A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Literature Talks

Literature Talks series 2021

In our new one-year programme of work, A New Chapter: To Meet the Times We’re In, we will commission two writers to respond to the literary landscape with a 1500-word piece or poetry of up to 40 lines, plus audio recording hosted on the LAS website, which starts a conversation to challenge us to make change happen.

Read our first commission – a passionate poem on the frustration of artists in lockdown by the Gaelic Crowned Bard, poet, singer, composer, harpist and linguist Sandy NicDhòmhnaill Jones –  Prìosanachd nan Còisir / The Choirs’ Imprisonment.




Literature Talks series 2019-2020

Literature Talks is a series of pieces commissioned by LAS. We commissioned six pieces over two years from Scotland’s leading writers and literature producers, reflecting on an aspect of Scotland’s literary landscape.

Our sixth and final commission for this 2019 series launched on 25 March 2021 and is on the use of dialect in literary fiction in Scotland by bestselling author of The Young Team, Graeme Armstrong – Standard English is oor Second Language

Our fifth commission, launched on 2 December 2020, is a timely reminder of the power of books and imagination by writer and doctor Gavin Francis – The Armchair Island Traveller

Our fourth commission, launched on 2 November 2020, is an intense and thought-provoking reflection on wellbeing in these challenging times by award-winning poet, playwright and performer Hannah Lavery – How Are You Sleeping?

Our third commission, launched on 3 March 2020, is a philosophical piece on the climate emergency by award-winning Scottish poet and critically acclaimed novelist Jenni Fagan – There are Three Suns in the Sky.

Our second commission was launched at our Sector Away Day – Turning the Next Page: Future-Proofing Our Sector on Tuesday 1 October in Dundee. We’re delighted to present this powerful, personal piece on diversity in literature and publishing by award-winning journalist and author Chitra Ramaswamy – On A Lifetime of Ticking Boxes. 

Our first commission was launched in May 2019 by Carnegie Medal-winning author Theresa Breslin on Libraries – The Magic Portal. It featured on BBC Radio Scotland’s Afternoon Show with Grant Stott on Thursday 9 May with Theresa talking about her piece and the importance of libraries with LAS Chair Peggy Hughes.

In 2019, the Literature Talks series was linked to a Year of Conversation 2019, a collaborative project designed to celebrate, initiate and explore conversation in all our lives.