book Morvern Cal­lar was turned into an award-win­ning fea­ture film by di­rec­tor Lynne Ram­say in 2002, said he was de­lighted to take up the post.

The 55-year-old, from Con­nel, near Oban, said: “I am very ex­cited to be given this op­por­tu­nity at the univer­sity, which has a dy­namic and suc­cess­ful cre­ative writ­ing pro­gramme.

“I have been, ‘out in the field,’ as a full-time writer for many years, with cer­tain ex­pe­ri­ences in the cre­ative in­dus­tries which bring a spe­cific edge and an un­der­stand­ing of the real en­vi­ron­ment which writ­ers have to op­er­ate in.

“At the end of the day, though, it is about the sk­il­ful ap­pli­ca­tion of the writ­ing on the page; of en­cour­ag­ing and as­sist­ing writ­ers to ex­press them­selves and their vi­sions.

“It’s en­er­gis­ing to work with new writ­ers and I look for­ward to do­ing that,” he added.

An­other of Mr Warner’s works, The So­pra­nos, is be­ing brought to the sil­ver screen – al­though its ti­tle has been changed to Our Ladies – and is sched­uled for re­lease next year.

The rau­cous pro­duc­tion has been de­scribed as “Pitch Per­fect meets Trainspot­ting”.

The cast in­cludes Kate Dickie and David Hay­man.

Mr Warner added: “To get two of your nov­els adapted for the cin­ema is for­tu­nate, es­pe­cially from such great film di­rec­tors.

“The So­pra­nos/Our Ladies took a long time to go into pro­duc­tion, as these things of­ten do. Michael Ca­ton-Jones, the di­rec­tor of Our Ladies, re­ally stuck to his guns to get the film made. It’s a story that is spe­cific to a time and a cul­ture.

“I saw the film at the Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val last month and the young cast of ac­tors are re­mark­ably good.

“I worked on early ver­sions of screen­plays on both Morvern Cal­lar and Our Ladies but, as tends to hap­pen, the screen­plays go through many rewrites.

“Lynne Ram­say ended up writ­ing the screen­play of Morvern Cal­lar her­self which was great, and Michael ended up work­ing on the screen­play of Our Ladies.”

Mr Warner is also tak­ing part in the univer­sity’s Di­rec­tor’s Cut event to­mor­row.

He said: “It will be a con­ver­sa­tion with the great Alan Mar­cus, who has been do­ing this Di­rec­tor’s Cut se­ries for so long now.

“We will show some clips from Morvern Cal­lar and other films, and chat for a bit about the ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing your novel adapted in a frank talk about how adap­ta­tion feels for a writer – the ups and downs of it all.”

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at: abdn.ac.uk/ events/15409/

Pic­ture cour­tesy of Gemma Day

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