A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

LAS launches survey to demonstrate value of Scotland’s literary freelancers

As part of an independent impact study from Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS), freelancers and temporary workers who work within the literature, languages and publishing sector in Scotland are invited to participate in a survey that aims to bring about positive change and demonstrate their economic and social value of their contributions to the sector.

The research project will bridge a gap in specific knowledge of the literature, languages, and publishing sector by hearing directly from freelancers – including disabled freelancers –  on a range of areas including freelancers’ work in this sector during the Covid-19 pandemic period, Fair Working practices, as well as the challenges and barriers they face.

The report will share findings and include good practice recommendations on how we can all offer better support and provide more accessible and inclusive opportunities for this essential workforce.

And as part of LAS’ advocacy work, this information will be shared widely with those who commission freelancers such as publishers, festivals, literature and languages organisations, with industry stakeholders such as Creative Scotland, Scottish Government, policy makers and with universities as well as other arts organisations, arts researchers and advocates seeking comparative studies.

Freelancers are invited to complete the survey, which should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. It is open from Tuesday 10th May to midnight on Sunday 5th June 2022.

Survey respondents can enter a prize draw to win £50 in National Book Tokens as well as register to be interviewed in more detail with a view to creating ten case studies highlighting varied experiences of working in the sector. The ten case study participants will each receive a £50 voucher of their choice to thank them for their time.

Jenny Niven, Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland, said: “Freelancers across the arts are facing hugely challenging times. Through this work we want to shine the spotlight specifically on those who work in the literature, languages, and publishing sector to understand directly from them about their experiences of working practices, payment, professional development, Covid challenges. We’re also seeking to learn what good support, networks and opportunities look like for this freelance workforce.

“We’ve worked hard to make this survey as inclusive as possible to reflect the multiple unsalaried and non-permanent roles that freelancers hold across a mix of art forms to make a living. We want to hear from anyone who works as a freelancer or temporary worker in this sector – from agents and all types of writers, editors, educators and event organisers, programmers and publishers, illustrators, comic creators, storytellers, translators, typesetters and more.

“The more freelancers who share their views by completing the survey, the more accurately we can advocate for the needs of this vital workforce to help organisations enact positive change by offering better support and more opportunities as we slowly move through the pandemic recovery, the increased cost of living and beyond.

“So, we’re asking freelancers to please engage with Literature Alliance Scotland and the survey we’re launching today so we can better understand: What challenges are specific to those working within this area of the arts, what are those shared across all freelance working, and how can we address them?”

Alan Bett, Head of Literature and Publishing at Creative Scotland said: “This important research is extremely welcome as part of wide-ranging work across Scotland’s culture sector to ensure that artists and professionals working in the creative community are paid fairly and appropriately for their time and effort.

“LAS’ focus on literature and publishing will highlight the needs of this specific workforce and inform how we, as a sector, can work together to  implement Fair Work principles. The broader and more diverse the responses, the more valuable this survey will be.”

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact Jenny Kumar, LAS Projects and Communications Manager, on 07989 557198 / jenny@jkconsultancy.com OR admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk

Notes to Editor

  • Freelancers = anyone who does not have solely permanent salaried roles in the literature, languages, and publishing sector.
  • LAS’ impact study on freelancers in the literature, languages, and publishing sector is conducted by independent research consultant Ruth Stevenson of Ruthless Research
  • LAS is supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland via the Open Fund for Organisations.

Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) is a membership organisation committed to advancing the interests of Scotland’s literature and languages at home and abroad. As Scotland’s largest literary network, we bring together writers, publishers, educators, librarians, literature organisations and national cultural bodies, in a collective voice for literature and languages, which are celebrated locally, nationally, and internationally. Formed in Spring 2015, LAS is a successor to the Literature Forum for Scotland. Twitter @LitScotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen, and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot

May 10, 2022

A Scottish cultural treasure: survey reveals huge benefits of Scotland’s book festivals

  • Survey released for World Book Day underlines how Scotland’s book festivals contribute to society, culture and economy
  • Festivals need full-blooded support for post-COVID comeback
  • In Scotland’s Year of Stories, authors including Kathleen Jamie and Damian Barr speak up for book festivals

New research released for World Book Day reveals the immense contribution of the country’s book festivals and the importance of ensuring they can return to full strength after the pandemic.

A survey covering nearly half the country’s 60+ book festivals shows that in 2019 they attracted audiences of almost 780,000 (410,000+ in person), featuring 2,800 authors and invested almost £6.7 million of staff, goods and services (with a wider knock on impact estimated at over £11.3 million).

In 2020 the total audience dropped to 344,000, with 91% being online or digital, as the festivals worked to find new ways to reach audiences, or were forced to cancel.

Adrian Turpin, Artistic Director of Wigtown Book Festival and Steering Committee member of the SBFN said: “Scotland’s book festivals are a cultural treasure. Their growth has been extraordinary and they are a powerfully positive and much-loved part of our lives.

“During the pandemic many were able to pivot and deliver great events digitally and online – and they achieved a huge amount at a time when people were facing tremendous challenges. But it has been a struggle for the festivals and they have endured a serious battering, not least through the huge loss in revenues.

“It’s clear from our survey that they have an immense impact on Scotland’s culture and society, bringing hundreds of thousands of people of all ages, backgrounds and interests in contact with writers of every imaginable kind – firing imaginations, provoking discussion and strengthening the nation’s love of literature.

“World Book Day is the ideal moment to highlight what they have achieved and the need to rebuild after the pandemic – and this is all the more true given that 2022 is Scotland’s Year of Stories.

“It is vital that book festivals receive the full-blooded support of public, private and charitable funders, of the Scottish Government, of local authorities and of everyone else who values the role they play, so they not only recover from the pandemic, but further flourish and multiply.”

Jenny Niven, Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland, said: “This crucial survey from Scottish Book Festival Network shows just how economically and culturally important book festivals are to communities, authors and audiences across Scotland – and beyond! With more than 60 book festivals taking place in our nation throughout the year, there is an event for everyone. We work closely with SBFN and will continue to support Scotland’s book festivals throughout Scotland’s Year of Stories, which we hope will be a time when festivals can start to rebuild.”

While it is not possible to extrapolate the survey figures to identify the full impact of all Scotland’s book festivals, it is clear that the impacts and benefits from all 60 will be even greater than those from the 27 respondents.

Among the other findings (also see attached sheet of key figures) are that in 2019, the last pre-COVID year:

  • Some 70% delivered events for families and young people – a total of 450 events attracting over 32,000 attendees
  • They ran 280 schools, learning and education events with 29,000 attendees
  • Around 88% provided volunteering opportunities – totalling 3,500 volunteer days, valued at £347,000
  • There were already 100 online or digital events, with audiences of over 390,000
  • An average of 64% of people attending were local, with 33% from other parts of Scotland, 10% from elsewhere in the UK and the rest from overseas.

Authors and poets have also spoken about the importance of book festivals to their careers, to writing and to literary culture.

Kathleen Jamie, Scotland’s fourth Makar and author of Surfacing, Findings and Sightlines, said: “Sometimes you feel the world is going to hell in a handcart, but the growth of book festivals shows that reading and intelligence and debate are alive and well and happening at a local level.”

Damian Barr FRSL, author of Maggie and Meand You Will Be Safe Here as well as presenter of The Big Scottish Book Club: “Each festival has its own character which reflects the area and the stories from and of there. I can honestly say I’ve never had a bad time at a Scottish book fest as author or reader!”

Leela Soma (Twice Born, Bombay Baby and Murder at the Mela) said: “From Bute Noir, to Wigtown Book Festival, Bloody Scotland, Aye Write, to the huge EIBF – Scottish book festivals are making concerted efforts to have more representations from writers of colour from Scotland. I hope this is the start of an evolving change, that will include more diverse voices in book festivals.”

SBFN was set up in 2020, on the request of Creative Scotland, to be a vehicle for providing knowledge sharing, networking, advocacy, collaborative working, as well as guidance on best practice across the spectrum of Scotland’s literary festivals.

-ENDS-

Notes for editors

  • The research was carried out in 2021 by DC Research and is available on request – just email scotbookfestnet@outlook.com.
  • For media information contact Matthew Shelley at Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org or on 07786 704299.
  • The survey respondents were: A Write Highland Hoolie; Aye Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival and Wee Write Glasgow’s Book Festival for Children and Young People; BIG LIT: The Stewartry Book Festival Birnam Book Festival; Bloody Scotland; Bookends Festival; Bookmark; Borders Book Festival; Boswell Book Festival; Cove and Kilcreggan; Crime & Thrillers Weekend; Cymera: Scotland’s Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing; Edinburgh International Book Festival; Imprint; Islay Book Festival; Nairn Book and Arts Festival; Paisley Book Festival; Pentland Book Festival; Scottish Festival of History; Skye Book Festival; St Duthac Book and Arts Festival; StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival; Tidelines Book Festival; Ullapool Book Festival; Wee Crime Festival; Wigtown Book Festival; Winter Words Literary Festival.

Authors’ quotes:

Damian Barr FRSL, author of Maggie and Me and You Will Be Safe Here as well as presenter of The Big Scottish Book Club: “Scottish Book Festivals range from the intimate, Wigtown, to the epic, Edinburgh and from west, Aye Write, to the northernmost, Shetland! I’m lucky enough to have been to all those and more—Borders is one of my favouriters. Each festival has its own character which reflects the area and the stories from and of there. I can honestly say I’ve never had a bad time at a Scottish book fest as author or reader! Edinburgh has pivoted to digital, which has made it more inclusive and year-round. Bloody Scotland continues to do the best of Crime. Shetland was my first fests after lockdown and the audiences and community were warm and welcoming— it was slickly organised but never impersonal and I got to be in a spectacular place and find out stories of the impact of Boer War, a big part of my novel, on Shetland and the islanders. Fascinating!”

Cal Flyn, author of Thicker Than Water, Islands of Abandonment: “Taking part in literary festivals has been an important element of my development as an author. They’ve allowed me to write many of my readers in person for the first time, and to convince those who have not yet read my work to buy a copy of the book. They’ve given me important experience in public speaking, and in the presentation of my work to large crowds. And, just as crucially, they’ve given me opportunities to meet other Scottish writers. I’ve made friends and contacts at Scottish book festivals which have gone on to be very important to my career. I feel strongly that a strong culture of Scottish book festivals is crucial in the creation and maintenance of a healthy literary ecosystem.”

Dominic Hinde, author of A Utopia Like Any Other: “Book festivals are critical to the vitality and impact of Scottish writers. Given that many writers earn little from direct sales, festivals are a chance to engage with readers, increase profile and generate other forms of revenue. They are also a brilliant opportunity to take literature and ideas to publics around the country, especially in places such as Wigtown, Ullapool and Paisley.

“As an author and journalist I believe book festivals and cultural festivals are absolutely key to Scotland’s cultural and intellectual life, and we should view them as a fundamental investment in civic infrastructure.”

Kirstin Innes, author of Fishnet and Scabby Queen: “From getting the occasional slot as a new writer at the Edinburgh International Book Festival after having my first short stories published in anthologies, to being asked to guest programme a strand on Rebel Women (interviewing Janice Galloway, Jenni Fagan, Emma Jane Unsworth, Chitra Ramaswamy and Emily Morris) for the inaugural Paisley Book Festival, Scotland’s book festival sector has had a huge and profound impact on my career as a writer. I’ve found myself chairing Douglas Stuart right after his landmark Booker win, hosting Elif Shafak and Emily St John Mandel in a daring hybrid online/live cabaret for EIBF’s opening night, forging long friendships with fellow writers after a late night in the Ceilidh Place after Ullapool Book Festival, getting into wordy arguments on book-lined staircases in Wigtown… and above all, meeting readers! Connecting with audiences in Gatehouse of Fleet and Renfrewshire and Nairn and Aberdeen and Cove; making those totally vital connections; being reinvigorated discovering that reading and writing and the love of it is very much alive in Scotland.”

Kathleen Jamie FRSL FRSE, Scotland’s fourth Makar and author of Surfacing, Findings and Sightlines: “The flourishing of book festivals in recent decades has been extraordinary. It seems now that any town which does not have a book festival feels a bit deprived. How has this happened? Through the energy and vision of readers and enthusiasts and folk with good organisational skills. Thank god for them.

“Like many writers I spend a lot of time either in my garret or at the kitchen table. But an invitation to a book festival means that I can travel where the books travel, I can go to where they find their readers. The sparky, one-hour slot means I can glimpse them – actual people! Readers of my work! They’re the ones who matter. I need to speak clearly, respond to questions and wear a dress. I also love the green-room conversations with other writers and the post-event drinks. Sometimes you feel the world is going to hell in a handcart, but the growth of book festivals shows that reading and intelligence and debate are alive and well and happening at a local level. And now we’re exploring the ‘hybrid’ model, another revolution. As a writer and a reader I can’t think of anything I don’t like about book festivals.”

Stuart MacBride, author of the Logan McRae crime novels: “The best thing about attending a book festival is the chance to interact with readers, make new friends, catch up with old ones, and do it in a much more meaningful way than can ever be achieved through 278 characters and a couple of emojis. There are people who’ve been coming to my events, at various Scottish book festivals, year after year and we’ve grown into an extended family. That has immense value to me – certainly far beyond selling a few more books. These festivals are where we come together as a community: readers, writers, publishers, aspiring authors… Scottish Book Festivals are where we find our people.”

Val McDermid FRSL, author of 1979 and Forensics: “Writers spend most of their working lives alone with a screen. The great joy of festivals is the positive interaction with readers, with other writers and with industry professionals. That’s good for us, but there’s an unexpected benefit too. Those random conversations often make spontaneous and serendipitous connections inside our creative brains and lead us to new projects and ideas. So work emerges that otherwise might never have been made.”

Hollie McNish, author of Nobody Told Me, Slug: “I’ve performed at many book festivals in Scotland from the Borders Festival to Ullapool Book Festival to Paisley Book Festival to the larger cities festivals. Being invited and brought to these has been a huge boost for my career – not only in the new audiences it has brought me as a writer and performer (as book festivals often bring in audiences who support the festival as a whole and will try out new writers they don’t necessarily know of already) but also in the new opportunities it has created for me due to being seen by other Scottish organisation: from Neu! Reekie! and The Scottish Poetry to Universities and schools in Scotland, to those who put on events in venues such as Oran Mor, Queen’s Hall and The Lemon Tree, where I’ve now done several touring gigs. These festivals have been an honour to read at and a real aide to my career.”

About the Scottish Book Festivals Network

  • The Scottish Book Festivals Network (SBFN) was convened at the end of 2020 by Wigtown Festival Company on the request of Creative Scotland to be a vehicle for providing knowledge sharing, networking, advocacy, collaborative working, as well as guidance on best practice across the spectrum of Scotland’s literary festivals.
  • The network is intended to be a forum for festivals across Scotland, which represent huge variety in terms of scale, format, and outlook.
  • SFBN now has 46 members include large and small festivals, urban and rural festivals, island festivals and multi-artform festivals.
  • For further information contact SBFN Co-Ordinator Keira Brown at scotbookfestnet@outlook.com.
  • @scotbookfests

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland.

 

 

 

 

March 3, 2022

LAS appoints Jenny Niven as new Chair

The Board of Trustees of Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) is delighted to announce the appointment of Jenny Niven as its new Chair.

The appointment was unanimously approved by the LAS Board following an open recruitment process and Ms Niven will begin her three-year term in the role from the beginning of August 2021.

Jenny Niven said: “I am delighted and honoured to be taking up the role of Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland. Scottish literature and languages is full of talent and expertise, both in terms of individual writers, practitioners and producers, but also in the numerous internationally recognised organisations and institutions who all sit round the LAS table. I’m looking forward to working with so many respected friends and colleagues and to playing a role in championing our collective voice, while working to understand the needs of Scotland’s writers and organisations as we rebuild post-Covid.

“We’re in interesting times, to say the least, and we need strong representation for the role of the arts across society and the vital contribution made by writers and professionals in the sector. Literature has always played an exciting role in how we tell our stories and there are lots of possibilities and challenges ahead, from Scotland’s Year of Stories to harnessing digital to showcase and promote Scottish writing in a new era internationally. With LAS’ recent brilliant work in recognising the diversity of writing in Scotland and creating real talent development platforms, there is plenty to do; I feel privileged to be entrusted to get started and to play a part in our collective rebuilding effort at this crucial time.”

Jenny Niven is a highly regarded and well-known figure operating within the literature, languages and publishing sector. As a freelance producer and director, she is the director of Push the Boat Out, a new festival of poetry, spoken word and hip hop, which launches for the first time in Edinburgh in October 2021. She is also Executive Producer at the Edinburgh International Culture Summit Foundation and a sought-after chair for literature events, having interviewed a wealth of leading authors worldwide.

From 2014-2019, Jenny was Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland, where she provided strategic guidance across the sector, and fostered investment in hundreds of organisations and writers. During her time at Creative Scotland, Jenny led in the creation of the sectoral review of Literature and Publishing in Scotland, the Muriel Spark 100 Centenary celebrations in 2018, and Creative Scotland’s first Scots Language Policy.

In 2016, Jenny led the Edinburgh International Book Festival organisation on secondment as Acting Director over the winter months of 16/17, winning the festival a Herald Angel Award for the ground-breaking ‘Outriders’ program.

Jenny has worked internationally, as Associate Director at the Wheeler Centre for Books Writing and Ideas, Program Manager at the Melbourne Writers Festival and inaugural Director of The Bookworm International Literary Festival, in Beijing, China. She was also on the founding Board of the Stella Prize for Australian Women’s Writing and has judged a range of literary prizes.

Out-going Chair Peggy Hughes has been in the role since May 2017, leading the development of LAS to where it is now recognised as a vital connector between the organisations in the literature, languages and publishing ecosystem.

During her four-year term, Peggy has overseen the creation of a “life changing” career development programme, a series of challenging writer commissions, a new Writers’ Advisory Group and a host of professional development and networking opportunities for members and the wider sector at LAS meetings and events. Not to mention pivoting the programme to online and advocating for the sector throughout the pandemic.

Peggy Hughes, who will stand down as a Trustee at the AGM in the Autumn, said: “Scotland’s ecosystem of literature and languages is a rich, breathing, inspiring place to be, and it’s been my honour and pleasure to chair this network of organisations and practitioners working with and for it. The past 18 months have brought huge challenges and changes to the literature and creative sectors at large, but the Literature Alliance Scotland network has shown that innovation, imagination, resilience and collaboration can help us navigate the stormiest waters.

“Collectively, our priority is to ensure that our brilliant writers and readers, librarians and teachers, play makers and festival builders remain connected, that their work is amplified, that they are able to lean on and learn from each other, and Jenny Niven is a superlative Chair for the times we’re in, and for a network which creates the conditions ‘where the hammer hits the stane an sparks / ur made’ (as William Letford has it in his poem ‘This Is It’). I look forward very much to the next chapter of the story of this brilliant network under her leadership.”

 

 

July 14, 2021

Creative Scotland news: Growing Scotland’s Literature and Publishing Sector

Creative_Scotland-logo-695

Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland today, Wednesday 23 November 2016, provides an update on Creative Scotland’s work to support Scotland’s Literature and Publishing Sector, since the publication of its Literature and Publishing Review.

The update coincides with Niven’s appearance at Literature Alliance Scotland’s International Summit, taking place at Edinburgh’s Storytelling Centre, during Book Week Scotland.

Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland, commented:
“Convened in direct response to recommendations within the Literature and Publishing Sector Review published in June 2015, the Summit is bringing together – for the first time – writers, publishers, literature organisations and public bodies to plan how Scotland can better support the international promotion and presentation of Scotland’s writers and literature.

“A range of other projects, including new support for translation as well as investment in the recently established International Literature Showcase are part of our increased focus on international working, in response to feedback from the Literature sector in 2015’s sector review.

“That consultation has helped shape our Arts and Creative Industries Strategies and we thank everyone who has contributed to this work so far.  We look forward to continuing this work with Scottish Government, partner agencies and individuals to create the best conditions to support a thriving literature and publishing sector in Scotland and internationally.”

Published 18 months ago, the Literature Sector Review produced a broad spread of recommendations aimed at improving the health of literature in Scotland, sustaining the sector as a vibrant form of cultural expression, and as an important creative industry. The review covered a range of areas including individual writers, the publishing industry, developing readers, and the international promotion and development of Scottish writing.

In addition to the £4m awarded to writers, poets, book festivals, storytellers, publishers and literary organisations, over the last year, to support their work in Scotland and internationally, a number of measures have been undertaken in the past 18 months to help grow the Sector, including:

International Promotion
Developing a strategic approach to the international promotion of Scottish writers and Literature

  • Today’s International Summit has been co-ordinated by LAS, in direct response to a specific recommendation from Creative Scotland’s Literature and Publishing Sector Review, to explore a more strategic approach to the international promotion of Scottish writing and literature.  Dr. Alasdair Allan MSP, Scotland’s Minister for International Development and Europe, will open the event. The aim of the day is to lay the groundwork for a stronger international presence for Scottish literature.

Donald Smith, Vice-Chair of LAS said: The issue of Scotland’s international presence has been discussed a great deal over the years. This Summit marks the first time that the key players will be together in the same space with the same goal of agreeing what needs to be done and how we might work together to do it.”

  • Creative Scotland is partner funding a major new initiative with Writers Centre Norwichand the British Council to promote UK writers and literature organisations overseas.  Launched in September 2016, the online International Literature Showcase is supporting talented upcoming writers with promotional opportunities, new commissions and the development of their international profile.

Developing Talent and Skills

  • In the last financial year, 2015-16, Creative Scotland awarded more than £4million to writers, poets, book festivals, storytellers, publishers and literary organisations to support their work in Scotland and internationally. For further information on Creative Scotland’s support for Literature, languages and publishing please visit, here.
  • Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fundoffers support for individual writers at all stages of their careers.  Awards made this year include Janice Galloway, Kirsty Logan, Amy Liptrot, Ewan Morrison, Merryn Glover, Malachy Tallack and Gordon Meade.
  • The Gavin Wallace Fellowship enables writers to take time out of their usual environment to develop their practice over the course of a year.  Writer Kirsty Logan, who undertook her Fellowship in 2015, commented: “The past year has been absolute bliss. Having the freedom to read, think and explore is truly priceless for a writer. The fellowship came at exactly the right time in my writing life, and I can’t recommend it enough.”
  • Creative Scotland has partnered with the Scottish Review of Books to run the Emerging Critics Mentoring Programme, which was launched with a talk at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2016. Between November 2016 and February, 2017, 20 writers looking to break into literary criticism are being mentored in small groups by critics Alan Taylor, Rosemary Goring, David Robinson, Kaite Welsh and Dave Coates. Mentees are receiving guidance on writing literary criticism for print and online platforms and are receiving individual feedback with a view to showcasing their work on a special Emerging Critics section of the Scottish Review of Books website.

Mentee Ian Abbott, commented: “The emerging critics programme is bringing together different voices and practices from inside and outside the field of literature to learn from, share with and challenge each other. It offers the opportunity to reset, refocus and deepen our thinking on what criticism is, could be and how relevant it is; I’m interested in who isn’t represented, the gaps that exist and why some voices are invisible. There is already a generosity and exchange amongst our group and I believe it’s going to produce a series of stimulating debates, new sets of knowledge and a hearty barrel of the unknown.”

Translation

  • Launched in August 2015, the new Translation Fund, delivered by Publishing Scotland, is designed to encourage international publishers to translate works by Scottish writers. The £25,000 fund has already supported the translation of work from authors such as Amy Liptrot, Gavin Francis, Jenni Fagan and Jackie Kay translated into a variety of languages including Spanish, Italian and German amongst others.

Aly Barr, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said “The Publishing Scotland translation fund is now attracting applications from leading publishers around the world. The fund forms part of a pathway for international publishers-working in parallel with the annual international publishing fellowship. The fund is the amongst the largest awards schemes for translating books in Britain and positions Scottish publishing as an outwardly facing industry keen to share its stories with the world.”

  • The Fellowship Programme launched in August 2015 with the aim of forging stronger and more strategic links between international and Scottish publishers and agents to discover and acquire the rights to Scottish books.  Developed in partnership between Creative Scotland, Emergents and Publishing Scotland, the programme has engagedeighteen international publishing fellows.
  • The newly established Translation Residency Programme is offering writers the opportunity to take the time to work on the translation of Scottish works.  Delivered by Cove Park in partnership withPublishing Scotland and the British Centre for Literary Translation.  Anne Brauner (Germany) and Clara Pezzuto (Italy) undertook residencies in September 2016 and translated works byScotland based authors – The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie and And The Land Lay Still by James Robertson, respectively.
  • In 2017, the Translation Programme will expand to include partnerships with Writers Centre Norwich and University of Glasgow, in addition to a continuing relationship with Publishing Scotland, creating a UK-wide and outward looking programme. Highlights include residential mentoring for translators and poet-poet translation, as well as an increase in the number of translation residencies available.

Advocating for literature

  • Literature Alliance Scotland was awarded £50,000 in April 2016 to undertake a two-year programme of advocacy and networking involving its 26 member organisations (e.g. EIBF, Scottish Poetry Library, Scottish Book Trust, Saltire Society). The programme of activity will be rolled out over the next 18 months and the first output is today’s international summit.

Writer’s Pay

  • Creative Scotland’s recently published Arts Strategy underlines its ambition to improve the financial context in which artists and other creative professionals develop and make their work.  The Strategy has been informed by findings reported in the Literature Sector Review which found that that 81% of Scottish writers who responded to the survey earn below the National Minimum Wage. Together with the Society of Authors in Scotland, and other partners, Creative Scotland is exploring ways to address this issue and encourage organisations representing writers to continue to work closely with the sector in setting  standards  and  terms  of  engagements  for  activities  such as travel,  speaking  engagements, residencies, and publishing  contracts.

Access to literature and support for Scotland’s languages

  • In August 2015, Creative Scotland and the National Libraries of Scotland announced the first Scots Scriever – poet, novelist and playwright, Hamish MacDonald.  Responsible for working with the cultural sector, communities, and in particular, schools across Scotland, the Scriever will work to enhance awareness, understanding and use of Scots.  The Scriever post is also directly complementing Education Scotland’s work through their Scots language co-ordinators to broaden engagement of the Scots language policy.

Notes to Editors

About Creative Scotland 

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.  Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Media Contact

Sophie Bambrough
Media Relations and PR Officer, Creative Scotland

D +44 131 523 0015 +44 7916 137 632

E: Sophie.bambrough@CreativeScotland.com

November 23, 2016