An AUTHOR has been selected for a new initiative to support writers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Heather Darwent, from North Berwick, was chosen by Scottish Book Trust, along with 18 other poetry, fiction and non-fiction writers from across the country, for Debut Lab.

The initiative, developed in connection with Creative Scotland, features a series of workshops designed to help writers overcome the challenges arising from Covid-19 and thrive in their careers.

Heather, 33, is a fiction writer who moved to Scotland from North Yorkshire to study history of art at university, eventually settling in North Berwick nearly three years ago.

Her debut novel, The Things We Do To Our Friends, is a psychological thriller that follows a girl hiding from her past who gets caught in the “atmospheric, dark and gothic” underbelly of Edinburgh.

The novel also features her new home North Berwick, with the town’s coastline inspiring “a small bit of drama” in the story.

Her book is released in January next year and she shared her excitement at being involved in the initiative.

She said: “I’m so excited to take part in Debut Lab.

“The opportunity to connect with other authors in Scotland is extremely exciting and I look forward to the upcoming workshops.”

Debut Lab was created to assist writers in the transitional phase of their career and help foster their talents, while also delivering opportunities to network, market their work, and discover new funding opportunities.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Scottish Book Trust is pleased to support 18 authors through our new initiative, Debut Lab.

“Being a debut author is daunting enough, but the pandemic and following lockdown made it incredibly difficult for authors to promote their work.

“We hope to shine a light on this fantastic range of books, from children’s novels to collections of poetry.”