Opportunities for Writers

To find out more about opportunities for young writers, click here.

The opportunities listed are not directly associated with Scottish Book Trust. Please check submission deadlines and guidelines carefully before submitting your work.

At Scottish Book Trust we get lots of people telling us about different opportunities for writers in Scotland. Here's the current crop, organised by the month of deadline:

 

2018

February

CALL TO SCOTTISH POETS AND PERFORMING ARTISTS

Latvia along with other Baltic countries will be participating in London Book Fair 2018 as a Market Focus country and also celebrating its 100 years of independence. Visiting Arts and the International Writers and Translators House of Latvia in the UK are planning a cultural exchange to promote a greater awareness of endangered languages and the rich contemporary literature and culture in Scotland and Latvia.We are inviting Scottish poets and performing artists to put forward an expression of interest for the opportunity of a week in both Latvia and Scotland to collaborate with Latvian peers on written and performative work around the theme of endangered languages.

Deadline: Thursday 15 February

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CRIME AT THE CASTLE - GLAMIS CASTLE CRIME FESTIVAL

Do you read crime novels?  Do you fancy trying your hand at writing a crime novel? If the answer to either of those questions is “YES” then Crime at the Castle is a must. You have a chance to hear the very best Scottish crime writers as they tell you how it is done in a series of talks and writer’s workshops in what must be one of the most inspirational venues imaginable. Authors include Chris Brookmyre, Caro Ramsay and Val McDermid.

Date: Saturday 24 February

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March

EDITING FOR AUTHORS WORKSHOP WITH CLAIRE WINGFIELD

A half-day workshop in Dunfermline Carnegie Library (Queen Margaret Room). Using examples from a selection of manuscripts editor and literary consultant Claire Wingfield has edited, she will highlight the principals of editing and give participants the chance to develop their own skills. Writers can choose to submit a section of their own work prior to the workshop and will gain feedback and editorial suggestion on this, both working as a group and directly from Claire.  

Workshop: Sunday 11 March, 12:00 – 16:00

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THE WILBUR SMITH ADVENTURE WRITING PRIZE

This award is split into two separate categories – a prize for the best published adventure novel and a prize for the best unpublished adventure manuscript submitted for consideration. 

The winner of the prize for a published novel will receive £15,000. The winner of the prize for an unpublished manuscript will be offered the Writer’s Adventure Research Award. The award is an exceptional opportunity in the form of a £7,500 grant, enabling the winner to travel to undertake invaluable research for their next story. They will also be offered a mentoring relationship with Wilbur Smith's literary agents at Tibor Jones & Associates.

Deadline: Monday 12 March

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POETS WANTED FOR SPOKEN WORD/MUSIC UK TOUR

Words w/ Friends vol. III is the third stage of a unique and evolving collaborative project initiated by poetry/digital music duo: Billy Pilgrim with The Heartsease Kid (BPTHK). 2017 saw the release of Words w/ Friends vol. II: a 12-track album consisting of the work of a group of UK-based poets set to the music of The Heartsease Kid and performed live in Norwich. The project is now being expanded in 2018 to include new material, new artists, and a UK summer tour. The tour will begin in Glasgow and finish up in Norwich, with a whole host of nights in between.

We are currently looking for two performance poets to join this exciting venture. Please submit an audio/video file of your poem, alongside a short bio. Essential is that you must be able to commit to all tour dates which will run from July 10-22 2018.

Deadline: Thursday 15 March

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LIVE THEATRE BURSARY

Bursary winners receive dramaturgical and producing support, space for R&D and rehearsals, and the opportunity to have their work performed at Live Theatre, often as part of Elevator Festival. Bursary winners are selected through an open call out launched in spring each year.

Bursary winners for 2017 are Katie Bonna for Paper. Scissors. Stone, Christina Berriman Dawson for Rat Boy, Gameshow Theatre for Nuclear War and Rebekah Bowsher for Spoon Theory, all of which can be seen at Live Theatre’s Elevator Festival between Saturday 10 and Saturday 17 March.

Deadline: Friday 16 March.

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FEDERATION OF WRITERS SCOTLAND VERNAL EQUINOX COMPETITION 2018

Three categories, poetry (any number of poems, no more than 40 lines each), short stories (any number of stories between 1,500 and 2000 words each) and flash fiction (any number of stories up to 500 words). Prizes in each category: 1st prize £100, 2nd prize £25, 3rd prize £10. Entry fee £3 per poem, £3 per flash fiction story, £5 per short story.

Deadline: Saturday 31 March

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CREATORS FOR CREATORS

The goal of the Creators for Creators grant is to support original comics work from new creators. Applicants must either be a single creator or a writer-artist duo with joint ownership of the submitted work. Eligible stories for proposal must be between 64-100 pages upon completion. Works may be intended for print or digital distribution of any type, but must be wholly new works—no reprints. The winner will be awarded a $30,000 grant.

Deadline: Saturday 31 March 2018

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April

SCOTTISH PEN OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS

Scottish Pen's on line magazine PENing is now accepting submissions for the "Smeddum (Scots for an inner strength of character)" issue. Open to any member of Scottish Pen, and all persons living in Scotland whose first language is not English, Scots and Gaelic.

Deadline: Monday 30 April

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May

MARKETING FOR AUTHORS WORKSHOP WITH CLAIRE WINGFIELD

A half-day workshop in Dunfermline Carnegie Library (Queen Margaret Room). In this workshop, we’ll cover your public profile as an author. Whether you are just starting out and considering a simple author website or building your social media strategy; or are an established author who would benefit from refreshing parts of their marketing strategy, this workshop will help you create a powerful and professional marketing strategy.

Workshop: Saturday 12 May, 12:00 – 16:00

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June

THE READER: SUMMER 2018 RETREATS

This year, The Reader writing retreat will be heading to the hilltop village of Pinakates for two weeks of intensive writing practice in the midst of an inspirational landscape. They’re taking over a gorgeous family-run guesthouse with two experienced tutors on hand to guide you: expressive-writing expert and Pelion native Dimitra Didangelou and the ever-popular Jane Flett, who’s taking a break from her sold-out Berlin courses to bring her teaching to warmer climes.

Dates: 14 – 20 June + 20 – 26 June

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August

GET STARTED WRITING WORKSHOP WITH CLAIRE WINGFIELD

A half-day workshop in Dunfermline Carnegie Library (Queen Margaret Room). You may have a new project or be entirely new to writing. This is a chance to test out your ideas in a supportive environment. We will also discuss aspects of the writers’ craft such as Point of View, dialogue, setting and character as best suits the needs of the group.

Workshop: Sunday 5 August, 12:00 – 16:00

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Ongoing Opportunities

COMISSION GRANTS: THE GAELIC BOOK COUNCIL

The Gaelic Books Council offers assistance to authors who wish to write in Scottish Gaelic. Priority is given to writers who have a publishing agreement in place, as well as to projects that contain a high percentage of Scottish Gaelic content. They support a wide variety of literary genres, and are open to applications in support of digital titles and other formats, as well as traditional printed books.

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READING, EDITORIAL AND TUITION SERVICES WITH HELEN BODEN

Writer, editor and experienced arts educator Helen offers the following services for individuals:

Editing and reading - including manuscript appraisal, development editing and proof-reading; student essay and dissertation reading

Tuition and mentoring – from a couple of meetings or conversations to a longer-term programme involving regular submission of work and critique

If you are looking for an objective, professional assessment of your writing, I provide a customised and client-focused approach. We develop a schedule that reflects the client’s needs and is appropriate to the nature of their project. This can include checking for clarity, flow, structure and readability. I work on poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Feedback by mark-up on electronic or hard copy can be supplemented by written reports, or given in person, by telephone or online. My guideline rates are £45ph, but this varies according to the nature of the project.

More information: contact helenboden@talktalk.net

 

THIRD THURSDAY WRITERS

Ekphrastic (using visual art as a prompt) writing group, facilitated by Helen Boden, which meets once a month in a different Edinburgh gallery or exhibition. Each two-hour workshop moves between viewing, discussion, writing, and constructive critique. We visit most of the free exhibitions at National Galleries Scotland, and have also formed relationships with Fruitmarket Gallery, City Art Centre, Talbot Rice Gallery and Dovecot Studios. Using specially-devised exercises, we respond to art-forms from a range of mediums – painting, drawing, sculpture, video, installation, print-making . . . and from all historical periods.

This supportive tutored group is suitable for all levels of experience, and meets 10.30am-12.30pm on the third Thursday of each month. £12 per session.

More information: contact helenboden@talktalk.net

 

THE ZOOKER AWARD

A new literary award that aims to encourage disadvantaged authors and reward works of social value. Single prize of £500, plus embossed certificate and featuring. Open to anyone who has published a book through Arkbound or any other publisher. 

Entries can be made between 19th May and 10th October each year.

Fee: £4.50 entry fee, unless disadvantaged (same criteria as competitions).

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SHIFT CALL FOR SHORT FORM YA SUBMISSIONS

Shift are searching for original fiction and non-fiction for their next and future issues! Fiction and non-fiction submissions welcome. Your piece should be suitable for a YA audience.

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STORIES FROM THE OCD COMMUNITY

The International OCD Foundation is looking for insightful, compelling stories from those living with OCD or a related disorder, their family/friends, researchers, and medical professionals. Stories should be 1000 words or less and IOCDF publish one per month.

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FIGMENT CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS, FEEDBACK SESSIONS, AND MASTERCLASSES

Join Figment for their Workshops: for those who enjoy writing fiction, autobiography, travel writing, short stories and poetry; Thursday evenings Feedback Sessions for more experienced writers simply seeking feedback on their work; and Masterclasses: Monthly workshops on specific themes. These offer advice, discussion, writing activities and inspiration that aims to support and enthuse your future writing trajectory. Based in Stirling.

More Information or email laura@figmentcreativity.co.uk for details

 

LAGANDORAIN ART RESIDENCY

Enjoying the company of artists and writers as I do, I’m aware of the challenges and compromises they endure in the pursuit of their art. Everyday life can crowd out the creative impulse and focus that so often depends upon quiet reflection and the opportunity for experimentation. Time is precious and there is no shortcut.

That is why I offer month long residencies. It strikes me as a useful amount of time to focus upon ones work and be able to achieve some sort of development or result. It also allows the artist or writer the challenge and fruitfulness of the sheer physicality of life on Iona in the winter. It can be hard, and you are often thrown back on your own resources.

Whilst no theme is specified for the residencies, successful applicants will be expected to reflect some aspect of Iona and an awareness of environmental issues and sustainability in their finished work.

Accommodation is in the Bothy with toilet and kitchen facilities available in the Hostel nearby, or, in the Hostel itself. The Byre (30’ x 15’) will be available as a large studio space. Applicants are asked to submit photographs or details of their recent work and to write a short statement on how they would intend to use their time on Iona. Diversity is welcomed. 

Fee: £750.00 for the four week period (28 days) and to confirm reservations I require a non-refundable deposit of 50%.  Logs for the Byre cost £5.00 per basket.

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NATIONAL SCRIPT READING SERVICE

Written a play but don't know how to take the first step?

Our free script reading service provides an opportunity for Scotland's writers to receive valuable script feedback from theatre professionals. Plays are read anonymously and extensive script reports provided by experienced practitioners in playwriting, directing, producing or dramaturgy. The feedback about these new plays is then made available to the artistic directors of our partner organisations.

What plays are eligible?

  • Plays by writers who are Scottish or based in Scotland
  • Plays that have not been produced
  • Plays for live performance (not TV, film or radio scripts)
  • All genre of plays except musicals
  • Plays that have not previously been submitted
  • Plays submitted must be 40 pages or more in length.

We are only able to consider one play per writer, per year.

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TWEET YOUR PITCH TO CURTIS BROWN

Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh are to host a series of one-day new writing events on Twitter this summer.

The literary agency, which runs Curtis Brown Creative (and which completed its purchase of Conville & Walsh earlier this year), is inviting unpublished writers to tweet one-line pitches for their work, using the hashtag #PitchCB.  Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh agents will invite their favourite tweeters to submit directly via the agency's submissions portal, www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk.

Hosted by Rebecca Ritchie and Richard Pike, the #PitchCB events will be open to all unpublished writers and will be held on the fourth Friday of each month, beginning Friday 24th July.

Date: On the 4th Friday of every month from 24 July 2015

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THE WEEKEND READ

The Weekend Read will publish outstanding fiction by women every Friday. We’ll feature prize-winning stories, stories from published collections and brand new work by established authors as well as showcasing new, emerging voices from across the globe. Read online, or listen to our podcast.

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A CALL FOR CHILDRENS FICTION FROM DEBUT BAME WRITERS (NOSY CROW)

I think that it’s incredibly important that our industry represents a wide range of voices, not only so that children from every background can recognise their own lives and experiences in the books that they read, but also simply to enrich the body of children’s literature that we publish, by moving out of a monoculture and embracing a wider world of ideas.

I’m posting this open call for children’s fiction submissions (so, anything in the 5 – 12 age range, but I’d be especially interested in 9 – 12, aka “middle grade”) from BAME writers. I’m very happy to receive submissions from agented and un-agented authors – and although I’d particularly like to see children’s fiction submissions from debut writers, if you’ve already been published, I’d still be very pleased to hear from you!

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GET ON TRACK IN 2017: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING FOR WRITERS WITH CREATIVE COACH PHILIPPA JOHNSTON

Are you keen to make 2017 your year for moving forward as a writer? I work with writers in Scotland and further afield, helping them to define and prioritize their goals, explore options and then map out a plan of action. I offer two one-to-one services: Professional Development Planning which consists of one (or sometimes two) face-to-face two-hour sessions and Coaching which is available by Skype or telephone (or face-to-face, location permitting) and comprises five or more one-hour sessions. (Some writers like to combine the two services and have a PDP session followed by a coaching series.) I’m an accredited coach and my coaching practice is informed by my work specialising in writer development with NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) and my 30 years of experience working in the arts sector in Scotland and England. I also offer Application Guidance, detailed advice on how to make your application for an award or funding the best it can be, drawing on my extensive experience as a funding assessor and applicant.

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COMPLETE BOOK MARKETING TOOLKIT

This is an online course for anyone who would like to create a clear and comprehensive strategy to reach more readers.

It includes professional feedback on your author website and social media accounts as well as dedicated support to help you come up with an effective and achievable marketing plan. 

The course is run by experienced literary consultant Claire Wingfield, who is on hand to guide and support you throughout.

The marketing toolkit can be undertaken at your own pace, and gives you access to a supportive Facebook group upon completion, where Claire will continue to share updates to the course and new ways to sell more books.

Fees: Usually £329, but Claire is offering a £50 discount for participants via Scottish Book Trust using the code FRIEND 50.      

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WORDINESS: OPEN MIC IN INVERNESS

A free event open to poetry, stories, plays, songs, stand-up routines, magic tricks, interpretative dances! Wordiness love storytelling and words and is held on the last Thursday of the month at the Gellions, Inverness.

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WEEKLY CREATIVE WRITING CLASSES

Join like-minded wordsmiths to share ideas, work in progress and receive useful tips. The classes are suitable regardless of whether it is the first time you have put pen to paper, or you have been scribing away for years. Age 16 years+. These classes run broadly in line with the school terms and will finish mid-July.  

  • Mondays: 5.30pm – 7.00pm at Airdrie Library
  • Mondays: 6.30pm – 8.00pm at Chryston Cultural Centre
  • Wednesday: 1.00pm – 3.00pm at Bellshill Cultural Centre

Fee: £5.00/Concession £4.50

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