A novelist, artist and biographer, Alanna was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to the literary communities of Scotland. Alanna previously tutored for the WEA in creative writing and has worked extensively to help other writers to get into print.
As a poet, editor, writer and translator, I have long been aware of the power of education and literacy. I worked as a coordinator for WEA Scotland as part of the ‘Peoples of Edinburgh’ project, that engaged the diverse communities of Edinburgh and lead to a major exhibition.
I have been involved with the WEA since 1978 and became the Scottish Association Secretary in 1992, serving until 2012. WEA Scottish Secretary role involved representing the WEA on a number of Scottish Government bodies and strategic planning committees. I also represented UK ministers, including the devolved administrations, on an EU Thematic Working Party on Lifelong Learning related to the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty.