A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Next Level Programme

Next Level 2021 is our flagship “lifechanging” career development programme. It aims to equip two arts professionals on the path to a senior position with the intended outcome of increasing diversity within the literature, languages and publishing sector. Each candidate will receive one-to-one mentoring with an industry professional, training and a wish list of industry connections all tailored to your career goals.

This year, the tailored programme is for two Awardees (running simultaneously) and includes up to approximately 80 contact hours (10 days), delivered digitally due to Covid-19 over six months from May 2021. 

Next Level 2021 is for two arts professionals (sometimes called arts admin or literature professionals in roles such as Assistant, Coordinator, Officer, Executive, Manager) who are either employed by or work as a freelancer with an organisation in the literature, languages and publishing sector in Scotland.

We’re looking for people with 4 to 6 years’ experience of working in the sector and who would not define themselves as working at senior management level.

To offer potential applicants more insight into the programme, read the “lifechanging” experience of our inaugural Awardee, Nyla Ahmad, who completed the pilot Next Level Programme last year.

Since Next Level aims to diversify Scotland’s literature, languages and publishing sector, we particularly welcome applications from candidates who are from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities and those who identify as disabled, working class and their intersections. 

This opportunity is now closed. 


The Next Level programme includes

  • 4 x 60-minute, one-to-one online mentoring sessions with an industry professional working in, for example, publishing, bookselling, programming, libraries
  • Training in presentation skills and how to make an impact (delivered virtually)
  • Industry connections – 30-40-minute conversations with industry professionals in Scotland and the UK (via Zoom or telephone).

At the end of the programme in Autumn 2021, the two successful applicants will be asked to share their experience with the LAS membership either through a presentation or a written piece as part of the evaluation process.


We’re looking for applicants 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

You are eligible to apply if you:

  • work as a freelancer for or are employed by an organisation within the literature, languages and publishing sector in Scotland
  • work for/with a LAS Member or LAS Network Associate
  • have between 4 to 6 years’ experience working in the sector and would not yet define yourself as working at senior management level.

We especially welcome applicants who identify as being a POC (person of colour), working-class or disabled and their intersections.

The programme is aimed at arts professionals working for/with an organisation within Scotland’s literature, languages & publishing sector and is not open to full-time writers. You are, however, eligible to apply if you’re a writer and you also work part-time or full-time as an arts professional (sometimes called arts admin) with or for a literature or languages organisation in Scotland and you meet the eligibility criteria above.

What costs are covered by LAS?

We’ll cover the costs of:

  • Training
  • Mentoring
  • A living wage stipend can be available where the successful applicant would not be paid for their time participating in the programme.


Before you apply…

Check your eligibility

Read the information to check if you’re eligible to apply. If you have any questions please email Jenny Kumar on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk to confirm if you’re eligible.

Check your availability

Check the timeline and duration of the programme. If you work for an organisation, you should discuss this with your line manager before applying as you’ll need to take some time out. If you’re a freelancer, you’ll need to ensure you have the time to complete the programme. Next Level 2021 has been designed to work flexibly with and around your work commitments and the number of hours stated is the maximum.

Find a nominator

You’ll need to find a nominator to support your application by completing a Nomination Form. Be sure to select someone who knows you well and who can comment knowledgeably on your leadership potential as this is an important, assessed part of the application process.

If you’re employed by an organisation, the Nomination Form must be completed by your employer/line manager. If you’re a freelancer, your nominator could be a client within the literature, languages and publishing sector.

How to apply 

Please download our Next Level 2021 Application Packwhich includes an Application Form and Nomination Form and email the completed forms to Jenny Kumar, LAS Projects & Comms Manager, on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk with a short covering letter by midnight on Wed 12 May 2021. Please include ‘Next Level 2021 application’ as the subject heading. This opportunity is now closed. 

What you’ll be asked to submit

  • Information about yourself
  • Respond to questions on your experience and aspirations
  • Include a Nomination Form completed by your employer (if you’re an employee) or a recent referee (if you’re a freelancer).

Selection Process

  • Two places are available for the 2021 Programme (running simultaneously), which will be delivered digitally due to Covid-19.
  • A small panel of LAS Trustees will select a shortlist of applicants for interview. Their decision is final.
  • The panel will assess applicants based on the eligibility criteria and the quality of the responses in the candidates’ application and nomination forms, which will be anonymised for the selection process.
  • We are unable to provide feedback should your application be unsuccessful.

Candidates shortlisted for an informal interview will be notified via email promptly after the closing date.

Informal interviews to chat through shortlisted candidates’ applications in more detail will be held via Zoom on Wed 19 May 2021.

The successful candidate will be notified promptly after interview and should be available to attend an online induction meeting with Jenny Kumar, LAS Projects & Communications Manager, the following week commencing 24 May 2021.

We can’t wait to hear from you!