A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Next Level Programme








Next Level is our career development programme and is now closed for applications. It’s a pilot programme that aims to equip two mid-career 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 and training tailored to your career goals.

The second round of the tailored programme is for one person and includes up to 80 contact hours (10 days), delivered digitally due to Covid-19, over three months from November 2020. 

Next Level is designed for a mid-career arts professional who is either employed by or works as a freelancer for an organisation in the literature, languages and publishing sector in Scotland.

We consider mid-career to be someone with 4 to 6 years’ experience of working in the sector and who would not define themselves as working at senior management level.

Round one awardee Nyla Ahmad said: “I never thought I’d be selected for Next Level so I’m really pleased I decided to apply. It’s benefitted me in both major and minor ways. From developing the confidence to build connections in industry and network successfully, to planning a roadmap of how I will build my career. If you love working in books, literature and publishing and you have the ambition to get on, you should definitely apply.”

We’re particularly interested in applications from those who self-identify as being from an under-represented group, for example, disabled people, those from working-class backgrounds and/or BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities and their intersections. 

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)
  • Conversations with industry professionals (via telephone/video call).

At the end of the programme, the successful applicant 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 participants 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 self-identify as being a POC (person of colour), working-class and/or disabled.

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 Literature Alliance Scotland?

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 in doubt, 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 employer 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.

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 Application Packwhich includes an Application Form and Nomination Form and email both completed forms to Jenny Kumar on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk with a short covering letter by the deadline. Please include ‘Next Level 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

  • One place is available for Round Two of the Programme, 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 the morning of Friday 13 November.

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 16 November 2020.