A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

CS Open Project Funding for Literature: Sept 2018

£837,000 of National Lottery Funding has been awarded through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund to 47 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Congratulations to the following organisations receiving funding in September 2018 for Literature:

Open Book have received funding towards the Open Book Community Project – a large-scale shared reading programme. Open Book will work with existing and new partners to create new year-round programmes designed to improve access to literature and develop a sense of community through shared reading and creative writing.

Publishers Polygon have received funding to expand their poetry programme. The programme will include the publication classic, modern and contemporary poetry anthologies of Scotland. The programme will also include the publication and promotion of new writers and to bring lost classics back into print.

Publisher 404 Ink received funding towards their 2018-19 publishing schedule to enable them to continue to publish exciting and vital voices in Scotland, including Chris McQueer and Nadine Aisha Jassat, create new opportunities for a network of local freelancers, and grow the company to a sustainable level to better guarantee continued success.

NessBookFest 2018 (4-7 October) will use their funding to support this year’s programme, which includes showcasing the home-grown talent of Inverness alongside well-established writers from further afield.

Ness Book Fest said: “We’re very excited to be holding our third NessBookFest in Inverness next week (4-7 Oct). Support from our funders has enabled an even bigger and better free programme than before. We’re delighted to be showcasing local emerging talent alongside writers such as Ali Smith and Stuart MacBride. We also have a great schools and family programme, as well as poetry, history, workshops, literary walking and cycling tours and much more.”

For funding information across the cultural sectors, read the announcement on Creative Scotland’s website.

October 1, 2018

International Writers’ Residency 2019 – call for applications

Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre invites established international poets to apply for their International Writers’ Residency in 2019.

The successful candidate will receive a month-long residency with time and space to develop their work, as well as opportunities to expand their practice.

The final terms of the residency will be agreed by the successful candidate and Moniack Mhor.

Eligibility

This international residency is open to international established/mid-career poets living or working outside of the UK. To be eligible, applicants must have published at least one major work.

Please apply by sending:

  • A CV that covers your literary achievements
  • An A4 covering letter and personal statement that outlines your intentions for the residency
  • A sample of your work (maximum of 6 poems, doubled spaced and single sided)

Deadline for applications is 5 PM on Sunday October 14th. 

Send applications to residencies@moniackmhor.org.uk 

For any enquiries relating to the fellowship please contact Rachel Humphries, Centre Director – rachel@moniackmhor.org.uk or Eilidh Smith, Programme Manager – eilidh@moniackmhor.org.uk

September 25, 2018

Call for book gifters for Book Week Scotland

Scottish Book Trust is looking for organisations to help them gift free copies of an exclusive book across Scotland during Book Week Scotland (19-15 Nov 2018).

 The book is filled with stories written by members of the public, on a particular theme. This year’s theme is Rebel. The collection of stories represents the variety of rebellion across Scotland. From standing up to a teacher for the first time or campaigning against a local library’s closure, these stories highlight how important rebellion, big and small, is to our everyday lives. It also contains commissioned pieces from well-known authors including Anna Stewart and Professor Sue Black.

Order your free copies here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YQPTGHL
The book is suitable for ages 14+ as it contains some strong language and mature content. The minimum order is 25 copies.

Book Week Scotland is an annual week-long celebration of books and reading, run by Scottish Book Trust. This year, it will take place from Monday 19th – Sunday 25th November with a packed programme of events and activities planned throughout the country.

September 19, 2018

CPG on Culture – Connection: Impact of Brexit on Scotland’s cultural sector, 25 Sept

The next CPG on Culture will be held on Tuesday 25 September 2018 between 5.30pm-8.00pm at the Scottish Parliament in Committee Room 2 and is entitled Connection: Impact of the Referendum on EU Membership on Scotland’s cultural sector.

The meeting will also be the AGM of the group.

A full agenda will be made available in due course, however the meeting will follow the usual format:

  • 5.30pm-6pm                Social Discussion
  • 6pm-6.10pm                AGM business
  • 6.10pm -6.40pm          Panel Presentations and Discussion
  • 6.40pm – 8pm              Group Discussion

Unfortunately, due to room capacity only 60 non-MSPs can be accommodated at the meeting. Demand is expected to be high so please RSVP to Karen.Dick@creativescotland.com  to secure your spot.

Details of proceedings will be posted on the website (www.cpgonculture.com) after the meeting.

September 13, 2018

Jessie Kesson Fellowship: apply by 19 Oct

Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre is inviting established writers to apply for the Jessie Kesson Fellowship in 2019. This award was established in 2009 by Moniack Mhor to honour Jessie Kesson’s inspirational life and work.

The successful candidate will receive time and space to develop their work, as well as opportunities to expand their practice. This includes a stipend of £350 per week, plus accommodation. The successful applicant will:

  • Live on-site in the cottage at Moniack Mhor from Monday March 4thto 26th, 2019.
  • Have the opportunity to deliver three or four creative writing workshops based on or inspired by Jessie Kesson’s life and work in local schools, libraries or community centres.
  • Take a role in hosting a public evening event in the form of a reading or lecture.
  • Have the option to contribute one piece of work to Moniack Mhor at the end of the residency.

The final terms of the Fellowship will be agreed by the successful candidate and Moniack Mhor.

Apply by 12noon on Friday 19 October 2018.

Eligibility
The fellowship is open to established writers (fiction and non-fiction). To be eligible for the fellowship applicants must have published at least one novel, one short story collection, one poetry pamphlet or had one professional production of their work staged. It is also essential that applicants have experience of delivering workshops or working with children and young people and/or community groups. The Fellowship is open to UK based writers and international writers. Only travel costs within the UK will be covered by the Fellowship.

Application
Please apply by sending:

  • A CV which includes previous experience of work with young people and/or community groups
  • A covering letter demonstrating your qualifications for the fellowship and how it would benefit you
  • A sample of your work (maximum 2000 words, or 6 poems, doubled spaced and single sided)

Applications should be sent by 12 noon on Friday 19 October 2018 via email to: residencies@moniackmhor.org.uk with the subject line Jessie Kesson Fellowship or by post to Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre, Teavarran, Kiltarlity, IV4 7HT.

Interviews will be held week commencing 19 November 2018 at Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre or by skype.

For any enquiries relating to the fellowship please contact Eilidh Smith, Programme Manager eilidh@moniackmhor.org.uk  or telephone 01463 741 675.

September 12, 2018

National Strategy for School Libraries launched

The Scottish Government and COSLA have jointly produced a new National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland, the first of its kind in the UK.

It was launched on 8 September – International Literacy Day – and was shaped by the views of more than 450 children across 30+ schools.

The development of the strategy, entitled Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools – A National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland 2018-2023, was led by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) with support from an advisory group, chaired by Martina McChrystal, and five working groups.

The strategy aims to highlight to decision makers the intrinsic value of a good school library service and the impact this can have on children and young people’s wider school experience. It also aims to inform headteachers, school librarians and education practitioners on how to use their school library services.

And it will advise decision makers of the central role that school library services play in the education sector and advocate for appropriately resourced services for each child in Scotland. 

The Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS) were part of the advisory group during the development stage and will be part of the implementation group as the strategy is taken forward.

 

 

September 10, 2018

CS Open Project Funding for Literature: July 2018

£792,000 of National Lottery Funding was awarded last month through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund; supporting 36 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Congratulations to the following organisations and individuals receiving funding in July 2018 for Literature:

Writer Elaine Gallagher has received funding to develop a new solo performance piece, Speak for Ourselves, chronicling and celebrating Scotland’s trans and non-binary community.

Scotland’s Transatlantic Poetry Journal Dark Horse Magazine and Northwords Now, which showcases writing from across the north of Scotland have received funding to support their next editions.

Independent comic creator and author Kathryn Briggs received funding to exhibit her work at MCM Manchester Comic Con! Briggs has been shortlisted for Best Graphic Novel and Best Up and Coming Talent at the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance Awards – both for Magpie.

For funding information on the other cultural sectors, read the announcement on Creative Scotland’s website.

August 31, 2018

Gaelic Books Council seeks new Director

The Gaelic Books Council is recruiting for a full-time Director.

GBC is the lead organisation with responsibility for supporting Scottish Gaelic authors and publishers, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic books in Scotland and internationally.

The job description is available here.

Deadline: Friday 7 September 2018.

 

August 21, 2018

Once Upon a Time… Scotland’s Storybook Trail

  • Scotland’s Storybook Trail includes a collection of characters and stories with connections to Scotland either by author, by location or by experience.
  • The self-led trail will comprise of a map which will be available online and in print from select VisitScotland iCentres and literary outlets.
  • Book lovers of all ages can embark on a literary adventure inspired by their favourite storybook characters and discover new stories to enjoy.
  • Characters include Harry Potter, Peter Pan, The Gruffalo, Thumble Tumble, Peter Rabbit, The Howlat and Greyfriars Bobby. 

‘Scotland’s Storybook Trail’ by Visit Scotland alights at The Beatrix Potter Exhibition & Garden at Birnam Arts, Perthshire.

From Peter Rabbit to Peter Pan, Harry Potter to The Howlat, Scotland has inspired some of the world’s best-loved literary creations.

Whether it’s history, landscapes, wildlife or even architecture, for decades authors have used some of the country’s greatest assets to create characters that continue to delight readers of all ages.

In recognition of this, VisitScotland has launched, Scotland’s Storybook Traila collection of places with links to some of the most celebrated characters in children’s literature.

The trail, which comprises  of a colourful map hosted on visitscotland.com and will be available at selected VisitScotland iCentres , as well as bookshops and libraries across Scotland, will help bookworms embark on their own adventures across the country, learning more about their favourite stories and discovering new tales inspired by or written in Scotland.

Featured locations include the birthplace of Peter Pan creator, JM Barrie in Kirriemuir, Angus; the Isle of Coll, the inspiration of Katie Morag’s fictional home on the Isle of Struay; the Scottish Owl Centre in West Lothianwhere readers can meet some feathered friends, similar to those that feature in the Harry Potter series; and Birnam Artsin Perthshire, the region that inspired Beatrix Potter’s famous creations. And it’s not just the book locations themselves that will appeal to young readers – the trail includes some great bookshops and festivals to discover around Scotland.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “In this, Scotland’s Year of Young People, the Storybook Trail not only celebrates Scotland’s rich literary heritage and incredible landscapes, but it also provides an opportunity to encourage children to read for pleasure and develop a life-long love of books. 

“With so many locations across the country linked to characters in children’s literature, I am sure the trail will act as a magnet for visitors from home and abroad who will experience our beautiful, vibrant country.”

Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said:“Scotland has world-class literary links. Our landscapes, history and people have inspired writers for centuries, helping to bring to life enduring characters that capture the imaginations of not just youngsters but grown-ups too.

“A great story has to have great characters and that’s what inspired Scotland’s Storybook Trail. We wanted to create something, as we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, that encourages booklovers of all ages to discover the places and people behind these famous fictional friends. “

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, said: “Scotland has a rich history of iconic literary characters, created or inspired by its places and people. Visiting locations with a special connection to favourite stories or figures is a real thrill for fans of any age, and Scotland’s Storybook Trail is packed with superb suggestions.

“Now is the perfect time to take a trip round our beautiful country and enjoy again, or for the first time, some of the greatest Scottish stories ever told and the places where the creative spark started – just don’t forget to pack a book.”

 

So take a magical adventure from page to place and discover just some of the Scottish locations with literary links to best-loved stories;

Harry Potter – JK Rowling

Grab your wands and prepare for a magic adventure! Visit Tom Riddle’s grave at Greyfriars Kirkyard, meet some of Hedwig’s feathered friends at the Scottish Owl Centreor join a tour of the Capital to find out how Edinburgh’s buildings and people inspired JK Rowling’s smash-hit series about a boy wizard. Film fans  -make sure to hop aboard the ‘Hogwarts Express’ across the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson’s swashbuckling adventure was written during a stay inBraemar. It’s thought Stevenson based some of the characters on people he met in the village. Treasure Island is also rumoured to have been inspired by Fidra Islandin East Lothian which the writer used to watch from the area known now as Yellowcraig. Today, rather than pirates you are more likely to find puffins as the island is an RSPB Scotland reserve.

Peter Pan – JM Barrie 

Make sure to pack your pixie dust as you head off on an awfully big adventure in search of Peter Pan. A statue of ‘The Boy Who Never Grew Up’ can be found at JM Barrie’s Birthplacein Kirriemuir, Angus but it was Moat Braein Dumfries, where Barrie lived as a boy, that inspired Neverland, the enchantedfaraway place where Peter Pan and the Lost Boys outwit Captain Hook.

Beano, The Dandy and Oor Wullie

The antics of Dennis and his pals in Beano, and A’body’s favourite wee laddie, Oor Wullie have been published every week for decades by DC Thomson who are based in Dundee with Beano recently celebrating its 80thbirthday. Look out for statues of fellow DC Thomson legends, Desperate Dan, Minnie the Minxas well asOor Wullie, in Dundee city centre. And don’t miss the chance to grab a selfie on Bash Street.

Katie Morag – Mairi Hedderwick 

The Isle of Collin the Inner Hebrides was the real-life inspiration for Katie Morag’s home on the Isle of Struay.  Take a picnic to the beach, explore the island’sonly real village, Arinagour, and keep an eye out for the whitewashed cottages that look just like the illustrations in Mairi Hedderwick’s books.

Peter Rabbit and Friends – Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter created her most famous fluffy friend, Peter Rabbit, following childhood summer holidays in Dunkeld, watching and drawing wildlife.Birnam Artsis a great place to learn about the region that inspired her, you may also meet some of her other characters in the Beatrix Potter Exhibition Garden.

The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson  and Axel Scheffler

Take a stroll through the deep dark wood on Ardkinglas Estatein search of the Gruffalo. Look out for the Mouse who’ll help guide you along the trail which tells the story, translated into Scots, of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s famous, loveable beast.

Thumble Tumble – AH Proctor

The Isle of Arranis the extraordinary little home of this extraordinary little witch. Visit Brodick Castleand Lochranza Castlewhere Thumble Tumble’s first two magical adventures were set. Keep your eyes peeled for Night Witches, Sea Dragons and Flower Nymphs – you never know what magic you might encounter on this spectacular island.

 Why not continue your literary adventure with a visit to one of Scotland’s book festivals?

 

Edinburgh International Book Festival

11-27 August

As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is an unmissable event for book-lovers. The Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme is perfect for young readers from tots to teens, with hundreds of events including interactive sessions, fun performances, storytelling and workshops with authors and illustrators.

 

Killearn Children’s Festival

2 September

A fun-filled day packed with events and activities aimed a little bookworms. Learn how to draw a dragon, get tips on writing your own stories or listen to a host of tales from authors of some of the most exciting new books.

 

Wigtown Book Festival

21-30 September

Celebrating its 20thanniversary, the annual award-winning festival takes place in Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town. For ten days in September, the town buzzes with book events as well as theatre, music and a dedicated Children’s Garden offers activities to appeal to younger readers.

 

Borders Book Festival

13-16 June 2019

The hugely popular Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, which in 2018 attracted record audiences, is always a highlight of the literary calendar and regularly welcomes some of the most well-known writers in the country.   The Family Book Festival offers a wonderful selection of events with sessions from some of the best-loved authors for children, as well as free activities.

To find more book festivals across Scotland visit https://literaturealliancescotland.co.uk/events/find-a-book-festival/

For more inspiration to entertain little book fans visit:www.visitscotland.com/blog/family-2/storybook-trail/

ENDS

IMAGE CAPTION: Credit Julie Howden

6 year old Charlotte Brady from Invergowrie and Carter (aged 6), Angus (aged 4) and Finn McKay (aged 2) from Dundee take inspiration from Scotland’s Storybook Trail to learn more about Peter Rabbit at the Beatrix Potter Exhibition & Garden at Birnam Arts, Perthshire.

For further information and images please contact:

Louise Purves, Senior PR Officer, VisitScotland – louise.purves@visitscotland.com/0131 472 2052

Notes to editors

About VisitScotland

  • VisitScotland had launched a brand new global campaign, Scotland is Now.  To find out more go to www.scotlandisnow.com or join the conversation by using #ScotlandIsNow
  • VisitScotland’s Community site was set up for the Scottish public to help, engage and enthuse potential visitors about the country.  To get involved go to:www.visitscotland.com/community
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx,
  • For tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to www.visitscotland.org

PLEASE NOTE

This copy was correct at the time of going to press. VisitScotland cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information and accepts no responsibility for any error or misrepresentation.  All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by the reliance on the information contained herewith, or in the event of any company, individual or firm ceasing to trade, is hereby excluded

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 10, 2018

Saltire Society seeks Events Assistant

The Saltire Society is offering a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to gain experience in event programming and management. They are looking for a dynamic individual who can work well in a team as well as on their own initiative.

The Saltire Society is a small influential cultural charity with an energetic and engaging approach to managing and delivering our marketing and communications. This is strongly linked to their programme of awards and the associated ceremonies.

The successful candidate will benefit from hands-on experience in a small charity of organising, delivering and evaluating our Saltire Awards.

The person appointed will work closely with our Programme Director, Event Officer, Board, Volunteers and Partners to develop and run a range of events for the Society’s 2018 programme.

For full details of the position, visit Saltire Society website

Closing date: Noon on Mon 20 Aug 2018

Interview date: Tues 4 Sept

August 1, 2018

CS Open Project Funding for Literature: June 2018

Nearly £1million of National Lottery Funding has been awarded through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding in June 2018.

£903,556 of National Lottery Funding has been awarded through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding to 42 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Congratulations to the following organisations and individuals receiving funding in June 2018 for Literature:

The Saltire Society received funding towards the 2018 Saltire Literary Awards. This year is the 30th anniversary of the Scottish First Book of the Year. The Award has seen winners such as Ali Smith, AL Kennedy, Michel Faber and Louise Welsh going on to be central players in the Scottish international literary landscape.

Award-winning poet/performer Jenny Lindsay of Flint & Pitch receives funding towards This Script – a new stage show, poetry collection and spoken word project. This Script tackles sex, gender, feminism and the online culture wars with Lindsay’s trademark humour, openness and lyrical dexterity.

Annual crime writing festival Bute Noir in Rothesay received funding toward their 2018 programme (3-5 Aug). This year’s programme includes acclaimed authors Chris Brookmyre, Helen FitzGerald and Graeme Macrae Burnet.

Portobello Book Festival received funding towards Postcards from Portobello – a publication marking their 10th anniversary. The collection contains original writing from approximately 25 authors with a strong connection to Portobello.

For funding information on the other cultural sectors, read the announcement on Creative Scotland’s website.

July 31, 2018

Centre Director, and Visitor & Commercial Services Manager, Moat Brae

The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust is recruiting for TWO roles in the senior management team that will bring alive the new Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling at Moat Brae, Dumfries.

Centre Director

Introduction

The Centre Director will have the imagination, drive and ambition to make it a key attraction for local people and national and international visitors alike, ensuring its future sustainability.

The successful candidate will initially support the transition from the current project phase to the opening of the new Centre at the end of 2018 and ultimately lead the day-to-day and longer-term operations of an international visitor attraction.

This is a challenging but nationally significant post.  The successful candidate will be someone who is adaptable, resilient and able to manage complexity but also brave, determined and able to make decisions in consultation with others.   S/he will be level headed in difficult situations, have a creative approach to problem solving and be enthusiastic and motivating.

This is a chance to be in at the beginning of a new chapter of the story of this magical house and garden, in a position to write a happy ending.

Job Summary

Job Title          Centre Director, Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling, Moat Brae
Employer         Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust
Location          Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway
Salary              £36,000 / annum
Terms              Full-time (35 hours/week) & permanent subject to 6 months’ probation

More Details  

The closing deadline for applications is 12 noon, Wednesday 15 August 2018.

First interviews for both posts will be on 28 or 29 August at the Trust’s offices in Dumfries.

Please see visit the Trust’s website at www.peterpanmoatbrae.org for more information, including the Job Description and Person Specification for the post.

To apply please submit your CV and a covering letter saying how you meet the job requirements for the post to: Iain Wilson, Trust Administrator, at iain@peterpanmoatbrae.org (email or phone 01387 255549 if you have any questions or to discuss the post further).

 

Visitor and Commercial Services Manager

Introduction

The Visitor and Commercial Services Manager will be responsible for ensuring that all our visitors have a great day out, in a safe and secure environment, as well as being responsible for ensuring commercial targets are achieved.

The successful candidate will initially establish the operating standards and procedures necessary to open Moat Brae and make it a key attraction for local people and national and international visitors alike, ensuring its future sustainability.

On a day-to-day basis, the postholder will oversee the smooth running of the front-of-house operations, guaranteeing that procedures and protocols are adhered to.  These include:  managing the shop, liaising with the café / catering operator, leading on the development of the visitor bookings, arrival and admissions experience, helping to promote awareness and take-up of venue hire, and overseeing other commercial operations, working with the rest of the management team as appropriate to ensure customer satisfaction.

This is a chance to be in at the beginning of a new chapter of the story of this magical house and garden, in a position to write a happy ending.

Job Summary

Job Title          Visitor and Commercial Services Manager
Organisation   Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust
Location          Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway
Salary/Fee      £25,000 / annum
Type                Full-Time (35 Hours/Week) & Permanent

More Details  

The closing deadline for applications is 12 noon, Wednesday 15 August 2018.

First interviews for the post will be on 28 or 29 August at the Trust’s offices in Dumfries.

Please see visit the Trust’s website at www.peterpanmoatbrae.org for more information, including the Job Description and Person Specification for the post.

To apply please submit your CV and a covering letter saying how you meet the job requirements for the post to: Iain Wilson, Trust Administrator, at iain@peterpanmoatbrae.org (email or phone 01387 255549 if you have any questions or to discuss the post further).

 

July 29, 2018

CS Open Project Funding for Literature: May 2018

£1.2million of National Lottery Funding has been awarded through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding in May 2018.

54 recipients received between £1,457 and £90,000, supporting individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Congratulations to the following organisations and individuals receiving funding in May 2018 for Literature:

Bloody Scotland, the Caledonian Crime Writing Festival (21-23 September 2018) has received funding towards its programme. The annual festival furthers the development of Scottish crime writing by bringing together leading Scottish and international writers, showcasing debut voices, encouraging new writing and introducing the best of the genre to audiences and readers.

Glasgow-based publisher Vagabond Voices has received funding towards its 2018-19 publishing programme. This will include a series of books over a wide range of activities, to help authors of innovative and non-genre works to start or re-establish their literary careers.

For funding information on the other cultural sectors, read the announcement on Creative Scotland’s website.

June 29, 2018

ALCS 2018 Authors’ Earnings: Findings

New research from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Service (ALCS) finds working writers’ earnings continue to decline sharply and exposes growing gender gap.

The earnings of writers in the UK continue to fall, new research commissioned by ALCS reveals. The median earnings of professional writers – that is those who dedicate over half their working hours to writing – has fallen by 42% in real terms since 2005 and by 15% since 2013.

The ALCS research, Authors’ Earnings 2018: A survey of UK writers, found that the median annual income of a professional writer now stands at under £10,500. In 2017 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Minimum Income Standard (MIS), the income level considered to be a socially acceptable standard of living for a single person, was £17,900.

Earnings well below minimum wage

The current minimum wage in the UK for those over 25 is £7.83. Based on a standard 35-hour week, the median hourly earnings of a professional writer are just £5.73.

At £3,000 a year, the typical median earnings of “all writers” – which includes occasional and part-time writers in addition to professional writers as defined above – are also declining steeply, falling in real terms by 49% since 2005 and 33% since 2013.

Steep decline in full-time writers since 2005

In 2005, 40% of professional writers earned their income solely from writing. In 2017, that figure had fallen to 13.7%. This reflects the fact that due to their declining earnings, the majority of professional writers now need to have “portfolio” careers, supplementing their writing income with other activities such as teaching. Whilst the incomes of all writers continue to fall, the creative industries in the UK – now valued at £92 billion – are growing at twice the rate of the UK economy as a whole, calling urgently into question the extent to which writers’ significant contribution to those industries is properly valued.

Growing gender gap

Troublingly, the latest ALCS research has also revealed a growing gender gap, with the average earnings of female professional authors only around 75% of those of the average male professional writer down from 78% in 2005.

Over 5,500 writers working in a wide range of fields responded to the ALCS survey which was carried out by CREATe; that is more than double the number of respondents who participated in ALCS’s previous research into author earnings in 2013, and a higher number than the combined total of those who participated in 2005 and 2013. More detailed findings from the research will be published later in 2018.

Commenting on the latest findings Tony Bradman, children’s writer and ALCS chair, said:

“The results of this third ALCS survey into author earnings confirm what most writers know only too well – that incomes continue to decline, and that it is harder than ever to make a living as a professional writer. Given the enormous contribution that the work of UK writers makes to the success of our world-leading creative industries, the ALCS research calls starkly into question the extent to which we value that work. Without writers, our country and our culture would be poorer in every imaginable way and so we must ensure that we give writers as favourable an environment in which to make a living as possible”.

For further information, please contact Alison Baxter on 020 7264 5700 or alcs@alcs.co.uk

The authors’ earnings findings booklet can be found here.

Information reproduced from the ALCS press release

June 28, 2018

New Scots Scriever appointed

Dr Michael Dempster has been named as the successful Scots Scriever and begins his two-year residency at the National Library of Scotland on 27 June 2018.

Dr Michael Dempster. From NLS website.

Growing up speaking Scots at home, Dr Dempster has made the Scots language a prominent feature of his academic and artistic work. He has written librettos and graphic novels in Scots, explored the use of Scots with sufferers of dementia within the NHS, and worked with schools and community groups to tackle stigma and prejudice surrounding the Scots language.

A prominent linguist, Dempster undertook a Psychology PhD at Glasgow University, researching the processing of rhythmical signals critical to language and music. Dempster has coached film industry professionals in use of the language, produced award-winning podcasts, written comedy sketches performed across the Edinburgh Fringe and TV pilots for the BBC and Comedy Unit and delivered the first ever TED talk in Scots.

Upcoming works include a Scots-Emoji dictionary and ‘Mind yer Language’ — a comprehensive guide to Scots.

He said: ‘A’m that delichtit tae get appyntit Scots Scriever. Whit an honour!

‘Oor Scots language, an wir Scots speakin communitie, is that important tae baith wirsels an tae the warld thit fir me tae hae this opportunitie tae expand ma wirk wi the support o the National Library of Scotland, Creative Scotland an the Scottish Buik Trust is a dream come true.

‘A’v that monie writin projects A’m luikkin forret tae gettin oot there an A luik forret tae reachin oot tae Scots speakers tae help them engage wi their ain language an the Scots collections we hae fae aw ower the kintra. Scrievin Scots? Hou no gie it a wee shot yersel?”

National Librarian Dr John Scally said:

‘Michael Dempster clearly has a passion for the Scots language. He has a strong artistic track record across a range of mediums, an academic background in linguistics, and he already promotes the language in everything he does. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with in this residency.’

Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland, said:

‘We are delighted to be able to appoint a new Scots Scriever during what is an exciting time for Scots. With more than 1.5 million people identifying as Scots speakers via the most recent census, with the upcoming UN Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019 and with development work in Scots gaining traction around the country, we are confident the Scriever will play an active and prominent role in this upcoming period of development.

‘The appointment of Michael Dempster to the role I believe will give us the best possible chance of taking advantage of these unique circumstances. He has a vision for Scots which stretches across different parts of society, is contemporary and dynamic and is rooted in his own artistic and academic practice.

‘We look forward enormously to working with Michael, with the National Library and with our partners in Scots development around the country in this exciting new phase of the scriever project.’

Scottish Book Trust Director of Programme Amina Shah said:

‘Michael’s knowledge of the collections at the National Library, coupled with his academic background and sheer passion for Scots, make him an exciting choice for this residency. He is committed to Scots as a living language and promotes its use and benefits, not only in literature but in all aspects of public life. G’aun yerself, Michael.’

Background

Dr Michael Dempster’s appointment will run from July 2018–2020, which spans the UN Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019.

A joint initiative between the National Library and Creative Scotland, the Scriever role is designed to produce original creative work in Scots, its variants and dialects, across any art-form, as well as raising awareness, appreciation and use of Scots across the country and amongst all parts of the population.

Creative Scotland published its first Scots Language Policy in June 2015, in which the role of Scots Scriever was identified. The policy underlined the organisation’s commitment to supporting the language through its own work and the work that it funds across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Hamish MacDonald was appointed as the inaugural Scots Scriever in August 2015 and completed his residency at the National Library of Scotland in September 2017. MacDonald developed the ‘Wee Windaes’ website which captures the breadth and variety of Scots, in all its variants and dialects, from its beginnings to the present day.

Reproduced from the NLS media release.

June 28, 2018

Consultation Paper – A Culture Strategy for Scotland

The Scottish Government has now launched a public consultation on a draft Culture Strategy for Scotland which runs until Wednesday 19 September 2018.

The consultation seeks your views on the priorities for supporting culture in Scotland over the next decade and beyond. It builds on extensive engagement with people across Scotland throughout 2017 and sets out a vision, ambitions, aims and actions which will deliver the new National Outcome for culture: We are creative and our vibrant and diverse cultures are expressed and enjoyed widely.

Read the Consultation Paper.

You can contribute to the consultation in a number of ways:

  • Complete the questionnaire at Citizen Space Portal. You can submit your views as an individual or as part of a larger group or organisation.
  • Host an event or meeting to discuss the strategy with your members or networks.  If you would like to host an event to discuss the strategy with your networks or members, please email culturestrategy@gov.scot for further information about the criteria for use of available funding.
  • You can also share your event details and ideas about the strategy on Twitter by mentioning @culturescotgov and using the hashtag #culturescot.

The Culture team want to reach as many people as possible through this public consultation so that the final strategy reflects as many voices of those with an interest in the future of culture in Scotland as possible.  Culture is about every person in Scotland so please share the details of the consultation with anyone you think may have an interest.

When the consultation period ends, all responses received will be reviewed by independent analysts and a report will be published that summarises the results of the consultation based around the consultation questions.  All responses received will be published on the Scottish Government website and anonymised where appropriate.  Your responses will inform the development of the final strategy.

 

June 27, 2018

PS/EIBF: Scottish Books International Manager

Books, writing, publishing and festivals

Publishing Scotland (PS) in partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) is seeking an exceptional Manager who can drive forward an innovative programme, developing the international ambition and impact of the books and literature sector in Scotland. The new role will be for a fixed-term contract of eighteen months with the potential to extend.

The successful applicant will be an excellent and persuasive communicator with significant experience of strategic development and partnership working. The Manager will join passionate and dynamic teams across the literature and books sector, committed to bringing the best of literature, writing, publishing and events to an international audience.

This role will include scoping and developing a strategic plan for international activity, identifying and developing opportunities for increased visibility, co-ordinating marketing work from the sector, identifying and implementing potential income sources, preparing funding applications, and building relationships with key partners here and overseas.

Job Title: Scottish Books International Manager

Reports to: Publishing Scotland CEO and steering group

Fee: £21,000 per annum (equivalent to £35,000 per annum, pro-rata to 3 days per week)

Working hours: 24 hours per week

Terms: Freelance 18 months’ fixed-term contract, with potential to extend

Location: Central Edinburgh at the offices of PS

Main purpose of role: Developing, co-ordinating and communicating a new joint service on behalf of the books and literature sector

 

Background

Following a Review of the Literature and Publishing sector undertaken by consultants on behalf of Creative Scotland, which recommended that “Creative Scotland and leading literature institutions and publishers convene a summit for laying the groundwork for a strategic and co-ordinated international presence”, a number of bodies in the sector, working closely with Literature Alliance Scotland, have decided to set up a post dedicated to the international promotion of books, writers, festivals and organisations. PS and EIBF have brought together a steering group, who will advise and oversee the service.

About the organisations

Publishing Scotland is the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland. Formed in 1974, it is a membership body with over 100 members, in two categories, publisher and network. It aims to support publishers and the wider sector on a national and international level.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival, a non-profit making organisation, is a distinctive international showcase celebrating the written word, literature and ideas. It brings around 950 leading and emerging international, British and Scottish authors and thinkers together each August to inspire each other and audiences in an extensive programme of over 900 public events for people of all ages.

 

Key duties and responsibilities

Work with partners on the development and delivery of a co-ordinated, international presence for Scottish writing, publishing, festivals and organisations, and more specifically –

  1. Develop a strategy for the Scottish book sector’s international profile, working closely with senior management of both host organisations and the steering group
  2. Research and develop new income streams and identify overseas partners opportunities
  3. Work with a range of partners, organisations and bodies in Scotland and overseas to enhance the current work being done in the sector
  4. Event delivery, including attendance and participation at national and international events
  5. Communicate, using a variety of methods, to raise the international profile of the sector
  6. Work closely with the teams of PS and EIBF to help ensure successful delivery of an overall programme
  7. Maintain records and produce reports indicating work in progress, planned work and reporting on the financial status of projects

Person specification

Successful candidates will possess the following:

  1. Considerable experience of strategic planning and development
  2. Demonstrable knowledge and passion for the literature or arts sector, including the Scottish literature and publishing scene
  3. Experience developing and maximizing international partnerships
  4. Significant experience of managing relationships with diverse stakeholders
  5. Experience of developing and delivering marketing activity
  6. Event management experience
  7. Experience of project/programme evaluation and reporting to stakeholders

 

Additional qualities will include:
  1. Influencing and negotiation skills
  2. Clear, confident and persuasive oral communication skills, including public presentation, and the ability to adapt to the needs of different audiences
  3. Clear, concise and persuasive written communication skills, able to adapt to needs of different stakeholders
  4. Commercial acumen
  5. Strong organizational skills

 

Terms and conditions

The post will have access to a desk at the central Edinburgh office of Publishing Scotland and the possibility of hot desking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival offices during the autumn and winter months. The role is offered as a freelance contract and the post holder will be fully responsible for their own tax including any National Insurance contributions.

Publishing Scotland and Edinburgh International Book Festival are committed to being as accessible as possible to customers, participants and staff. If you have any specific access requirements or concerns, please let us know and we will do our best to meet your needs.

Edinburgh International Book Festival and Publishing Scotland are equal opportunities employers and Edinburgh International Book Festival is an Investor in People.

This job description is also available as a PDF document to download.

 

How to apply

Please send a copy of your CV and an application letter outlining your suitability for the post to marion.sinclair@publishingscotland.org. You may include any other information to support your application.

 

Closing date for applications: Thursday 12th July 2018

Interviews: Monday 30th July 2018

This post is supported by funding from Creative Scotland. 

June 26, 2018

Scots writer wins Orwell Prize 2018

Congratulations to Darren McGarvey, better known as rapper Loki, who is this year’s winner of The Orwell Prize for Books for Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Underclass (Luath Press).

Chair of judges, Andrew Adonis said: “George Orwell would have loved this book. It echoes Down and Out in London and Paris and The Road to Wigan Pier. It is heart-rending in its life story and its account of family breakdown and poverty. But by the end there is not a scintilla of self-pity and a huge amount of optimism. It made me see the country and its social condition in a new light.”

The judges for The Orwell Prize for Books are politician, academic and journalist Andrew Adonis (Chair), Literary Journalist and Artistic Director of Words and Literature of the Bath Festival Alex Clark, novelist Kit de Waal, and Deputy Life & Arts Editor for the Financial Times Lorien Kite.

The Orwell Prize rewards the writing that comes closest to achieving English writer George Orwell’s ambition to make political writing into an art’.

This year’s winners each focus on modern Britain, revealing a ‘turn to the nation’ in political writing in the continued wake of the EU Referendum result.

Each year prizes are awarded for political writing in Books, Journalism and the Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, sponsored and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Each £3,000 prize was presented by Richard Blair, George Orwell’s son and is determined by a separate panel of independent judges.

The winner of the Prize for Journalism is Carole Cadwalladr for her reports in The Observer on the impact of big data on the EU Referendum and the 2016 US presidential election while ‘On the Edge’, a Financial Times team of Sarah O’Connor, John Burn-Murdoch and Christopher Nunn won The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils for their spreadsheet-and-shoeleather’ report on the relationship between poverty and mental health in ‘forgotten towns’ left behind by the UK economy

The Orwell Foundation, based at University College London, home of the Orwell Archive, is sponsored and supported by Political Quarterly, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Richard Blair.

The winners were announced on Mon 25 June 2019 at a prizegiving ceremony at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

June 25, 2018

Findings: Holyrood inquiry into CS Regular Funding 2018-21

Creative Scotland must urgently address its strategic failings following a catalogue of criticism from Scotland’s creative sector, says Holyrood’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee.

The cross-party committee of MSPs say the organisation’s decision-making process on funding for touring theatre and dance companies fell “well below the standard expected” of a non-departmental public body.

In a 12 page letter to the Chief Executive Officer of Creative Scotland, the committee sets out the findings from its parliamentary inquiry into Regular Funding for 2018-21.

Committee Convener Joan McAlpine MSP said: “We received unprecedented levels of representations from within the sector following Creative Scotland’s handling of regular funding for 2018-21.

“With more than 50 responses from artists and arts organisations, it is clear to us that the confidence of a significant element of the cultural sector in Creative Scotland’s regular funding process has been badly damaged.

“In particular we felt that the handling of the process in relation to touring theatre and dance companies fell well below the standard that is expected from a non-departmental public body.”

Deputy Convener, Claire Baker MSP said: “The Committee has expressed serious concern over Creative Scotland’s Regular Funding for the 2018-21 period. We keenly await its written response to the issues we have raised and have set a deadline of 31 August. We will also invite representatives of Creative Scotland to appear before the committee again when Parliament returns from summer recess.”

Background

Joan McAlpine’s letter to Janet Archer, Chief Executive Officer of Creative Scotland, will be available on the Committee’s inquiry page.

Key findings and recommendations from the Committee’s inquiry include:

  • The Committee considers it is a serious matter that Creative Scotland’s evidence about whether the Board was aware of factual inaccuracies contained in assessment reports before its emergency meeting on 2 February has been challenged by the written evidence received. The Committee invites Creative Scotland to review this issue urgently and to report back on its findings.
  • The Committee is disappointed that the strategic issues identified by Creative Scotland were not recognised at an earlier stage so that they could be addressed before applications for regular funding were opened. The failure to do so left the sector in a very challenging position and has ultimately had an impact on a significant element of the cultural sector’s confidence in the regular funding process. . These issues must be urgently addressed by Creative Scotland so that a revised strategy is in place before applications for the next round of regular funding are opened. The Committee intends to scrutinise Creative Scotland’s plans for a refreshed strategy.
  • The Committee considers Creative Scotland’s handling of the regular funding decision-making process in relation to touring theatre and dance companies fell well below the standard that is expected from a non-departmental public body. Creative Scotland should have made a decision about touring companies’ eligibility for regular funding before applications were opened and communicated its decision clearly to the sector. The failure to do so has meant that artists and organisations have committed staff and financial resources unnecessarily to complete regular funding applications. This approach has hampered the sector’s trust in Creative Scotland and added to ongoing uncertainty for the sector at a time when the funding pressures on the sector are already high.
  • The cultural sector is concerned that too much regular funding is being directed away from artists towards network organisations. The Committee therefore invites Creative Scotland to consider an alternative model for the funding of network organisations going forward.

The above press release has been reproduced from the Scottish Parliament’s News & Media Centre here.   

June 15, 2018

Edinburgh Festival of cycling goes on tour

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is back again for another year celebrating sports, arts, and culture, this time connecting the three Scottish UNESCO Creative Cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee, to explore the ways in which cycling can play a part in our creative communities.  

Listed as ‘one of the top 10 cycling festivals in Europe’ by the Active Travellers Magazine, Edinburgh Festival of Cycling takes place this year from 7 to 24 June, with an exciting programme of events taking place across the city and beyond.

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling doesn’t just cater to the sports side of cycling, but also explores the many different sides and routes of access to the sport(from transport to competition, from leisure activity to cultural icon) which the festival sets out to celebrate, with a wide range of sporting, cultural and family events for all age groups.

This year is also different, as it sees Scotland’s three UNESCO Creative Cities: Edinburgh (City of Literature), Glasgow (City of Music), and Dundee (City of Design), come together for the first time ever in order to celebrate the benefits that arts and culture can have in promoting and enhancing an active live.

One of the key features of the programme is a screening in each of the creative cities of the Dutch documentary ‘Why We Cycle’. In this thought-provoking film, ordinary cyclists and specialists talk about why there’s a culture of cycling in the Netherlands and what we can learn from it. The screenings are followed by a discussion which will cover many of the issues raised by Glasgow 2018: how can we make an active life a more ingrained part of our communities?

Edinburgh City of Literature is excited to be involved in the coming together of the cities, and is looking forward to the events taking place between them. The events to look out for in Glasgow and Dundee are:

As well as the usual packed programme in Festival’s hometown of Edinburgh, this year there is an increase in literary events, including talks from Peter Walker (author of Bike Nation) and William Manners, who’ll be discussing Revolution: How the Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain. Working with Edinburgh City of Literature, a writing competition (Writing & Reading) will be held again, encouraging short fiction and poetry about cycling.

Thanks to the support of Festival 2018, Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is able to go on tour to these Creative Cities, which share a common narrative of sport – specifically of bikes and how they can change the world. From the stories we tell about them, to the way they work, to the fun we can have on them, the Festival of Cycling programme this year is packed with events for all ages bringing out the best of the UNESCO Creative Cities.

Full details of the Art and culture programme of the festival can be found here.

-Ends-

For further information please contact: Rebecca Raeburn, Communications Assistant, City of Literature Trust on rebecca@cityofliterature.com or 07966 847580

Notes to Editor

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling Ltd. is a not-for-profit social enterprise, run by a small group of people. The current board of directors are: Kim Harding (Founder and CEO), Caroline Brown, and Ulli Harding. The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling was originally envisaged as a proper Edinburgh-style festival. A city-wide event, originally held over nine days, showcasing and celebrating all aspects of bicycle culture and the city itself. The Festival was expanded from nine days to ten in 2014, and then 11 days inclusive from 2015 onwards.

Festival 2018
Festival 2018 is the fun-filled cultural programme of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. Glasgow and areas hosting sport across Scotland will be buzzing with live music, circus, dance, theatre, visual art and much more at city-centre festival sites, venues and in communities, bringing a carnival atmosphere to the 11 days of sporting action.

Edinburgh Festival City
Building on a culture of collaborative working the Directors of Edinburgh’s leading Festivals came together in 2007 to formally establish Festivals Edinburgh with a mission to support Edinburgh’s Festivals in sustaining and developing their position as the world’s leading festival city through:

  • development and delivery of collaborative projects and initiatives which support growth, product development, leadership and audiences
  • acting on behalf of and representing the collective strengths of the Edinburgh Festivals

UNESCO Creative Cities Network
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was formed in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among citiesthat have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

The Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 180 members from 72 countries covering 7 creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts.

The Cities work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level. The UK cities involved in the network are: Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Galway, Bristol, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, York, Bradford and Liverpool.

City of Literature Trust
The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust is the development agency for Edinburgh as a UNESCO City of Literature. It works to bring literature to the streets of Edinburgh, involving people in the city’s literary life, bringing organisations to work together collaboratively for greater impact, and sharing Edinburgh’s literary story with the world. @EdinCityofLit

June 12, 2018

CPG on Culture – 12 June 2018

The Cross Party Group on Culture is to meet on Tuesday 12 June 2018 from 5.30pm-8pm in the Scottish Parliament. The theme of the meeting will be Transformations: the impact of international working.

UPDATE: The videos have now been uploaded to view on the CPG website here.

 

The meeting will include a musical performance from 2017 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards ‘Folk Band Of The Year’, Talisk, as well as a reading from internationally renowned novelist, poet and playwright, Kevin MacNeil.

The meeting will also include presentations, Q&A and a group discussion, featuring:

  • Julia Amour, Director, Festivals Edinburgh
  • Jo Clifford, playwright and performer
  • Norah Campbell, Head of Arts – Scotland, British Council
  • Fiona Miller, Artistic Director, Tricky Hat
  • Lisa Whytock, Director, Active Events

There are a few places remaining on the guest list for the event. Please RSVP via Kirstin.MacLeod@creativescotland.com and feel free to share with your networks.

June 11, 2018

Borders Council to replace school librarians with pupils

Earlier this week, the Border Telegraph reported that Borders Council has started replacing trained school librarians with pupils in the region’s secondary schools.

There was outcry from parents, and the library and teaching profession and we sent the following comment to the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS).

Peggy Hughes, Chair of Literature Alliance, Scotland said: 

“Trained school librarians are an essential part of a modern school, making a positive impact on education by improving literacy in all subjects and helping to raise attainment across the curriculum. They transform the school library into a place of learning and, importantly, they help direct pupils with their own learning, research, and reading, which brings with it important health benefits.

Depriving the students of the Scottish Borders of their professional school librarians acts directly against giving them equal opportunities and equal rights. We urge Scottish Borders Council to rescind this decision, which will surely have a negative impact on the future life chances of the young people in their area.”

CILIP in Scotland has written an open letter to the Chief Executive of Borders Council and reproduced some of the statements they received in reaction to the Borders Council proposal on their website, which you can read here.

We will keep you informed of the response from Borders Council.

June 1, 2018

Open Project Funding for Literature: April 2018

Last month £650,000 of Creative Scotland Open Project Funding was awarded to 35 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Congratulations to the following organisations and individuals receiving funding in March 2018 for Literature:

Artist collective Recollective have received funding to create a publication charting untold stories of Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom. The Barrowland: Music, Memory, History (working title) will feature photography, creative writing, graphic art and multimedia brought together in collaboration with the venue, the east end community that surrounds it, gig-goers, dancers and musicians.

Poet Victoria McNulty has received funding to embark on a five-date pilot tour of solo theatre show Confessionals to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Belfast and London. Combining contemporary spoken word and traditional theatre Confessionals is a coming of age character piece featuring music from Abi Normal; produced by Sonnet Youth (Kevin Gilday and Cat Hepburn) in partnership with the Govanhill Baths Community Trust.

For funding information on the other cultural sectors, read the announcement on Creative Scotland’s website.

May 31, 2018

Publishing Scotland International Fellowship programme 2018

Senior publishing figures from the US, Korea and Europe are set to visit Scotland in a trade mission that puts Scotland firmly on the international literary map.

The fourth International Fellowship Programme from Publishing Scotland facilitates international exchange and comprises nine invited Fellows from Germany, France, Italy, Finland, US, and includes – for the first time – a delegate from South Korea.

The group will spend a week in Scotland at the end of August meeting Scotland-based publishers, agents and writers in a varied programme of events planned across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

The purpose of the visit is to help develop relationships between the international publishing community and the Scottish sector, facilitate rights selling and bring Scottish books to an international audience.

The Fellows will experience the Edinburgh International Book Festival and – in another first for the scheme – attend a showcase of Scottish writing hosted at University of Glasgow by best-selling author Louise Welsh who is the university’s Professor of Creative Writing.

The 2018 Fellows are:

  • Regina Kammerer, Publisher, btb Verlag, Germany
  • Raphaëlle Liebaert, Editorial Director Foreign Fiction, Editions Stock (Hachette Group), France
  • Gregory Limpens, Rights Manager, Open Books, Korea
  • Beatrice Masini, Founder/Publisher, Bompiani-Giunti Editore, Italy
  • Andrea Morstabilini, Acquisitions Editor and Rights Director, Il Saggiatore, Italy
  • Patrick Nolan, VP, Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Penguin Books, USA
  • Päivi Paappanen, Publishing Director, Like Publishing, Finland
  • Melanie Tortoroli, senior editor, WW Norton and Co, USA
  • Eva Wallbaum, Editor, Harper Collins, Germany 

The first Fellow from Korea to take part in the Programme is Gregory Limpens, the Rights Manager at Open Books, a publishing house based in Paju Book City near Seoul, which specialises in literature in translation. Originally hailing from Belgium, Mr Limpens has lived and worked in South Korea since 2005. He said:

“I’ve always wanted to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival and am eager to learn about the Scottish publishing industry and book market. Works by Scottish authors are translated into Korean as a result of the author’s visibility on the international literary scene so Korean readers have enjoyed translations of books by Jenni Fagan, Irvine Welsh, A.J. Cronin and George MacDonald, and one of Korea’s largest publishers has recently published the first translation of Muriel Spark’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Scotland to be inspired to add a few more Scottish authors to our own list, which already includes Iain Banks, Ali Smith and Graeme Macrae Burnet.”

Scotland-based Andrea Joyce, Rights Director of Canongate, who has been involved with the Fellowship since it was established in 2014, said: “The Fellowship enables us to punch well above our weight on the international stage. It’s been hugely beneficial to Canongate by establishing and strengthening relationships with international publishers, and we have wrapped up several major deals with Fellows over the years. A great example of the reach of the connections created through the scheme is when publisher Elena Ramirez at Planeta bought the Spanish rights to ‘The Last Night Out’ by Catherine O’Connell. Elena then recommended the book to her colleagues at Planeta Italy, Portugal and Brazil who subsequently bought the Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian rights.” 

Marion Sinclair, Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, said: “Now more than ever, it’s vital that we maintain our international connections and ambition. The book world is fuelled by relationships that we make through bookfairs, selling rights and licensing, and the Fellowship scheme allows us to develop and deepen those relationships between the Scottish publishing industry and the rest of the world.

“In four years, we have invited 36 senior international publishers to Scotland and given our publishers, agents, and writers the chance to get to know them in a more relaxed setting. It’s all part of a wider internationalisation strand within our work and is a key way of getting more visibility for the sector here.”

The award-winning Programme from the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland is supported by funding from Creative Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s XpoNorth Programme.

Alan Bett, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said: “By inviting these nine publishers to Scotland for their International Fellowship Programme, Publishing Scotland helps connect Scottish literature to the world. The fellowship ensures that the work of our writers will be available in different languages and sit on bookshop shelves across Europe and further afield in the US and Korea. This is only one side of a cross-pollination process though, with the other encouraging Scottish publishers to build strong commercial relationships with the Fellows and enhance their lists with international titles, therefore providing our readers access to new literary voices and stories from diverse cultures.”

Please see the Publishing Scotland website for biographies of the 2018 Fellows.

 

 

May 11, 2018

Open Project Funding for Literature: March 2018

Last month £1.2million of Creative Scotland Open Project Funding was awarded to 44 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. Over £1.1million of these awards has been awarded through National Lottery Funding, with awards ranging from £1,094 to £150,000.

Congratulations to the following organisations and individuals receiving funding in March 2018 for Literature:

The Borders Book Festival (14-17 June), and Booked! (8-19 May), West Dunbartonshire’s annual celebration of the written and spoken word, have received funding towards their 2018 programmes.

Edinburgh-based Charco Press have received funding to deliver the first part of its 2018 publishing programme consisting of three books by contemporary award-winning Latin American authors who have never before been published in English.

Cartoonist and artist Kate Charlesworth has received funding to support the development of a new graphic novel.

For funding information on the other cultural sectors, read the announcement on Creative Scotland’s website.

May 1, 2018

LAS strengthens Board with new Trustees

LAS welcomes three new Trustees to strengthen our expertise in education, Scots and strategic leadership, and to broaden our geographic representation, at executive level.

The new Trustees are:

  • Valentina Bold, Principal Knowledge Exchange Fellow at University of Strathclyde
  • Sophie Moxon, Executive Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival
  • Poet David Wheatley, Reader at University of Aberdeen

Chair of LAS Peggy Hughes said: “We’re delighted to have had great interest from the sector in joining our Board for the two positions advertised. From such strong candidates we have appointed three Trustees to broaden the Board’s voices and perspectives and we look forward to welcoming Valentina, Sophie and David at our next meeting in May. 

“With the combination of skills, knowledge and expertise in academia, education, Scots and writing they bring to the Board, we’ve no doubt our new Trustees will make a huge contribution to our vital work in championing the literature, languages and publishing sector across the whole of Scotland and beyond.”

April 27, 2018

Blood Bath litzine issue 1: Bodies

Blood Bath Litzine is open for submissions of short fiction and poetry on the theme of bodies.

Bodies are sites of terror and desire; they can be politicised, policed and possessed, becoming either a haven of pleasure or a hellish prison of flesh. They want to read your weirdest, most innovative stories on bodies.

They’re open to any and all types of horror, dark fantasy, speculative or science fiction – so don’t hold back.

Blood Bath accepts short fiction from 100 to 2,500 words, flash fiction shorter than this as well as poetry (maximum 15 lines) are also encouraged and welcome. A maximum of four poems and two prose pieces at a time.

Contributors will be paid, at a rate of £10 per 1,000 words for prose, and £10 per poem.

The deadline is 1 August 2018.

For more guidelines and information, see the website here.

April 26, 2018

Former Freight Poets Find New Home

  •   Award-winning pamphlet publisher Stewed Rhubarb takes first steps into full collections
  •   Debut collections by poets Harry Giles and Rachel McCrum reissued

 After two years in hiatus, Stewed Rhubarb has made the decision to start work again as a specialist in the publication of poetry by spoken word artists, and is set to re-issue two poetry collections previously taken out of print following the collapse of Freight Books late last year.

Tonguit by Harry Giles – a collection shortlisted for both the Edwin Morgan Award and the Forward Prize for First Collection – and The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate by Rachel McCrum – former BBC Scotland Poet in Residence – will find a new home with the press, and will both be available in bookshops come April.

 

Harry Giles and Rachel McCrum had both previously published pamphlets with Stewed Rhubarb before being picked up for their debut full collections by Freight. Editor and designer James T. Harding said:

“I was so excited when Rachel and Harry were taken on by Freight. I thought a bigger publisher would be able to advance their careers better than I could. When Freight went into liquidation, Harry Giles emailed to ask if they could buy one of my ISBN numbers to self-publish a reissue. I thought I could do better than that… so here we are, a few months later, and I appear to have started a full-on publishing company.”

The new edition of Tonguit is currently available to order from bookshops and online, and McCrum’s The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate will be released in May.

Of the press, poet Harry Giles said: “Stewed Rhubarb’s dedication to fertilising the roots of literature is immense and impressive. They care about poetry, and they’re doing difficult work to keep Scottish poets in print at a vulnerable and precarious time — and they’re doing it with gusto. After a tumultuous year, working with SR again felt like coming home. Also, they design gorgeous books.”

Rachel McCrum said: “I am thrilled to my core to be working with Stewed Rhubarb again, and honoured to be among the first for their new wave of publishing. Their books are immaculately designed and edited, and their publishing model is responsive, considered, and places the author at the heart of things. Scotland should be proud of them. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Stewed Rhubarb was founded in 2013, winning the Callum Macdonald Award for its first pamphlet, The Glassblower Dances by Rachel McCrum. Since then, the imprint has published 16 pamphlets from writers ranging from Edinburgh to the Appalachian Mountains, including playwright Jo Clifford, Scottish spoken-word luminary Jenny Lindsay, and Freight author Russell Jones. Stewed Rhubarb is known for its wildly diverse list, authentic appreciation of the spoken-word scene, and high production values.

The online launch for both collections will take place on Wed 25th April.

www.stewedrhubarb.org | @stewedrhubarb | #stewedrhubarb

– ENDS –

For press enquiries please contact: rebecca@stewedrhubarb.org

www.stewedrhubarb.org

Interviews available

James T. Harding

Rachel McCrum (based in Canada)

Harry Giles

  

Notes to Editors

–       The online launch for both collections will take place on Wed 25th April

–       Poetry from both collections if available for reprint

Harry Giles

Harry Giles is from Orkney, Scotland. They write and perform work across poetry, theatre and games, and their work generally happens in the crunchy places where performance and politics get muddled up. They were the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion, co-direct the live art platform Anatomy, and have toured participatory performances across Europe, North America, New Zealand and Leith. www.harrygiles.org

Tonguit

Shortlisted for the Forward Prize’s 2016 debut collection award, Harry Giles’ Tonguit is a moving exploration of identity in Scots, English, and bureaucracy. Politically radical and formally inventive, Tonguit plays at the borders of nationality and sexuality with irreverent affection, questing through languages for a place to speak.

Rachel McCrum

Rachel McCrum was born in 1982 and grew up in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland. She lived in Edinburgh, Scotland from 2010 to 2016, where she previously published two pamphlets with Stewed Rhubarb Press: The Glassblower Dances (2012, winner of the Callum MacDonald Award) and Do Not Alight Here Again (2015, also a solo Fringe show). She was the Broad of cult spoken word cabaret Rally & Broad, the inaugural BBC Scotland Poet-In-Residence, and a recipient of an RLS Fellowship in 2016. She has performed and taught across the UK, Ireland, Greece, South Africa, Haiti and Canada. She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, where she is Director of Les Cabarets Batards.

The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate

The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate is both lyrical and gentle, demanding and sharp as it carves its own path through themes of family, place, environment, and repression. The poems in the collection are fragments of McCrum’s sea-bourne journey from Northern Island, across Scotland, and alighting in Canada. It’s a collection about leaving home and what you take with you.

James T. Harding

As well as running Stewed Rhubarb, James T. Harding is the editor of C&B News and the features editor of Broadway Baby. He is a writer on Cops and Monsters, a supernatural police thriller on Amazon Prime. He occasionally sleeps.

 

April 21, 2018

Donald Meek Award 2018 – submissions invited

The Gaelic Books Council is inviting submissions from Gaelic writers for the Donald Meek Award 2018. This award, established with financial assistance from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig, aims to encourage and support new and established Gaelic writers and new Gaelic writing. Six entries were shortlisted for the Donald Meek Award 2017 and it was bestowed on Iain MacRae for his stage play, Taigh Sheonachain.

For more information and rules, see our website.

Submissions should be sent via email to rosemary@gaelicbooks.org  on or before 5pm on Friday 4th May 2018.

The shortlist will be announced early in September and the award will be presented at an evening reception in Glasgow in October 2018. The very best of luck!

Tha Comhairle nan Leabhraichean a’ sireadh thagraidhean bho sgrìobhadairean Gàidhlig airson farpais Duais Dhòmhnaill Meek 2018. Chuireadh an duais seo air chois le taic-airgid bho Alba Chruthachail agus bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig le sùil gum misnich is gun cuidich i sgrìobhadairean Gàidhlig ùra agus stèidhichte. Chaidh sianar ainmeachadh air gèarr-liosta Duais Dhòmhnaill Meek 2017, agus chaidh am prìomh dhuais a bhuileachadh air Iain MacRath airson an dealbh-chluich, Taigh Sheonachain.

Gheibhear tuilleadh fiosrachaidh agus riaghailtean an seo.

Faodar an sgrìobhadh a chur a-steach gu h-eileagtronaigeach gurosemary@gaelicbooks.org  ro 17.00 air Dihaoine 4 Cèitean 2018. Feumar clàr-iarrtais (a gheibhear gu h-ìosal) a chur ris an tagradh. Thèid an geàrr-liosta fhoillseachadh aig toiseach na Sultaine agus thèid na duaisean a thoirt seachad aig tachartas sònraichte ann an Glaschu san Dàmhair 2018. Gur math a thèid leibh!

April 20, 2018

LAS submission to Culture Committee

Following the Call for Views from the Parliamentary Committee for Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations, we submitted the following written response at the end of March 2018.

The Committee is due to share all written responses on the website from Wednesday 18 April 2018.

Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) is the collective voice for Scotland’s literature and languages. We are a membership organisation committed to advancing the interests of literature and languages at home and abroad. As Scotland’s largest network for literature and languages, with more than 30 member organisations, we bring together writers, publishers, educators, librarians, literature organisations and national cultural bodies.

Last week we surveyed our membership anonymously for their views on Creative Scotland funding. We asked them to share the survey among their own networks and obtained 34 responses, which have informed this submission.

Respondents are writers, poets and people who work in publishing, festivals, teaching, charities and organisations involved with the literature, publishing and languages sector. They are based across Scotland, from the Outer Hebrides to Aberdeen and from Shetland to Wigtown.

Of the 121 organisations in the 2018-21 Regular Funding Network, nine represent the literature, languages and publishing sector. They were awarded just over £7m of the total RFO budget of £101.6m.

 

The extent to which Regular Funding supports the arts and creative organisations throughout Scotland

More than half of respondents (53%) consider Regular Funding to support the arts and creative organisations throughout Scotland ‘a great deal’, or ‘a lot’ (19%) while 22% say ‘a moderate amount’ and 6% ‘a little’.

The impact of awards for Regular Funding on other funding streams

This was a comment-only question. Key comments include:

  • With shrinking budgets and more money for RFOs, other funds such as Open Project Funding will become even more competitive with longer waiting times thereby inhibiting support for innovative work from individual artists and smaller organisations, especially those outwith the central belt.
  • Regular Funding offers stability and can open access to other match- or part-funding resources. However, ittakes up a large share of the total arts budget and can lead to unsuccessful bid organisations turning to Open Project Funding, involving more time spent on form-filling and rendering it even more oversubscribed.
  • Open Project Funding needs to be redesigned to accommodate the wide variety of applicants, from large organisations to individual writers and artists.
  • With so much focus placed on Regular Funding, the possibility of other funding sources being sustainable for an organisation’s future can often be ignored.
  • The exclusion of RFOs from applying for Open Project Funding could be perceived as an inhibitor of spontaneity over the three-year funding deal. Any deviation from the three-year programme of work would need to be in agreement with the organisation’s lead officer at CS and would mean that something else on the programme would need to give to allow a new initiative a chance.  

Other relevant issues

6% of respondents said there were errors and 3% said there were speculations in their RFO assessment. Another respondent stated that in addition to errors there were also assumptions and contradictions in their RFO assessment. 6% said there were no errors, assumptions or speculations in their RFO assessment. 65% of respondents didn’t apply for RFO.

47% of respondents agree or strongly agree with the statement ‘I am concerned that the recent RFO process introduced major strategic change at a late stage in the process without consultation.’

Link strategies to funding decisions

97% agree or strongly agree that there should be a clear link between Creative Scotland’s strategies and its funding decisions (assuming the strategies are sound).

Key comments:

  • Clear, well-communicated strategies are a must for organisations distributing public money. This also ensures equitable treatment of those applying for funds and makes it clear why applications were not successful.
  • However, there should be caution around strategies becoming agendas, and essentially reducing those strategies to a box-ticking exercise as part of the application process.
  • A policy of positive discrimination was suggested in order to contribute to the revitalisation of Scotland’s languages among all art forms and to adequately represent diversity.

 Funding flexibility

70% of respondents agree or strongly agree that there needs to be more flexibility in Creative Scotland’s funding routes and timescales to meet different needs within the sector.

Key comments:

  • Review all existing funding routes and strategic development routes, funding purposes, application processes (one form does not fit all), and the language used to make them more artist- and organisation-friendly, less competitive, and to encourage a more stable sector that is able to plan ahead (even if organisations are not RFOs).
  • Flexibility should be supported by transparency and accessibility.
  • A positive comment about the OpenProject Fund application was that it was exceptional in the timescales and with the help and advice offered during the application process.
  • Suggestions were put forward for a rolling programme for Regular Funding rather than once every three years. This would help with CS cash-flow and relieve the intense pressure in assessing applications, affording more time to better understand organisations being assessed, to fact-check and source evidence thereby reducing assumptions and errors. 

Decision-making and peer review

64% strongly agree or agree that decision-making should include appropriate peer review.

Key comments:

  • Peer review would empower artists by enabling the years of experience within the sector to reflect and influence its future.
  • Respondents questioned how to define ‘appropriate’ peer review and cautioned of the additional cost peer review is likely to entail and the potentially onerous impact on funding, timescales as well as the challenge of finding unbiased peers representing Scotland-wide, not just the central belt.
  • Alternative suggestions are for consultation with artists in setting criteria for funding and for strong formal and informal opportunities for feedback on decisions, or a panel of appropriate (non-CS) peer reviewers.
  • Other comments noted the strong backgrounds of CS officers in their art forms and highlighted the need for CS to rebuild trust and confidence so their expertise is respected and they can stand by decisions, which are rigorous and evidence-based.

Future priorities

Members were asked what Creative Scotland’s top priorities should be for the future as a comment-only question. The range of views have been prioritised below by volume.

  • Review all funding streams with input from artists and those working in the sector
  • Advocate for the importance of Scotland’s cultural sector by demonstrating its value
  • Be transparent in funding, decision-making and communications
  • Increase equitable access to culture
  • Equity in funding organisations and individual artists, and work Scotland-wide not just Central Belt.

 

April 17, 2018