Live Literature Fee Increase

The Live Literature fee increased from £150 to £175 per session from 1 January 2017.

Scottish Book Trust has not received additional funding for Live Literature, we have managed this through careful spending. We will not reduce the number of sessions available or increase the cost to the organisations who apply for sessions.

We’ve provided some information below, but if you have any concerns, questions or feedback, please get in touch:


Why is the fee going up?

The Live Literature fee has not increased since April 2007. A 2014 study by the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society reported that the median earnings of an author is now just £11,000, which is down 29% since 2005 and well below the living wage.

Many of the authors on the Live Literature database make their living primarily from writing and are facing extremely difficult times. Scottish Book Trust believes that writers, storytellers and illustrators should be paid fairly for the important work that they do and we want to support them.


Will applicants have to pay more?

No. Scottish Book Trust will pay authors £175, as well as travel and subsistence expenses within our guidelines, and VAT. We will continue to invoice event organisers for £75 plus VAT per session after the event takes place.


Will you support a smaller number of events?

No. We will continue to support 1,200 events per year through the existing Live Literature programme.  


Why aren’t you paying the same as the major Scottish festivals?

We understand that the Live Literature fee will still be lower than the major Scottish literary festivals. However, increasing the fee to £175 allows us to continue to support 1,200 sessions per year and will not have such a big impact on our partner organisations, many of whom are facing financial difficulty. We will continue to fundraise and advocate for authors to be paid more fairly.


Does that mean all organisations have to pay £175 for an author?

Although the Live Literature fee is not a recommended fee, we do recognise that many writers in Scotland use it as a benchmark. We ask authors to understand that budgets will already be set until April 2017 and that other organisations may need time to adjust to increases.


When did this happen? How do I know whether my fee for an event is £150 or £175?

The event fee went up on 1 January 2017. All Live Literature events that take place from this date will be paid at a fee of £175 per session. If you carry out an event in 2016, but sent the claim form to us after the New Year, you will be paid £150 for that event. If you aren’t sure, please get in touch:  


What will I be paid during Book Week Scotland 2016?

Book Week Scotland took place from Monday 21-Sunday 27 November 2016. As the fee did not increase until 1 January 2017, Live Literature events taking place during Book Week Scotland 2016 will be paid at the fee of £150 per session. If you have any questions about Book Week Scotland events funded directly by Book Week Scotland, please contact