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, upcoming years, and previous years from 2015.

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!


Extended to 2021VisitScotland's Year of Coasts & Waters 2020
27 April 2020 - April 2021Edwin Morgan 100
Sir Walter Scott 250th anniversary
George Mackay Brown centenary
30 Jan-6 Feb #NationalStorytellingWeek
Feb #LGBTHistoryMonth
21 FebInternational Mother Language Day
4 March World Book Day
8 March International Women's Day
#ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021
21 March
UNESCO World Poetry Day
23 April World Book Night
May tbcBookbug Week
19-26 June Independent Bookshop Week
8 Sept International Literacy Day 2021
30 SeptInternational Translation Day
OctBlack History Month (Scotland)
7 Oct National Poetry Day
Theme: Choice
9 OctBookshop Day
4-10 Oct Libraries Week
13 Nov Robert Louis Stevenson Day
15 NovDay of the Imprisoned Writer
tbc Nov Book Week Scotland



2022VisitScotland: Year of Scotland's Stories
Mollie Hunter centenary
New Writing Scotland 40th anniversary
Black & Blue by Ian Rankin 25th anniversary


Previous years

2020VisitScotland: Year of Coast & Waters
Edwin Morgan 100
Arbroath 2020
James Hogg 250 (1770-1835)
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'