A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

What We Do

A New Chapter: To Meet The Times We’re In

Thanks to the Creative Scotland Open Fund awarded in Jan 2021, our new, one-year programme of work that will be delivered online will allow our members and the sector to rise to the ongoing challenges and work together more effectively to become a healthier, more robust and resilient ecosystem.

‘A New Chapter’ places Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at its heart with two interconnected programme strands of ‘upskill’ and ‘connect and collaborate’ supported by effective communications and advocacy.

It will be more inclusive and accessible to engage more people and diverse voices, using improved digital communications to advocate for the sector and tell the stories of Scotland’s literature and languages.


This strand continues our flagship career development programme Next Level, offering two more mid-career literature professionals the “lifechanging” opportunity for mentoring, training and new connections tailored to their career goals.

By collaborating with our members and the wider cultural sector, we will develop an EDI toolkit hosted on our website and free to access.

And we’ll run a range of professional development and good practice learning sessions (developed during 2020) on topics identified by members based on need.

Connect and collaborate

This strand includes the continuation of our regular members’ meetings of rich learning and connection as well as our Sector Away Day in the Autumn.

An open call will find a new cohort of five (paid) writers for our Writers’ Advisory Group 2021.

Two more writers or Scotland-based literary producers will be commissioned to respond to the evolving literary landscape and challenge our sector to make a change with our Literature Talks series.

Our pilot peer-to-peer informal networking programme, the Buddy Project, will help members and beyond to improve relationships and dialogue to build resilience and boost health and wellbeing. We’re able to help remove barriers to access for unsalaried writers and freelancers by offering funded places on the Project as well as help with accessibility costs such BSL, childcare and other caring responsibilities as well as travel (if appropriate and safe).

Want to join us? Apply to Become a Member or a Network Associate.


What we’ve done: LAS since 2015

Turning the Next Page: future-proofing our sector for 2020 and beyond

LAS aims to raise the volume of Scotland’s literature and languages louder than ever before by strengthening, amplifying and diversifying our sector through our exciting, two-year programme of work that includes the following. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our meeting dates changed and activity in 2020 was held online. 

Listening to our sector

In 2019 and 2020 our new-look Members’ meetings will take place in February and May and extended to three hours for a peer-led, dynamic agenda that includes guest speakers, sector updates, an open exchange to share news and opportunities and informal networking.

Our Sector Away Day (plus AGM) in October is designed to give us time and space to talk, listen, and stimulate creative debate around the possibilities of the network going forward with practical, actionable outcomes.

Amplifying our sector

We will commission three pieces (six across two years) from leading writers and literature producers in Scotland, reflecting on the literary landscape in Scotland today. We will work in coordination with a media outlet to reach a wider audience and build our campaigns and advocacy around these provocations. Task and Finish team lead: Peggy Hughes (LAS Chair)

Diversifying our sector

We want to address inclusivity and diversity through a new career development programme. This tailored development opportunity is for two mid-career literature professionals (one each year) from a background not typically represented in the sector at a leadership level. Task and Finish team lead: Sophie Moxon (LAS Trustee).

Strengthening our sector

A series of professional development training sessions will be held over two years on the key topics identified in our membership survey:

  • Promotion and marketing
  • Funding
  • Strengthening links with education.

Task and Finish team lead: Rosemary Ward (LAS Trustee).

Representing our sector

A new Writers’ Advisory Group will be established to strengthen the advice to the board. The group of five writers living and working in Scotland will help ensure that our activities, advocacy and campaigning better understands and reflects writers’ concerns.

Want to join us? Apply to Become a Member or a Network Associate.

We are able to deliver this programme of work thanks to Open Project Funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.


Programme of Work 2016-2018

In the period 2016 to 2018, Literature Alliance Scotland will support the aims and priorities of ‘Literature, Nation, 2008-2018’ (below), and those expressed by the literature community in Scotland in the 2016 Literature Review carried out by Creative Scotland.

LAS’s main programme of work will concentrate on:

  • Advocacy in support of sustaining the school library network, and the role of professional school librarians, across Scotland
  • LAS Summit on the International Promotion of Literature & Books 2016 to bring together all those agencies which, in various ways, help to promote the literature and languages of Scotland overseas, to take the first step in developing a strategic, joined-up approach
  • Annual Literature Day 2017 to listen, celebrate and promote Scotland’s literature and languages at home and abroad
  • Annual website review on the current issues for Scotland’s literature and languages
  • Networking and familiarisation sessions for literature and language organisations in Scotland
  • Expanding membership of LAS to be as comprehensive and inclusive as possible

We will implement our plans mainly through four Steering Groups:

Advocacy and Communications (Lead: Ali Bowden)

Partnerships and International Developments (Lead: Marion Sinclair)

Events (leads of task and finish groups assigned per event)

Professional Development (Lead: Rosemary Ward)

Literature, Nation 2008-2018

Literature, Nation 2008-2018 set out a ten-year vision for Scotland’s literature, allied with language and publishing, at the centre of Scottish society and the roots of its international influence.

It is our conviction that Scotland’s literature is critical to understanding our present, connecting with our past, and imagining Scotland’s future.

Literature, Nation’s overall guiding purposes are to:

  • Place literature at the heart of every community accessible to every citizen
  • Raise the prestige of Scottish literature nationally and internationally
  • Invest in writers and writing as a means to ensure the creativity, wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland
  • Sustain the linguistic diversity of Scotland
  • Position publishing in Scotland to meet the changing needs in the 21st century
  • Fashion a framework and structures to meet the continuing development of literature in Scotland

Download Literature, Nation 2008-2018 from our Resources section.

Literature, Nation 2015-2018

In the period 2015-2018, we will work together to:

  • Listen to the literature community and work constructively for the priorities agreed from the current literature review
  • Speak up for writers and the literature community as a whole and seek to bring influence for improvements
  • Develop partnerships and work collaboratively with others for the advancement of literature
  • Promote openness through quarterly updates and an annual state of literature review through our website
  • Hold an annual Literature Day
  • Build up expertise in literature organisations, for example, by inviting leading-edge speakers to Literature Alliance Scotland meetings
  • Develop our role as a network that can support and promote professional development for the next generation of leaders in the literature community

As an Alliance, we stand for:

  • Advancing literature in every aspect of Scotland’s national life
  • Affirming the role of writers in shaping national and international identities and values
  • Championing the right of all Scotland’s citizens to learn about Scottish literature and culture
  • Collaborating with local, national, and international partners
  • Intellectual freedom and freedom of expression
  • Openness in all our activities
  • Inclusivity, equality of opportunity and fulfilment of potential