A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Literary celebrations

Scotland is a proud literary nation with a long, rich literary heritage. To help you keep track of (and plan for) all the big anniversaries of our nation’s writers and their works, plus all the literature- and book-related days that are celebrated in Scotland each year, we’re developing this searchable list so you don’t miss out on what’s coming up.

The three tables below are ordered by current year (2020), future years (2021-2022), and previous years (2015-2019).

Please let us know if there are any national literature-related anniversaries or days being celebrated in Scotland to include this year, and beyond, by emailing admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk or tweeting us @LitScotland.

Thank you!


VisitScotland's Year of Coasts & Waters 2020
27 April 2020 - April 2021Edwin Morgan 100
Apr-Sep 2020Arbroath 2020 celebrating the 700th anniversary of The Declaration of Arbroath through a cultural, arts and community festival
James Hogg 250 (1770-1835)
Feb 2020#LGBTHistoryMonth
1-8 Feb 2020#NationalStorytellingWeek
5 March 2020World Book Day
8 March 2020International Women's Day
#EachforEqual #IWD2020
21 March 2020
UNESCO World Poetry Day
23 April 2020World Book Night
20-27 June 2020Independent Bookshop Week
8 Sept 2020International Literacy Day 2020
1 Oct 2020National Poetry Day
tbc 2020Bookshop Day
5-10 Oct 2020Libraries Week
13 Nov 2020Robert Louis Stevenson Day
tbc Nov 2020Book Week Scotland



2021Sir Walter Scott 250th anniversary
George Mackay Brown centenary
2022VisitScotland: Year of Scotland's Stories


Previous years: 2015-2019

2019International Year of Indigenous Languages (UNESCO)
A Year of Conversation 2019
Hamish Henderson centenary
2018VisitScotland: Year of Young People
Muriel Spark Centenary
Irvine Welsh: 25th anniversary of 'Trainspotting'
Muriel Spark: 50th anniversary of 'The Mandelbaum Gate' (published 1965)
Mary Shelley: 100 years since publication of 'Frankenstein'
W. S. Graham centenary
JM Barrie: centenary of the publication of 'Echoes of the War' plays
Moniak Mhor Writers' Centre 25th anniversary year
Gaelic Books Council 50th anniversary year
Encyclopædia Britannica 250th anniversary
The Pushkin Prizes in Scotland & St Petersburg 30th anniversary
2017VisitScotland: Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
250th anniversary of Edinburgh's New Town plan (1767)
Iain Banks: 30th anniversary of 'Consider Phlebas', the first Culture novel
JM Barrie: 80th anniversary of his death
Scottish PEN 90th anniversary year (9 Dec)
2016VisitScotland: Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
Jessie Kesson centenary
Robert Louis Stevenson: 130th anniversary of 'Kidnapped'
Iain Banks: 30th anniversary of 'The Bridge'
2015VisitScotland: Year of Food
JK Rowling: 50th birthday
GWS Barrow: 50th anniversary of 'Robert the Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland'
Walter Scott: 250th anniversary of his long poem about Robert the Bruce, 'The Lord of the Isles'
GS Fraser centenary
George Campbell Hay centenary
Sydney Goodsir Smith centenary
John Buchan: 75th anniversary of his death
Centenary of John Buchan's 'The Thirty-Nine Steps'