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

Next Level 2021 now open for arts professionals


Are you a freelancer or employee working with a literature/languages organisation in Scotland with the ambition and energy to lead? 

Apply to Next Level 2021 for 1:1 online mentoring, training & networking opportunities tailored to your career goals.

The Next Level Programme 2021 is a career development programme that aims to equip two arts professionals on the path to a senior position with the intended outcome of increasing diversity within our sector.

It’s designed 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 Scotland’s literature, languages and publishing sector.

The 2021 programme is 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. It includes up to 80 contact hours (10 days), delivered digitally due to Covid-19, over six months from May 2021.

We particularly welcome applications from candidates who are from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities and those who identify as working-class and/or disabled and their intersections.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Wed 12 May 2021.

The two Awardees will each receive:

  • 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).

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.

How to apply:

Download our application pack from the website and email the completed application form and nomination form to Jenny Kumar, LAS Projects & Comms Manager, on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk with a short covering letter by midnight on Wed 12 May 2021.

Informal interviews will be held on Zoom on Wed 19 May 2021.

Not sure if it’s for you? Email Jenny on admin@literaturealliancescotland.co.uk

 

April 14, 2021