A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Here’s a Haun

Here’s a Haun (previously known as the Buddy Project) is a pilot project that randomly pairs people working in the literature, languages and publishing sector to give them a helping hand in making new connections and learning from one another, thereby building resilience and boosting health and wellbeing.

The randomised pairing aims to recreate the serendipitous connections we used to make by bumping into new people in the line for a cuppa at in-person events. It also avoids any notions of gatekeeping through a formal matching process.

The first phase of the pilot is open only to LAS members (the representatives who attend our meetings and their colleagues) and is for 20 people who will be randomly paired to connect informally via Zoom or on the phone, for up to three sessions of 50 minutes each over the course of two months – May and June 2021.

This is a voluntary opportunity if you’re a salaried employee or a paid opportunity at £10 per session  (for a total of three) if you’re a freelancer and/or a writer.

How to apply

If you’re interested in taking part, please apply using this Google Form by midnight on Tue 11 May 2021.

For this phase of the pilot, please only apply if you’re a LAS member representative or a team member / colleague of a LAS representative.

If for any reason you’re unable to complete the Google Form, please email Jenny on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk

The form includes questions on what you want to get out of the experience, as well as what you’ve been reading, watching and listening to.

If you’re randomly paired to take part in the pilot, these four responses will be shared with paired participants as a helpful conversation prompt for your first meeting.

How it works

Google Forms automatically populates the information from your application form into a spreadsheet. We’ll collate the spreadsheet into two groups –  salaried participants and freelancer/writer participants – and use the row numbers to draw 10 lots from each group. These 20 row numbers would be put back in the hat and redrawn to randomly pair participants. Should we receive more than 20 applications for the 20 slots, there will be one slot per organisation for this trial phase only.

We’ll notify each paired participant and share contact details. Then it’s over to each pair to schedule the three meeting dates and times within the two-month period.

To get the most out of the project, we recommend that you chat for 50mins. This will give you each, separately, five minutes before you start to consider what you’d like to talk about and five minutes at the end to reflect on what was discussed.

We’d encourage you to make notes during this reflection time to help you complete a short feedback form at the end of the two-months, which will assist us in improving the project.

We’ll check in with participants halfway through and then towards the end of the two months with a reminder to complete the feedback form.

The LAS Zoom account can be available for your meetings.

Please be mindful that:
  • The sessions are about having a conversation and creating a meaningful human connection by listening to and sharing your personal and/or professional experiences (as you see fit) in a respectful, honest and non-judgemental space
  • This is not a mentoring or a coaching programme, the meetings are not to fix people’s problems, nor are they an opportunity for writers to get editorial feedback
  • Meetings are confidential. If they’re held on Zoom or another video call platform, they should not be recorded
  • Once meetings are scheduled they must be kept, except in an emergency. Please respect each other’s time.
  • There may be topics that are not open for discussion. We suggest you agree to use the word ‘veto’ as a safe word for any topics you’re not comfortable discussing. If your paired participant says ‘veto’ at any point during the conversation, you should immediately change the subject.
  • If you live close to your paired participant and want to meet in-person (and if it is safe and in line with government guidance to do so) each participant is responsible for buying their own food and drink.
  • You can contact Jenny Kumar at any point if you feel that the pairing isn’t working or that work/life commitments no longer allow them to continue. Please email Jenny on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk
Access Fund

We want to make this project as accessible as possible.

To help ensure that writers and freelancers can take part in the project, we will fund all three meetings at a rate of £10 per meeting. You’re eligible for this if the majority of your income comes from freelance work or writing.

Our Access Fund is open to all participants to help provide support such as BSL interpretation, childcare and other caring or respite costs, and local travel costs (although participants should meet online to ensure compliance with changing guidance and social distancing restrictions). Please tell us how we can help make this project accessible on your application form or contact Jenny to discuss on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk