A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Arts professionals wanted for Next Level programme

Are you a freelancer or employee working with a literature organisation in Scotland with the ambition and energy to lead?

Apply to our Next Level programme for 1-2-1 mentoring & tailored training opportunities.

We’re excited to open applications for our Next Level programme.

It’s a pilot career development programme that aims to equip two mid-career arts professionals on the path to a senior position with the intended outcome of increasing diversity within our sector.

With Next Level you’ll receive mentoring with an industry professional and training tailored to your career goals.

This first round is for one applicant and includes up to 80 contact hours (10 days) over three months from February 2020.

It’s designed for a mid-career arts professional who’s either employed by or works as a freelancer for an organisation in Scotland’s literature & languages sector.

We particularly welcome applications from those who self-identify as being from an under-represented group, for example, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), working class and/or disabled.

We consider mid-career to be someone with 4-6 years’ experience of working in the sector and who would not define themselves as working at senior management level.

At the end of the programme, the successful applicant will share their experience with the LAS membership either through a presentation or a written piece as part of the evaluation process.

Applications for Round 2 for the second applicant will open and take place in Summer 2020.

Eligibility:

We’re looking for participants who can demonstrate

  • The ambition and energy to lead
  • A commitment to Scotland’s literature, languages and publishing sector
  • The creativity and potential to work at a senior level.

Next Level is aimed at arts professionals working for/with an organisation within the literature & languages sector and is not open to full-time writers. You are, however, eligible to apply if you’re a writer and you also work as an arts professional within the sector. Check the full details on eligibility.

How to apply:

Download our application pack from the website and email the completed forms to Jenny Kumar on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk with a short covering letter by the deadline.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Friday 10 January 2020.

 

November 14, 2019

Iain Munro appointed Chief Executive of Creative Scotland

Iain Munro has been appointed as the Chief Executive of Creative Scotland and will take up the post with immediate effect.

Currently Acting Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, Iain was the successful candidate in a competitive recruitment process which involved a global search and attracted over 200 applications.

Iain has been Acting Chief Executive since July 2018 during which time he has been leading a change programme which is overhauling Creative Scotland’s culture, working practices and funding approach; and has also delivered some key developments such as the launch of Screen Scotland, the partnership dedicated to supporting all aspects of Scotland’s screen sector.

Robert Wilson, Chair of Creative Scotland said: “I am delighted to announce Iain Munro as Chief Executive of Creative Scotland. Iain has outstanding leadership skills and will be able to use his extensive knowledge and abilities to continue to move the organisation forward in what is a significant time in the evolution of Creative Scotland. I look forward to working with Iain as we deliver significant change programmes across our work to enable creative activity across Scotland to thrive.”

Iain Munro said of his new role: “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead Creative Scotland at such an exciting and important time. Scotland’s culture is globally renowned and I look forward to working with my fantastic colleagues and others to support the extraordinary creativity that exists here and all that it contributes to people’s lives, our communities and the prosperity of the country.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Iain has extensive experience in culture and creative industries and I welcome his permanent appointment following his period as acting Chief Executive. This is an important time for Creative Scotland as it progresses its organisational and funding review, and I am pleased Iain will lead the organisation as it looks ahead to the future.”

Iain Munro biography

Iain’s earlier career saw him study music before diversifying into Economics and Surveying, becoming a specialist in Cultural Development and working internationally before returning to the UK to help establish and grow the National Lottery for the Arts.

He held a number of roles at the Scottish Arts Council including Director of the National Lottery and Co-Director of Arts, before joining Creative Scotland as Director of Creative Development. He led developments in arts policy, participation, equalities, audience and organisational change and development, education, learning and young people and special projects such as the London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programmes in Scotland, and the development of Time to Shine, Scotland’s first National Youth Arts Strategy.

Prior to taking up his role as Acting Chief Executive in July 2018, Iain was Deputy Chief Executive at Creative Scotland and responsible for strategic leadership and core business oversight in Strategic Planning, HR, Office Services, Finance, Funding Operations, Legal Services, and ICT.

Iain is the former founding Chair of Luminate, a Board member of the National Lottery, previous Chair in Scotland of the Legacy Trust and chaired GENERATION, the national celebration of 25 years of contemporary visual arts in Scotland.

Notes to Editors

The application process for a permanent CEO at Creative Scotland began on Wednesday 5 August 2019. Full details here: http://www.creativescotlandrecruitment.co.uk/

The Interview Panel was led by Robert Wilson, Chair of the Creative Scotland Board and included board members Elizabeth Partyka, David Brew, Cate Nelson-Shaw and a representative of the Scottish Government, Jonathan Pryce. The panel also included two observers, Karen Lannigan, Director of HR & Office Services at Creative Scotland and Lesley Gilmartin, Head of Consulting at Badenoch and Clark.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. Further information at www.creativescotland.com.

Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland.

For further information, please contact:

Wendy Grannon, Media and PR Manager
Wendy.Grannon@creativescotland.com/ 0131 523 0016 / 07989 854 306

Image: Iain Munro (Neil Hanna)

Reproduced from Creative Scotland’s website.

October 31, 2019

Scotland’s National Book Awards Shortlist Announced

The Saltire Society has announced the shortlists for the 2019 Saltire Literary Awards, as well as two brand new prizes.  This year, for the first time, the Saltire Society will be awarding a prize for Scottish Book Cover and a special Award for Lifetime Achievement.   The winners of all eleven prizes, and the Saltire Book of the Year, will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh on Saturday 30 November.

Widely regarded as Scotland’s national book awards, The Saltire Literary Awards recognise work across six literary categories (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Research, History, Poetry and First Book) and two publishing categories (Publisher and Emerging Publisher). The Literary Awards see the winner of each book Award receive a cash prize of £2,000 and go on to be considered for the top prize of Saltire Scottish Book of the Year, receiving a further £5,000.

The new Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to an individual who has made a meaningful creative contribution to the world of literature. With the very first Saltire Literary Awards taking place in 1937, the Society decided it was an appropriate time to recognise a body of work rather than one book, something that is not currently part of the publishing timeline.  The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates a writers’ work in its entirety and comes with a cash prize of £2,000.

Scottish Book Cover Award celebrates the enormous talent Scotland has in book production and design.  This Award and its recipient will exemplify creativity and the relationship between the designer, the publisher and author.  The shortlist for this Award will be announced in early November.

Sarah Mason, Programme Director at the Saltire Society, said:

“We are proud of the fact that the Saltire Literary Awards shortlists celebrate the diversity, quality and richness of books to come from Scotland over the past year. The Saltire Literary Awards have a proud history of celebrating and bringing wider attention to excellence and we congratulate the writers and publishers who have been shortlisted this year. With the introduction of the Book Cover Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award, we believe Scotland’s National Book Awards truly celebrate Scotland’s literary landscape. We look forward to celebrating our shortlistees and winners on St Andrew’s Day at our largest celebration ever.

The Awards have had an eye for early talent with internationally renowned writers including Ali Smith, AL Kennedy, Kate Clanchy, Louise Welsh and Michel Faber being some who have been celebrated by the Saltire Society for their debut books in previous years.    404 Ink, winners of the Emerging Publisher Award in 2017 are shortlisted for Publisher of the Year Award in 2019.  Submissions for the Awards this year have come from publishers across Scotland and the UK and as far afield as MIT in the USA. All entrants must be born in Scotland, live in Scotland or their books must be about Scotland.

Shortlisted books for 2019 include Threads of Life (Sceptre) by Claire Hunter in the First Book Category to Dr David Wilson’s My Life with Murderers (Little Brown) in Non-Fiction, seemingly disparate topics but both relevant to current Scottish culture.  Thee Gaelic books have made the shortlist – Còig Duilleagan na Seamraig (Five Leaves of the Shamrock) by Ruairidh MacIlleathain (published by CLÀR) in the Fiction category, Seòl Mo Bheatha (My Life Journey) by Dòmhnall Eachann Meek (also published by CLÀR) in the Non-Fiction category and the bi-lingual Ceum air cheum/Step by Step (published by Acair) in Poetry.

Kindly reproduced from Saltire Society’s website

October 29, 2019

Book Week Scotland launches 2019 programme

Scottish Book Trust has launched Book Week Scotland’s 2019 programme with comic book artist Frank Quitely of DC Comics All Star Superman and Batman and Robin fame. Book Week Scotland, the country’s biggest celebration of reading and writing, returns for its eighth year with hundreds of events taking place all over Scotland from intimate community gatherings to flagship events with well-loved authors. A special book, Blether, created from real-life stories submitted by members of the public was also unveiled.

Working with a wide range of partners, Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, will deliver a diverse range of events and activities, many tying in with the Year of Conversation, including the Digital Festival with free events that can be accessed online by all.

From events such as Souper Stories, Murder Mystery, Books Beer & Banter, The Blether Bus, Drag Brunch and The Human Library to an astronomy and poetry event, there really is something for everyone.

100,000 free copies of the Blether book, celebrating the theme of conversation, will be available from libraries and other community venues during Book Week Scotland. The free book can also be ordered via Scottish Book Trust’s Website, which features each and every personal story submitted by the people of Scotland. A selection of 30 stories are featured in the book, which also includes work from Still Game actor Jane McCarry; Hings author Chris McQueer, The Boxer author Nikesh Shukla and Bird Summonsauthor Leila Aboulela.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Book Week Scotland brings people of all ages and walks of life together to share and enjoy books; it is a week of books and reading for everyone. We have an exciting range of inspiring, unusual and accessible events with a diverse mix of authors, writers and illustrators. This year we are celebrating the theme of conversation in all its forms, from a wee blether to the life-changing heart-to-heart. We hope you can join us at a local Book Week Scotland event, or online through our Digital Festival.”

Frank Quitely, Scottish comic book artist, said: “I am excited to share my journey to becoming a comic artist with young people in Glasgow. This is the sort of event I wish I had been able to attend at the start of my career, and hopefully I can share a few useful insights into entering this competitive industry.”

Mairi Kidd, Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland said: “From the Gruffalo to gardening and crime to cookery, there’s something for everyone in Book Week Scotland. There are so many ways to get involved – online or in venues across the country, from telephone boxes to local libraries, where you’ll find books in English, Gaelic, Scots and other languages as well as audio books, e-books, braille books and more. With a huge range of partners across the length and breadth of Scotland hosting an incredible programme of events, we hope the whole country has a blast blethering about books and stories.”

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of The Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC) said: “Libraries across Scotland will be joining in the Book Week Scotland celebrations, meaning everyone has the opportunity to get involved. Libraries offer the perfect place to celebrate the joy of reading and, with a range of digital resources available, people can use their local library to get involved in the Digital Festival. In keeping with the Year of Conversation, libraries are trusted spaces where people can connect with others and engage in new experiences. Get along to your local library and get involved.”

Book Week Scotland event highlights
  • Ian Rankin will launch his lost novel, Westwind, at an exclusive event with bestselling crime author, Stuart MacBride. Published for the first time in 28 years, the espionage thriller about spies, satellites and a global conspiracy of sinister surveillance, is strikingly relevant in today’s political climate. Tickets for the event, held on Saturday 23 November, 7.30pm at the Apex Hotel in Dundee, can be purchased on Eventbrite. The event will be live-streamed via Scottish Book Trust’s social media channels.
  • There will also be two special BBC Authors Lives for Book Week Scotland 2019. Nikesh Shukla will discuss his latest novel The Boxer for International Men’s Day on Tuesday, 19 November. Then on Thursday, 21 November, a celebration of the 20th birthday of The Gruffalo: Julia Donaldson’s classic tale will be read by James Robertson in Scots and Catriona Lexy Campbell in Gaelic.
  • The BBC will host a Novels That Shaped Our World event on Saturday, 23 November at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow, complementing the new three-part BBC Two TV series. BBC Arts will be asking guests to discuss the novels that have shaped their worlds, from the established classics to the popular contemporary hits, and possibly some interesting surprises. Featuring award-winning crime writer Denise Mina: information and tickets can be found on the Glasgow Life website.
  • Others holding events during Book Week Scotland include: Jack Monroe, Helen Fields, Melanie Reid, Frank Quitely, Claire Askew, Doug Johnstone, Helen Fitzgerald, Sara Sheridan, Alan Bissett, Stuart Cosgrove and Christopher Brookmyre. The full programme can be viewed here on the Book Week Scotland website.
  • Book Week Scotland’s popular Digital Festival will return for a third year, aiming to change and challenge conversation and broaden accessibility. Events include:
    • A series of podcasts curated by poet Tom Pow, tying in with the Year of Conversation. Guests include Marjorie Lotfi Gill; Catherine Simpson; Mara Menzies; David Keenan; Meghan Delahunt; James Robertson and Peter Mackay.
    • Illustrator Alex T Smith will doodle his favourite Scots words, inspired by Scottish Book Trust’s recent public vote. The winner will be revealed on Thursday, 20 November.
    • StoryMag, part of the What’s Your Story? programme, will launch its new Blether issue during Book Week. The stories have been collated from young people across Scotland.

Book Week Scotland also features a fundraising initiative, Big Book Swap, to support Scottish Book Trust. Join hundreds of schools, workplaces and community groups on Friday 22 November to swap books and raise money to help Scottish Book Trust to continue to support people in Scotland to reach their potential through reading and writing. To sign up and receive your free fundraising guide, visit Big Book Swap.

View the Book Week Scotland 2019 programme

Press release reproduced from Creative Scotland website.

October 23, 2019

New Trustees wanted for Edinburgh City of Literature Trust

Are you interested in being part of the leadership of the City of Literature and supporting the creation of a Literature House for Scotland in Edinburgh? 

Edinburgh City of Literature Trust is looking to appoint three new enthusiastic Board members with particular experience in one or more of the following: Scottish charity law, publishing, delivering major capital projects, and academia.

The Trust wants its Board and programme of work to have a broad representation and welcomes applications from across all communities.

Credit: cityofliterature.com

The aim is for new appointees, once approved, to formally take up their post from December 2019, for a period of up to three years. The posts are not remunerated but some expenses are covered as per the organisation’s Board Members’ Expenses Policy.

Application Information

The Trustee Information Pack contains information about the role, requirements and the application process. Please download this pack from the website or contact ali@cityofliterature.com.

For information about the Trust and the Board please visit the website.

Application Deadline: 5pm on Friday 1 November 2019.

October 11, 2019

Joy Hendry honoured in 2019 Outstanding Women of Scotland

We’re delighted that our friend and member Joy Hendry, Editor of Chapman is honoured in this year’s ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’, which saw ten women from the fields of the arts, culture, politics, activism and science honoured and inducted into the esteemed Saltire Society ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ community at a special event as part of the Women of the World, Perth.

Joy Hendry said: “This is a huge honour. I came through an educational system which would have you believe that Scotland has no great literature. I learned from my contemporary writers that we were cheated from our birthright. I used a small magazine to help put that right.

“I am honoured to be here and hope to spend the rest of my life living up to the honour.”

Photo copyright Graham Clark.

The full list of the ten inductees are:

Professor Jill Belch, Professor of Vascular Medicine Ninewells Hospital and Medical School Dundee,

Professor Margaret Bennett, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

Jackie Brierton MBE, CEO of GrowBiz

Fiona Dalgetty, Ceannard / Chief Executive, Fèis Rois

Joy Hendry, Editor of Chapman

Celia Hodson, Founder of Hey Girls:

Louise Macdonald OBE, Chief Executive Young Scot:

Zakia Moulaoui, Founder & CEO at Invisible Cities

Emma Ritch, Executive Director of Engender

Heather Stewart, Creative Director, British Film Institute

Since it began in 2015, the ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ induction has recognised and celebrated Scottish women from all walks of life and the inspiration their achievements set for the next generation. Each year, the campaign invites members of the public to nominate living contemporary examples of Scottish women who have made a significant contribution to Scottish culture and society for induction into the Outstanding Women of Scotland community. Past inductees have included singer-songwriter and activist Annie Lennox, bestselling author J.K. Rowling and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 2020 is planned to be the year that Saltire brings together its 40 inductees in a mentoring strategy to support and further inspire Scotland’s young people.

Taking place as part of the Women of the World Perth celebration, the special ceremony saw each inductee with a limited edition print from artist and illustrator Natasha Russell https://www.natasharussell.com/

Speaking on behalf of the Saltire Society, Director Sarah Mason said:

We are excited to be building the Outstanding Women of Scotland community again in 2019 and having the opportunity to celebrate these amazing women and the work they do to make Scotland and further afield a better place to live, work and play.  Without these women, Scotland would be a darker place and we are privileged to be able to take this moment to celebrate and thank them.

As well as recognising these women for their contribution, the Outstanding Women of Scotland Community is creating a tangible list of women who can, will and do inspire generations to come.

October 9, 2019

Creative Scotland Open Project Fund – Literature: June – Aug 2019

Here’s a round-up of the fantastic literature projects supported by Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund awards from June to August this year.

June

Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, Bloody Scotland has received funding for this year’s edition taking place in Stirling from 20-22 September 2019.  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.  In addition to the festival events catering mainly for adult readers, the festival intends to repeat the successful 2018 and 2017 initiative to take events to local primary and secondary schools, for both children and young adult readers.

The McIlvanney Prize given each year for the Best Scottish Crime Novel of the year will be joined in 2019 by a new prize for the Best Scottish Debut Novel.

Bob McDevitt, Director, Bloody Scotland said: “I am once again looking forward to the three-day celebration that is Bloody Scotland; from the Torchlight procession on the opening night via the football match, a ceilidh, a quiz and many excellent panels and individual author events it should be a memorable long weekend.”

 

July

Congratulations to the quarterly literary magazine, The Drouth, which has received funding towards the transformation of its hard copy magazine into a web-based multimedia web journal. This will see the platform create regular weekly content offering a blend of short and long-form content to suit a range of audience preferences, including a Review of Books blog, prose pieces, media clips and video essays.

Johnny Rodger, Founder, The Drouth said: “This welcome funding boost will enable The Drouth to set up a new online platform with engaging and in-depth critical writing and multi-media work on art, politics, culture and society.”

August

Receiving support in August is the sixth Cove and Kilcreggan Book Festival on 23-24 November. This year’s festival aims to embrace new ambitions and increase the size and diversity of its audience. The festival will be offering free access to disabled visitors for an event featuring Melanie Reid, the tetraplegic columnist who will be discussing her autobiography. Also featuring in this year’s programme are Denise Mina, Stuart Cosgrove and V&A Director, Philip Long.

Graham Bell, Board Member, Cove and Kilcreggan Book Festival, said: “With the support of Creative Scotland, the Cove and Kilcreggan Book Festival is able to considerably increase access to those otherwise unable to attend, as well as extend our reach in the range of authors in this, the 6th year of this rural Argyll event.”

 

September 2, 2019

SLIC seeks new Board Members

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is seeking to appoint new members to its Board. The appointments are for three years and will run from November 2019.

Information about the Scottish Library and Information Council

SLIC is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library and information related matters. It is a registered charity and an independent company. It is also a membership organisation representing the interests of public, academic, FE College and special interest libraries within Scotland. The organisation has been going through a period of growth, delivering a range of projects and initiatives on behalf of the Scottish Government and partner organisations.

Board Responsibilities

The Board meets four times a year in addition to the AGM. Board members may be required to serve on a sub-committee which would involve a commitment of up to another three days. Board meetings alternate between Dundee and Glasgow.

The Board provides strategic direction and oversight. Major policy decisions are made at Board level drawing on information provided by the Chief Executive and senior management team. The decisions of the Board are actioned through the Chief Executive and senior management team of the organisation.

Further information about SLIC can be found on its website. 

Please note the appointments are on a voluntary basis.

Expressions of interest

SLIC particularly welcomes expressions of interest from individuals with experience in education, business, digital or entrepreneurial skills. Applications from groups which are currently under-represented including, disabled people and those from black and minority ethnic communities would be particularly welcome.

Expressions of interest should take the form of a CV together with a brief statement outlining the reasons for your interest and what you would bring to the Board. Interested parties will be asked to complete a short skills matrix to assist with the selection process.

Informal enquiries about Board membership can be made to Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive on p.tulloch@scottishlibraries.org

Expressions of interest should be emailed to Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive on p.tulloch@scottishlibraries.org no later than 12 noon on Friday 23 August 2019.

August 2, 2019

Scots Language Publication Grants announced

Nine new titles in Scots have been awarded funding by the Scots Language Publication Grant. Funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Scottish Book Trust, the Scots Language Publication Grant was created by the Scots Language Resource Network to support Scots publishers and to encourage Scots writers.

Applications were assessed by a panel with expertise in Scots and publishing, including a writer and representatives from Creative Scotland, Education Scotland and Publishing Scotland.

The successful titles are:

  • Burds in Scots by Hamish MacDonald (Scotland Street Press)
  • The Complete Works of William Soutar by William Soutar (Tippermuir Books)
  • Daisy On the Outer Line by Ross Sayers (Cranachan)
  • Deep Wheel Orcadia by Harry Josephine Giles (Stewed Rhubarb)
  • The Itchy Coo Book of Hans Christian Anderson by Itchy Coo (Black and White Publishing)
  • The Last Berry by Susi Briggs (Curly Tale)
  • Modern Makars by Irene Howatt, Ann Macinnon and Finola Scott (Tapsalteerie)
  • Roads to Nae Wye by Christie Williamson (Luath)
  • Wheen by Stuart Paterson (Chapman)

The Scots Language Publication Grant provides assistance for publishing new work (including translated texts), reprinting existing historical or culturally significant work, and also effective marketing and promotion of existing and new work.

 

Scots Language Resource Network

The Scots Language Publication Grant is administrated by The Scots Language Resource Network, which meets twice a year to discuss the coordination and publication of new and existing resources (online and in print) that support speakers, readers, writers, teachers, learners and students of Scots. It currently includes representatives from the following organisations:

ASLS

Creative Scotland

Education Scotland

Glasgow Women’s Library

Historic Environment Scotland

Literature Alliance Scotland

National Library of Scotland

Publishing Scotland

Scots Language Centre

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Language Dictionaries

Scottish Poetry Library

SQA

Ulster Scots Agency

Wigtown Book Festival

Via Scottish Book Trust

July 30, 2019

Ready to ROAR: Group calls out gender inequalities within the Scottish Literary sector

ROAR (Represent, Object, Advocate, Rewrite) has launched a new website, sharing first research findings that show that gender inequality in the Scottish literary sector is structural and persistent.

The group, which was formed in 2016, is working to combat inequality in Scottish writing and publishing. With members from Scottish PEN, Creative Scotland, Scottish Book Trust, Waterstones, Glasgow Women’s Library and more, ROAR represents voices from within the literary sector.

ROAR reveals new findings by doctoral researcher, Christina Neuwirth: Women of Words: Gender equality in contemporary writing and publishing in Scotland. The research is funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council and Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities.

In 2018, Scotland celebrated Muriel Spark’s work in what would have been the year of her 100thbirthday, and the new Scottish £5 note sports female writer Nan Shepherd’s portrait. However, this analysis indicates that more needs to be done to achieve equality in the visibility and value assigned to women in Scottish literature.

The research, covering the period January to December 2017, found that only 37% of authors whose books were published in Scotland were women (14.5% lower than the general population).

The genre in which women fared the worst was non-fiction about Scotland: only 4 women were published in 2017, compared to 30 men.

In the thriller, mystery and crime genre, double the number of men were published compared to women, and for the humour and sports books category, no women were published at all.

There were only three genres where women were more represented than men: literary narrative non-fiction, where 9 women were published compared to 1 man; and romance fiction, with 11 women authors and 3 male authors.

In Scotland, children’s literature and historical fiction were the most balanced genres, with 40 women and 37 men being published in children’s books, and 5 men and 5 women published in historical fiction.

Scottish media coverage of literature was also analysed by the study and revealed that in 2017, national newspapers The Herald and The Scotsman published reviews of 604 authors’ books: 65% of authors reviewed were men, and 35% were women.

The disparity was even greater in the number of reviews: 86% of reviews were written by men, and 14% by women. Of all reviews, 59% were reviews of male authors’ books, written by male reviewers.

In direct contrast, 7% of all book reviews that year were women’s books reviewed by women.

Book festivals in Scotland fared better and were found to be more representative of gender compared to publication or media coverage.

In 2017, Aye Write, Bloody Scotland and Edinburgh International Book Festival hosted events with 1,392 authors, and 44% of all authors appearing at these festivals were women.

Of these, 461 were solo author events, in which the representation of women writers dropped to 38%.

Book festivals were the only area of the sector in which non-binary authors were represented in 2017, making up 0.4% of all programmed authors.

Research is still ongoing, and ROAR aims to publish an account of gender equality in Scottish literary culture every year, as a starting point for effecting change. More information can be found at www.roar.scot

 Jenny Kumar, Communications Officer, Literature Alliance Scotland, said:

“This important research demonstrates unequivocally that we collectively have a long way to go to level the gender playing field, and that as a sector we need to work together and take responsibility to contribute towards positive change in all that we do, every day.

“For LAS and our members that means driving for better representation and inclusivity at all levels across all our activities to better reflect the society we live in. It means listening and learning and recognising that stereotypes around gender in writing and publishing need to be challenged and that it starts with us and our work. It means paying attention to the way we work and building opportunities and programmes that are open and inclusive. It means that we need to roll our sleeves up.”

 

Professor Claire Squires, Professor in Publishing Studies, University of Stirling, said:

“The ongoing research underpinning ROAR’s investigations into our lived experience of inequalities in the literature and publishing sector are revealing. In particular, women are disadvantaged in terms of book reviewing, and in terms of the proportions of Scottish non-fiction books. This gender discrimination must be addressed in order to make the sector – and the country – a fairer, more representative, and more democratic space. ”

 

Notes to Editors

1) 454 authors were published in Scotland during the period January to December 2017.

2) In the thriller, mystery and crime genre, 30 men and 14 women were published in 2017 in Scotland.

3) 8 humour books by men were published and 10 sports books by men were published in 2017 in Scotland.

4) The Scottish Census 2011 captured information about male and female respondents, with 48.5% of the population being men and 51.5% being women. A survey conducted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission indicates that 0.4% of the UK population identify in a way that is not male or female (Glen and Hurrell 2012, 5).

5) Author events at three book festivals in Scotland (Edinburgh International Book Festival, Aye Write, Bloody Scotland (2017)) featured 1,392 authors: 775 authors were men, 612 women, and 5 were non-binary. Of all solo events featuring 461 authors, 285 were men, 175 women, and 1 was non-binary.

Source: research conducted by Christina Neuwirth, PhD candidate at the University of Stirling, University of Glasgow, Scottish Book Trust. 2019.

 

ROAR working group:

Nyla Ahmad (Scottish Book Trust)

Caitrin Armstrong (Scottish Book Trust)

Jenni Calder (Scottish PEN)

Angie Crawford (Waterstones)

Mairi Kidd (Creative Scotland)

Wendy Kirk (Glasgow Women’s Library)

Jenny Kumar (Literature Alliance Scotland)

Katy Lockwood-Holmes (Floris Books)

Lesley McDowell (critic, editor, writer)

Judy Moir (literary agent)

Sophie Moxon (Edinburgh International Book Festival)

Christina Neuwirth (University of Stirling, University of Glasgow, Scottish Book Trust)

Jenny Niven (Edinburgh International Culture Summit Foundation)

Mairi Oliver (Lighthouse Bookshop)

Jess Orr (Glasgow Women’s Library)

Adele Patrick (Glasgow Women’s Library)

Elizabeth Reeder (the University of Glasgow, Scottish PEN)

Shari Sabeti (University of Edinburgh)

Claire Squires (University of Stirling)

 

Women of Words: Gender equality in contemporary writing and publishing in Scotland

More information can be found here: https://www.publishing.stir.ac.uk/christina-neuwirth-phd-in-publishing-studies/

 

Press coverage:

Publishing Perspectives

The Bookseller

BookBrunch 

The National

ActuaLitté les univers du livre

July 25, 2019

Meet our new Writers’ Advisory Group

We were stunned with the volume of strong applications to our ‘writers wanted’ call-out in May, receiving more than 30 applications for just five places for published writers living and working in Scotland.

With the aim of strengthening the advice to our Board from a diverse and inclusive writing community, the Board considered a number of factors to ensure a balance and mix of voices.

The Advisory Group will meet twice a year, in the summer and the winter of 2019 and 2020. Along with Comms Officer Jenny Kumar they will discuss key issues and provide their knowledge and advice to help make sure that writers’ concerns are at the heart of our mission and strategy and reflected in our activities and advocacy work.

We pay our Writers in line with the Live Literature Funding rate, plus travel expenses.

 

Meet Our Writers’ Advisory Group

Maisie Chan is a Birmingham-born author who lives in Glasgow. She writes for children, teens and sometimes adults and has been published by Penguin and Hachette. She has taught creative writing at Arvon and for Writing West Midlands. She is a mentor and runs the Glasgow Children’s Writers Group and Bubble Tea (a facebook group for East Asian writers in the UK).
@MaisieWrites
https://www.maisiechanwrites.com

 

Sylvia Hehir writes YA fiction from her home in the West Highlands of Scotland. She is an SBT New Writer awardee, and with her extensive experience of working in a variety of educational settings, and a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, Sylvia runs writing workshops for teenagers, adults and creative writing students.
@shehir853
https://sylviahehir.com

 

Pàdraig MacAoidh / Peter Mackay is a native Gaelic speaker born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis who is based in Edinburgh. He is a poet, broadcaster, journalist and a Lecturer in Literature at the University of St Andrews. Peter has worked at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University Belfast; Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin; and at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, where he was writer in residence. He has also worked as a journalist and television news producer for the BBC.
@PadraigMacaoidh
http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poet/peter-mackay/

 

Heather Palmer is a Glasgow-based writer, proofreader and editor. She writes with a focus on folklore, nationalism and death. Heather is the first-ever comics winner of the SBT New Writers Award (2019) and has been shortlisted for Best Writer at the SICBA Awards in both 2017 and 2018. She has been published in We Shall Fight Until We Win, Scrieve! and Frisson’s Knock Knock.
@_HeatherAPalmer
https://heatherannepalmer.wordpress.com

 

Michael Lee Richardson is a writer, producer and community organiser from Glasgow. His short film, My Loneliness is Killing Me – directed by Tim Courtney – won a BAFTA Scotland Award (Best Short Film). Michael’s short story The Other Team appears in Stripes Publishing’s PROUD anthology, edited by Juno Dawson. With Ryan Vance, Michael ran the Queer Words Project Scotland and edited We Were Always Here for 404 Ink.
@HRFMichael
http://hrfmichael.co.uk

 

-Ends-

 

 

July 5, 2019

CS Open Project Funding for Literature – April & May 2019

In April 2019, an anthology of contemporary Scottish writing is among 42 projects to share £800,000 of Open Project Funding from Creative Scotland.

Canongate Books has received funding to produce Antlers of Water, the first ever anthology of contemporary Scottish writing on nature and the environment. Writers from across the country, who are committed to the conservation of natural world are being invited to contribute prose, poetry, photography and hybrid forms of writing.

The Nairn Book and Arts Festival has received funding towards this year’s event, enabling the Festival to develop its existing programme. It will offer talks and readings by well-established, nationally known authors, new writers and local writers, and simultaneously translated Gaelic language author events. In addition, this year, the Festival will feature drama, film visual arts exhibitions and creative workshops for people of all ages, and an outdoors open mic session for teens.

Read the full CS press release. 

May 2019

Scotland’s crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland is among the 40 projects that share over £700,000 of Open Project Funding in May 2019

Bloody Scotland has received funding for this year’s edition taking place in Stirling from 20-22 September 2019. 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.  In addition to the festival events catering mainly for adult readers, the festival intends to repeat the successful 2018 and 2017 initiative to take events to local primary and secondary schools, for both children and young adult readers.

The McIlvanney Prize given each year for the Best Scottish Crime Novel of the year will be joined in 2019 by a new prize for the Best Scottish Debut Novel.

Bob McDevitt, Director, Bloody Scotland said: “I am once again looking forward to the three-day celebration that is Bloody Scotland; from the Torchlight procession on the opening night via the football match, a ceilidh, a quiz and many excellent panels and individual author events it should be a memorable long weekend.”

Read the full CS press release.

June 27, 2019

RSL report – A Room of My Own

The Royal Society of Literature has revealed the findings of its latest report on what writers need to work today – A Room of My Own. Below is a summary.

The support a writer needs:

Ninety years after Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’, a room to write from and money are still important to sustaining a career in writing. However, peer support and emotional support are now seen as significant to more writers than financial support.

The support a writer receives:

The vast majority of writers do not earn the income that Virginia Woolf argued a writer needs £500 a year, equivalent to just over £30,000 in 2019. The majority of writer respondents earned below £10,000 from their writing in 2018.

  • 5% of writers earned over £30,000 from their writing in 2018

Only a small minority of writers are able to support themselves through their writing income alone. A writer is almost three times as likely to earn over £30,000 from work outside writing than in it.

  • 10% of writers do not have jobs or any other form of financial support beyond their writing
  • 5% of writers earn over £30,000 from writing; 14% earn the same outside writing

Writing is a career in which opportunities are currently far greater for those from privileged backgrounds. Pay gaps in relation to social class identity, gender identity, ethnicity and geographic region are greater in a writing career than in employment outside it.

  • Social class identity: 25% of all respondents identified as working class, but they make up only 11% of the highest earners from writing (earning over £30,000 from writing in 2018)
  • Ethnicity: 13% of all respondents identified as being from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, but are only 9% of the highest earners from writing
  • Gender: 72% of all respondents identified as female, but they made up 57% of the highest earners from writing; in comparison, respondents identifying as male made up 25% of overall respondents and 41% of those with the highest incomes from writing
  • Geographic region: 66% of the highest earners from writing lived in London or the South of England

Challenges:

  • 68% found a lack of financial income or expectation of it in the future a challenge to their early writing life.
  • 67% identified lack of time to write as a challenge.
  • 54% identified lack of confidence in their ability as a challenge.
  • 53% identified lack of information about financial support available to them as a challenge.

The words that sustain a writer:

Asked for the piece of advice that encourages them to pursue a career in writing, the most common were to persist through rejection, and that their voices are important.

June 20, 2019

The Big Scottish Book Club on BBC Scotland

BBC Scotland has commissioned a new Arts series to celebrate literature. The Big Scottish Book Club is to be hosted by award-winning author Damian Barr.

Produced by IWC, a Banijay Group company, the new 4×60 series will air later this year on the BBC Scotland channel. Filmed in two different locations, each week Barr will meet a trio of acclaimed writers from the worlds of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Some may be from the place where the show is filmed, or their work reflects it; others will be famous writers with a less obvious connection, and some will be literature-loving celebrities who can talk passionately about the works that have played a role in their lives. Each episode will be filmed as live and performed in front of an audience. This show celebrates books and authors from around the world and shines a spotlight on Scottish writers.

There will also be items with local book lovers in each episode, with details of the places and contributors to be featured to be announced at a later date.

The format of the show is inspired by Damian Barr’s renowned Literary Salon, currently resident at London’s Savoy Hotel.

As host of the salon, Newarthill-born Barr has interviewed a diverse range of established and emerging names from the literary world, ranging from Bret Easton Ellis to Armistead Maupin, Susan Calman, Ian Rankin, Kirsty Wark, Aminatta Forna, Yaa Gasi, Juno Dawson, Caitlin Moran, Alan Cumming and Sathnam Sanghera.

Damian Barr says: “Book sales are higher than ever and book groups continue to flourish (okay, drinking wine and occasionally talking about books). From Wigtown to Aye Write and Edinburgh International, Scotland has some of the best and busiest book festivals in the world. And we’ve given the world some of its finest writers.

“I’m delighted to host the Big Scottish Book Club and invite everyone to join our conversation, readers and writers across the country and the world. Books are for everyone and so is this show.”

Gareth Hydes, Commissioning Executive, BBC Scotland, says: “In conjunction with Damian and IWC, we have worked to give his renowned salon sessions a Scottish twist for the new channel. There are a lot of great Scottish books and authors to discuss and invite on to the show, but it will also feature the international bestsellers, which have got everyone talking.”

Mark Downie, Creative Director of IWC said: “Ever since, as a fan, I first attended Damian’s legendary Literary Salon, I’ve wanted to find a way to bring his electrifying passion for books and beguiling skills as an interviewer to a TV audience.

“Thanks to the BBC Scotland channel we now can. As a Scottish producer, we are all thrilled to be making a world-class series that celebrates Scottish literature for a channel that seeks to reflect the people of Scotland in all their diversity. Our mission with this series is to inspire the whole country to get reading and create a book group for the entire nation, which everyone is welcome to join.”

This article is reproduced from the BBC Scotland press release. 

June 7, 2019

Writers wanted for new LAS Writers’ Advisory Group

LAS is looking to appoint five published writers living and working in Scotland to sit on our new Writers’ Advisory Group.

Please note applications are now closed. 

With writer organisations already active in our membership, the aim is to further strengthen the advice to our Board from a diverse and inclusive writing community. More details about the Group’s purpose and role are below.

We want the Advisory Group to reflect Scottish literature in its diversity of language, genre and form, gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability and religion – and their intersections – and we particularly encourage writers from under-represented groups to apply.

Members of the Advisory Group will be paid in line with the Live Literature Funding rate of £175 per session, plus travel expenses.

Please email your writing CV (2 pages maximum) and a short covering letter to LAS Chair Peggy Hughes via admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk telling us why you’d like to be involved and outlining up to three of the main concerns and/ or opportunities that you would like the Advisory Group to address in no more than 200 words.

DEADLINE: midnight on Monday 27 May 2019.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

About LAS

Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) is a membership organisation committed to advancing the interests of Scotland’s literature and languages at home and abroad. We are Scotland’s largest literary network of more than 30 member organisations, bringing together writers, publishers, educators, librarians, literature organisations and national cultural bodies. LAS provides a collective voice for Scotland’s literature and languages, which are celebrated locally, nationally and internationally.

LAS was formed in spring 2015 as a successor to the Literature Forum for Scotland, which was first set up in 2001, at the invitation of the then Literature Committee of the Scottish Arts Council. In 2006, following a review of its remit by the Scottish Arts Council, the Literature Forum was formally recognised as a national Advisory Council for Literature and acted in this capacity. In mid-2014, Literature Forum members decided to review the organisation’s future role and to consider how it should develop to become a stronger and more inclusive voice for literature and languages in Scotland and abroad, leading to the transition in spring 2015 to Literature Alliance Scotland and a period of development work from 2016-2018. In our exciting new two-year programme of work, Turning the Next Page: future proofing the sector to 2020 and beyond, we aim to raise the volume of the sector louder than ever before.

Our income comes from membership fees and we are funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland. LAS became a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Institution (SCIO) in March 2016. Under our Constitution, we have a Board of Trustees elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting, headed by a Chair and two co-Vice-Chairs.

 

About the LAS Writers’ Advisory Group

Our Writers’ Advisory Group will enable a direct and formalised channel of communication between writers, our Board, and the LAS membership network, providing expert knowledge to help ensure that writers’ concerns are at the heart of the LAS mission and strategy and are reflected in our activities and advocacy work. The members of the Advisory Group will together represent the broader writing community and will perform an advocacy role on the key issues that affect writers.

With writer organisations already active in our membership, the aim is to enhance the advice from a diverse and inclusive writing community to our Board. We want the Advisory Group to reflect Scottish literature in its diversity of language, genre and form, gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability and religion – and their intersections – and we particularly encourage writers from under-represented groups to apply. We reserve the right to supplement the shortlist with invited candidates.

The Advisory Group will meet twice a year, likely in the summer and the winter, of 2019 and 2020 where you will work in collaboration with Jenny Kumar, LAS’ Communications Officer, to discuss key issues and share your advice and recommendations that will help shape our activities.

Each member of the Advisory Group will be paid the Live Literature Funding recommended rate of £175 per session, plus travel expenses, and covering reasonable expenses, to be discussed.

The first meeting of this newly formed Writers’ Advisory Group will take place on Wednesday 26 June 2019, 2pm-3.30pm at Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, Trunk’s Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR.

 

How to apply

Please email your writing CV (2 pages maximum) and a short letter addressed to LAS Chair Peggy Hughes via admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk telling us why you’d like to be involved and outlining up to three of the main concerns and/ or opportunities that you would like the Advisory Group to address in no more than 200 words.

DEADLINE: midnight on Monday 27 May 2019

First meeting: Wednesday 26 June 2019, 2pm-3.30pm at Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, Trunk’s Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR.

 

 

 

April 26, 2019

Open Project Awards for Literature: March 2019

Scotland’s inaugural Cymera Festival of science-fiction, fantasy and horror writing joins 40 artists, dancers, choreographers, musicians, writers, theatre-makers, festivals and organisations to receive a share over £850,000 National Lottery funds in the latest round of Creative Scotland’s Open Project funding awards.

Congratulations to the following who received funding for Literature in March 2019:

The inaugural Cymera Festival of science-fiction, fantasy and horror writing which will take place from 7–9 June 2019 in Edinburgh.  Organiser, Ann Landmann anticipates that: Cymera will contribute towards breaking down the boundaries between genre writing and general fiction and highlight its literary merit.

One of Scotland’s leading Science Fiction writers, Ken MacLeod also commented “For Scotland to have its own festival of science fiction, fantasy and horror is long overdue. From classics to comics, the fantastic in Scottish literature has a storied history. Cymera lights a bright beacon for its future.”

Borders Book Festival also received funding towards this year’s festival which takes place from 13-16 June 2019.

April 25, 2019

James Tait Black Prize shortlists announced

An appealing mix of books illuminating themes such as gender, identity and race form the shortlist for the centenary awards of Britain’s longest-running literary prizes – the James Tait Black Prizes.

The four novels competing for the £10,000 fiction prize are:

Murmur by Will Eaves (CB Editions)

Sight by Jessie Greengrass (John Murray)

Crudo by Olivia Laing (Picador)

Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Chatto & Windus).

The four biographies shortlisted for the £10,000 prize are:

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala (Two Roads)

In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum (Chatto & Windus)

The Life of Stuff: A Memoir about the Mess We Leave Behind by Susannah Walker (Doubleday)

The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Young Columbus and the Quest for a Universal Library by Edward Wilson-Lee (William Collins).

The winners of both prizes – presented annually by the University of Edinburgh – will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. The centenary celebrations will be attended by some of the previous winning authors.

Read more information about the James Tait Black Prizes.

 

 

 

 

April 8, 2019

Author International Travel Fund opens

Scottish Books International has established the Author International Travel Fund to support writers who have been invited overseas to promote their work.

SBI works on behalf of the literature sector in Scotland and is dedicated to the international promotion of books, writers, festivals and organisations.

Applicants can apply for a maximum of £1000 to support travel costs towards their trip.

Applications are welcome from the writer themselves, or from the organisation who has invited the author.

The fund opens 1 April 2019. You can apply at any time throughout the year. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis while there is an available budget for the quarter.

The fund aims to:

  • Increase opportunities for Scottish writers to attend festivals and other promotional or exchange events overseas.
  • Remove barriers for Scottish writers from all backgrounds to take up these opportunities.
  • Develop relationships between Scottish writers and festivals, publishers and organisations overseas.

Find out about eligibility and how to apply for the Author International Travel Fund at Scottish Books International.

SBI is online via scottishbooksinternational.org and on Twitter @ScotBooksInt

 

April 1, 2019

Malachy Tallack longlisted for 2019 RSL Ondaatje Prize

Huge congratulations to author Malachy Tallack whose book The Valley at the Centre of the World (Canongate) has been longlisted amongst 20 titles for this year’s RLS Ondaatje Prize.

The annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place.

This is the first time the RLS has announced a longlist – in celebration of the 15th year of the Prize.

Credit: rsliterature.org

The shortlist will be announced at an event on Tuesday 16 April with the winner announced on Monday 13 May.

March 28, 2019

Rebranded Wigtown Poetry Prize 2019 opens

The refreshed and rebranded International Poetry Prize is now open.

Wigtown Poetry Prize welcomes entries from poets writing in English wherever you live.

Separate categories celebrate the best of Scottish Gaelic and Scots language poetry, a special category acknowledges a rising talent in Dumfries & Galloway, and a new pamphlet prize is named in memory of Alastair Reid – local poet and one of Scotland’s foremost literary figures.

Based in Scotland’s National Book Town for over a decade, Wigtown Poetry Competition has become one of the UK’s best established writing prizes and a launchpad for many writers’ careers.

Deadline: Friday 7 June 2019.
A prize-giving will be held at Wigtown Book Festival in the autumn.

 

March 22, 2019

Scottish Writers’ Centre launches chapbooks

Scottish Writers Centre is launching a series of chapbooks and wants your unpublished submissions of poetry, prose-poetry and flash fiction.

Entries can be written in any of the languages of Scotland and can be standalone pieces or one work / a collection of flash/poetry to be serialised.

The chapbooks will celebrate Scotland and showcase the best of our contemporary writers and aim to reflect SWC’s commitment to Scottish writing and writers, from the islands to the border.

Successful submissions will be paid at a rate of £10, plus a copy of the chapbook.

The writer chosen for serialisation will be paid a total of £100, plus copies of each chapbook.

The first theme is Island and Sea.

Deadline: midnight on Tues 30 Apr for issue 1. 

Please see the Scottish Writers’ Centre website for more information and submission / eligibility guidelines.

 

 

 

 

March 20, 2019

‘Fishnet’ and ‘Maggie & Me’ optioned for television

STV Productions drama team has secured the television rights to a debut novel and a memoir by Scottish authors.

STV Productions has optioned Maggie and Me, the best-selling book by writer and columnist Damian Barr.  A poignant and painfully funny memoir about growing up gay in Thatcher’s Britain, it won Sunday Times Memoir of the Year, and was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. BAFTA nominated writer Andrea Gibb will develop the story as a long running series for TV. Gibb’s recent work includes feature film Swallows and Amazons and BBC series Call The Midwife.

Damian Barr said: “Andrea was always my dream writer – her work keeps me thinking long after I’ve stopped laughing or crying (she regularly evokes both). And with Claire and Sarah I have the dream team. I couldn’t be more delighted.  Maggie & Me is in hands I truly trust and I am excited to work on it with them.”

Fishnetwritten by award-winning journalist Kirstin Innes, has been optioned for development as a serial for television. Winner of The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize in 2015, this gripping and thought provoking story follows Fiona’s obsessive search for her missing sister who disappeared six years ago leaving her baby in Fiona’s care. As she digs deeper into her sister’s secret life, she is drawn into the dark and complex world of Scotland’s sex industry. The shocking discoveries she makes will challenge everything she believed about sex work, and about the lost sister she thought she knew.

Kirstin Innes said: “Fishnet is about sex work, sisterhood and everyday economics, and is the result of three years’ worth of research. I am incredibly excited by STV’s vision for the book and can’t wait to see it on screen”

Both series will be developed by STV’s Claire Armspach and Sarah Brown, with Sarah as Executive Producer.

Sarah said: “As soon as we read Kirstin’s sensational debut novel, we knew it was the perfect material for television. This is no ordinary crime novel – along with its brilliantly plotted mystery, and wonderful characters, Kirstin’s book asks some brave and provocative questions about the world we live in. Similarly, Damian’s extraordinary book not only defines the experience of a generation of Thatcher’s children but will offer viewers an original, joyful and universal story about the triumph of the human spirit.  We are incredibly excited to be working once again with some of the best creative talent in Scotland and bringing both of these fantastic books to the screen.”

STV Productions has a track record of producing quality drama, with four part thriller The Victim – starring Kelly Macdonald and John Hannah – transmitting later this year on BBC One. STV Productions has also confirmed a second BBC drama commission – Elizabeth is Missing, adapted from Emma Healey’s novel by Andrea Gibb.  Last year, as part of a wider strategy announcement, STV confirmed ambitious plans to grow STV Productions into a world-class production company.

Ends

For further information, please contact the STV press office:

Katie Martin
0141 3003109
katie.martin@stv.tv

Anna Hendry
0141 300 3830
anna.hendry@stv.tv

March 20, 2019

CS Open Project Awards for Literature: February 2019

More than £790,000 of National Lottery funding has been awarded to 31 recipients through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Congratulations to the following who received funding in February 2019 in Literature:

Aye Write! (14-31 March 2019) and Wee Write! (1-8 March 2019) at Glasgow’s Book Festival for Children & Young People will bring the best Scottish and international authors to Glasgow.

Open Book will deliver reading and creative writing sessions with new partners in library and community settings in Stranraer, Ullapool, Kirkwall (Orkney), Aberdeen, the Borders, and Fife.

Marjorie Gill commented: “Every centre that we approached to discuss the possibility of starting an Open Book group took us up on the idea immediately and we can’t wait to get started.”

Glasgow Zine Library will continue their programme of workshops, talks and screenings at their archive and lending library on the ground floor of 16 Nicholson Street, Glasgow. Their largest programming component is Glasgow Zine Fest, held in CCA from 20-21 April 2019.

CoastWord 2019 will bring together established and emerging writers in Dunbar from 24-26 May 2019. The 2019 festival will explore the theme: Scotland 2019, through discussions, talks and performance with distinguished historians, songwriters and writers whose work explores and reflects the social and cultural changes in Scotland and how Scotland, her characters and political and cultural climate affects and influences their work.

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

February 28, 2019

CS Open Project Fund supports Shared Stories: A Year in the Cairngorms

Congratulations to writer Merryn Glover who received funding through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund for Shared Stories: A Year in the Cairngorms – a creative writing project that will take place in the Cairngorms National Park throughout 2019.

Aiming to increase public appreciation for the unique nature of the Park, the initiative also sets out to explore the inter-dependent relationship between people and the natural environment through artistic responses. The project represents a significant new venture providing a model for National Park engagement with artists, is managed by the Cairngorms National Park Authority and facilitated by Writer-in-Residence, Merryn Glover.

Outdoor Learning Officer Cairngorms National Park Authority, Alan Smith said: “The project has come about from the fact that we all know – that the well-being of the natural environment and the people of the Park is inter-dependent. This project aims to delve deeper into that relationship through creative writing and story-telling activities with participants creating pieces of writing that inspire and give insights into our relationship with the landscape and wildlife – along with outdoor experiences in the Park – to a wider audience.”

More than  £440,000 of National Lottery funding was awarded last month to 31 recipients through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. For funding information across the cultural sectors read the announcement on Creative Scotland’s website.

January 31, 2019

A Culture Strategy for Scotland – Reports & Analysis

The Scottish Government has published its analysis report on A Culture Strategy for Scotland (23 January 2019).

The report, prepared by independent consultants Craigforth Consulting Ltd, sets out the findings of the public consultation on a draft Culture Strategy for Scotland, which you can view via the links below:

Key Themes Report

Summary Analysis Report

Full Report

Submissions on the Scottish Government’s Consultation Hub, Citizen Space

The analysis report demonstrates overall support for the ambitions, aims and actions set out in a draft Culture Strategy for Scotland and reflects the rich and varied material that the consultation on the draft strategy has generated.

The Scottish Government is reflecting on that rich material generated from the consultation and is considering how these views will shape the content of the final strategy which will be published in 2019.

January 28, 2019

Scots writer wins Costa Poetry Book Prize

Many congratulations to Scots poet J.O. Morgan who has won the 2018 Costa Poetry Award for his book-length poem, Assurances (Jonathan Cape).

The forty-year old, who is based in Stow in the Scottish Borders, took home the Award on Monday 7 January 2019 for his work on the nuclear tensions of the Cold War period.

Speaking to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, he said: “I think I can get round it in my head if I remind myself that it is the book that has won, not me,

“I get some benefit from it, obviously, but really it is great for the book to hopefully get more readers to it.”

Mr Morgan takes £5,000 for winning the poetry section and is one of five winning writers now in contention for the overall book of the year award to be announced at the end of the month.

Credit: Costa Book Awards

The following information is taken from the Costa Book Awards website.

About the book:

A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, Assurances begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually-assured destruction. Using a mix of versed and unversed passages, Morgan places moments of calm reflection alongside the tensions inherent in guarding against such a permanent threat. A work of variations and possibilities, we hear the thoughts of those involved who are trying to understand and justify their roles. We examine the lives of civilians who are not aware of the impending danger, as well as those who are. We listen to the whirring minds of machines; to the voice of the bomb itself. We spy on enemy agents: always there, always somewhere close at hand. Assurances is an intimate, dramatic work for many voices – lyrical, anxious, fragmentary and terrifying; a poem about the nuclear stalemate, the deterrent that is still in place today, how it works and how it might fail, and what will vanish if it does.

About the author:
J. O. Morgan was born in Edinburgh in 1978 and is the son of a former RAF officer who was involved in maintaining Britain’s Airborne Nuclear Deterrent. Assurances is Morgan’s response to his father’s tremendous responsibility: it eavesdrops on the thoughts of those trying to understand and justify their roles in keeping peace by threatening war. Those overheard include civilians unaware of danger, enemy agents, the whirring machines and even the bomb itself.

Morgan, who lives on a farm in the Scottish Borders, is the author of five previous collections. Each, like Assurances, is a single book-length poem. Natural Mechanical (2009), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize; its sequel, Long Cuts (2011), shortlisted for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Award; At Maldon (2013), shortlisted for the Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award; In Casting Off; and Interference Pattern, shortlisted for the 2016 T S Eliot Prize. Assurances was shortlisted for the 2018 Forward Prize for Best Collection.

What the judges said: “We were all gripped by this polyphonic book-length poem and dazzled by its originality and inventiveness.”

 

January 8, 2019

Edwin Morgan 100 Co-ordinator

2020 will see the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Edwin Morgan (1920–2010), one of Scotland’s most significant poets. The Edwin Morgan Trust, set up to administer his generous bequest for new Scottish poetry, aims to mark this centenary by bringing together curators, creative artists and academics to celebrate the poet’s range of interests and ongoing creative impact, and to provide opportunities for public engagement, scholarship, knowledge exchange and new work.

The Trust is looking to appoint an experienced part-time co-ordinator for Edwin Morgan100, to bring together the widest range of partners both nationally and internationally, in order to scope and set out a programme for 2020, as well as to secure partnership funding.

Please see www.edwinmorganaward.com/news.html for details. The full job post is below.

 

Position: Edwin Morgan Centenary Co-ordinator

Reporting to: Steering Committee (Edwin Morgan Trust plus other stakeholders)

Salary: £27,000 (pro rata)

This post will be for 3 days/week over eight months, based in Glasgow, with a start date as soon as possible after the interview.

Purpose:

  1. To function as point of contact between stakeholders involved in the celebrations for the centenary of Edwin Morgan’s birth, scheduled to run from April 2020 to March 2021.
  2. In particular, to co-ordinate communication, information, scheduling, and planning of all partners’ events and activities to celebrate the centenary, in order to achieve a collective impact beyond what would be possible by organisations working separately.
  3. To assist in strategy building, administrative support, fund raising, programme management, the developing of new and existing collaborations and relationships, and to provide support where required in all tasks relating to the preparation and facilitation of stakeholders’ centenary plans.
Duties and Responsibilities

The Edwin Morgan Centenary Co-ordinator will:

  • Act as point-of-contact to liaise and meet regularly with all partners, taking responsibility for communication and sharing of information, and provide feedback on progression of ongoing centenary plans, ensuring a highly effective communication stream between all stakeholders; 
  • Create, manage, and disseminate a rolling update of proposed and ongoing activities to all stakeholders; tracking the progress of such plans to best harness resources, publicity, audience awareness, and development opportunities to avoid overlapping of resources and scheduling conflicts; 
  • Help identify and then work with partners to produce a programme of events, including activities planned by non-stakeholders, and across the wider cultural sector;
  • Work with steering group to identify potential relationships, connections, funding opportunities, and collaborations across the arts sector and beyond;
  • Ensure all information is shared with sensitivity. Demonstrate awareness of data protection and copyright legislation
  • Work with artists and organisations to commission new creative responses to Edwin Morgan material;
  • Assist with administration, publicity, permission and copyright clearance for the proposed Morgan exhibition;
  • Work closely with the steering group to establish goals and ensure they are achieved.
  • Establish and maintain agreed timetables and budgets.
Person specification

Skills, abilities and knowledge

Essential

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to convey information in an engaging and effective way to stakeholders at all levels
  • Excellent administrative skills
  • Ability to build positive working relationships stakeholders
  • Good general ICT literacy, including MS Word, Excel, Outlook. Knowledge of web writing skills, and familiarity with social media
  • Ability to work independently without close supervision, to be self-motivating and act with judgement and initiative
  • Ability to plan, prioritise and manage a diverse programme of work, and to deliver planned outcomes to competing agendas and deadlines, with the flexibility needed to respond to new demands
  • Ability to manage projects, including collaborations with external partners
  • Knowledge and experience of the cultural sector, particularly in relation to literature and publishing

Desirable

  • Familiarity with the work of Edwin Morgan
  • Flexibility of working hours. To have capacity to continue in a slightly expanded version of the post after August 2019, if fundraising successful
  • Knowledge of data protection and copyright legislation

Personal qualities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Confidence and vision to impact positively on stakeholders’ plans
  • Ability to work with cross-functional teams
  • Commitment to supporting the professional standards of all Morgan centenary stakeholders
  • Ability to work well under pressure

Experience

  • Substantial experience of working in a co-ordination capacity and / or administrative role within the cultural or heritage sectors
  • Experience of project management in the cultural sector
  • Fundraising experience

Qualifications

  • Applicants should have a degree in a relevant subject or equivalent experience

Further Information:

DEADLINE: Applications to be submitted to: EMTMorgan100@gmail.com by 9am Monday 28 January 2019.

Applicants are asked to provide a written statement saying how their skills match the person specification and demonstrate the value and relevance of their experience to the post, together with a CV, and the names and contact addresses of 3 people who will be contacted for references if the candidate is successful.

Selection Procedure:

Applicants who meet the criteria based on the job description and the person specification, and who demonstrate this in their written statement, will be selected for interview, to be held in early February.

 

 

January 7, 2019

New Year’s Honours for Atwood, Pullman, Donaldson and Riddell

The New Year Honours List for 2019 recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK. We warmly congratulate all the Awardees, particularly those related to literature and culture, including:

Margaret Atwood. Author – Order of the Companion of Honour

This is awarded for service of conspicuous national importance and is limited to 65 people. 

 

Philip Pullman. Author. Knighthood

For services to Literature

 

Julia Donaldson MBE. Author. Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

For services to Literature

 

Diana Murray. Chair of Arts & Business Scotland. Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

For services to the Cultural and Historic Environment in Scotland.

 

Chris Riddell. Illustrator – Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

For services to Illustration and Charity

 

Read the full New Year’s Honours’ List 2019 here.

December 30, 2018

Saltire Literary Awards Announced

Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology Dame Sue Black has won the coveted 2018 Saltire Book of the Year award for a non-fiction book that explores the many faces of death as experienced through her more than three decades’ career in forensic science – a career which has taken her from investigating the scene of horrific war crimes committed in Kosovo to identifying victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Thailand.

All That Remains: A Life in Death, which also won the Non-Fiction Book of the Year, is a gripping account of Black’s many encounters with mortal remains, whether in the laboratory, at burial sites, at murder scenes or when investigating mass fatalities due to war or natural disaster. She describes the book as being “as much about life as about death” and argues that, rather than being something to fear, death is something we should accept “as an integral and fundamentally necessary part of life’s process.”

Making their selection, the judges described the book as “curiously uplifting and life-affirming” and commented that “like all good memoirs”, it “reveals as much about the reader as the writer”.

Now firmly established as Scotland’s most prestigious annual book awards, the Saltire Literary Awards are supported by Creative Scotland and celebrate literary and academic excellence across six distinct Award categories. The winner of each individual book award wins a £2,000 cash prize and goes forward to be considered for the Saltire Book of the Year award and an accompanying cash prize of £6,000.

Dame Sue Black collected both awards at a special ceremony at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Friday evening (30 November 2018).

The winners of the five other book Awards announced as part of this year’s awards ceremony include Aberdeen-based Leila Aboulela’s short story collection and Fiction Book of the Year Elsewhere, Home which, through the experience of immigrants living abroad, examines the search for home in a fast-changing modern world.

Charting the writer’s personal experience of cancer treatment and recovery, becoming a widow at the age of 44 and taking on the social care system on behalf of elderly relatives, Jay Whittaker’s Wristwatch was named Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year.

The award for Research Book of the Year went to Professor of English Literature and Book History at the University of Edinburgh Tom Mole for What the Victorians made of Romanticism, which considers how the popular media of the Victorian era sustained and transformed the reputations of Romantic writers.

2018 History Book of the Year is Islay-based writer and documentary maker Les Wilson’s The Drowned and the Saved, an extensively researched account of the sinking of US troopships Tuscania and Otranto off the coast of Islay in 1918, a tribute to those who died and an exploration of the huge impact of the disaster on survivors, rescuers and the local community.

Sal, the debut novel by Fife-based writer Mick Kitson and winner of the 2018 Saltire First Book Award, tells the story of 13-year-old Sal and her 10-year-old sister Peppa who seek to escape the abuse of their alcoholic mother’s boyfriend by running away into the Scottish wilderness.

Also announced at the awards ceremony was the winner of the 2018 Saltire Publisher of the Year Award with an accompanying cash prize of £1,000, which went to Edinburgh-based Canongate Books. Over the last 12 months, Canongate’s growth has seen them further develop an already strong international publishing brand. The Saltire Emerging Publisher of the Year Award went to Edinburgh-based Carolina Orloff of Charco Press in recognition of her development into an important part of publishing in Scotland in a relatively short time.

Marking 30 years since the Saltire Literary Awards’ First Book Award category was established in 1988, this year’s ceremony also included the presentation of a special award for “Most Inspiring Saltire First Book Award winner”. Chosen through a public vote from a shortlist also featuring Kate Clanchy, Jackie Kay, Michel Faber, A.L. Kennedy and Ali Smith, this special award went to Glasgow-based writer Louise Welsh. Louise Welsh won the Saltire First Book Award in 2002 for her debut crime novel The Cutting Room, which subsequently went on to win the 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction. Since then, she has written seven further novels, three plays and two short story collections as well as libretto for a number of touring opera productions.

Saltire Society Programme Director Sarah Mason commented: From poetry to publishing, fiction to academic studies, extending the length and breadth of the country and far beyond, this year’s Saltire Literary Awards are a testament to the outstanding calibre of modern Scottish literature in all its varied forms.  Every one of the individual awards was hotly contested, making the judges’ decisions particularly challenging.

My congratulations to all of the winners and my thanks to the judging panels, to all of our partners and supporters who have helped to make the 2018 Saltire Literary Awards such a resounding success.

Mairi Kidd, Interim Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing at Creative Scotland, said:Creative Scotland is delighted once again to be able to support the 2018 Saltire Literary Awards. These awards occupy a unique place in the Scottish literary landscape, recognising as they do Scottish literature and publishing in all its many and varied forms. Particular congratulations to Dame Sue Black on winning Saltire Book of the Year, to Louise Welsh on her special honour marking the 30th anniversary of the First Book Award and to all of the other individual category winners in what was another very competitive year. It is great to be able to celebrate and showcase the work of everyone shortlisted and, in so doing, hopefully to promote it to a new and wider audience.

The Saltire Literary Awards are made possible through the support of Creative Scotland, Literature Alliance Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, Publishing Scotland and the Scottish Historical Review Trust.

We were delighted to partner with Saltire Society on the networking element of the evening. See the full shortlist for each award category on the Saltire Society website.

 

December 3, 2018

CS Open Project Awards for Literature: Oct 2018

£847,250 of National Lottery Funding has been awarded to 41 recipients through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Congratulations to the following who received funding in October 2018 for Literature:

StAnza International Poetry Festival (6-10 March 2019) receives support for its 2019 programme, developing existing and new audiences for poetry, as well as supporting and promoting Scottish poets and their work. Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone commented: “We are thrilled that once again StAnza will be showcasing some of the biggest names in poetry alongside some of the brightest new and upcoming talent.”

The third season of spoken word cabaret nights from Sonnet Youth receives support. Taking place across Edinburgh and Glasgow, Sonnet Youth is the brainchild of spoken word artists Kevin P. Gilday and Cat Hepburn.

Writer and poet Hugh McMillan receives funding to research and write a poetry book exploring the coastal kingdoms that traded with and influenced ancient Galloway. McMillan said of the new book: “We’re used to seeing Scotland as an adjunct to England’s story, but the same can be said of some of its parts, places seen as backwaters which were once vibrant,  populous and prosperous. Turn Scotland 90 degrees to the right and you have Galloway on top, once the hub of a thriving maritime Empire, now the centre of a pattern of neglect and depopulation that crosses four national boundaries.”

Storyteller Marion Kenny has been invited as principal guest artist to Chennai Storytelling Festival in India. During the trip Kenny will undertake research into the ancient South Indian tradition of Villupaatu – storytelling combined with musical accompaniment.

Kenny said: “I am delighted to have been invited as principal guest artist. I will be leading a number of workshops as well as giving several performances including one alongside Indian Storyteller Deepa Kiran. We’ll be collaborating to present a performance of music and stories, sharing traditional tales of weaving from Scotland, Ireland and India which was first performed at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. I will also be researching the Ancient storytelling and music art form of Villupattu. It is called the Bow song due to a Bow shaped instrument covered in bells which is struck by the principal storyteller. It is known as the Mother of all Storytelling.”

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

November 30, 2018