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:
CATALYST CONVERSATIONS ON THE ESSAY AND MAP MAGAZINE
Catalyst Conversations on the Experimental Essay seek cross-genre submissions for print and online publication in MAP.
In times of political and cultural upheaval, we often turn to writers and artists to help question and reflect upon situations that trouble us. Cross-genre work has the potential to bring complicated, difficult subjects to the attention of wider audiences in complex, thought-provoking ways.
Submission window: Friday 15 September – Saturday 30 September
Whether you’re a published or emerging writer, of fiction or non-fiction, a translator, children’s author, poet or writer for the media, ScotsWrite offers talks and workshops from experts in a variety of areas including marketing, self publishing, changing genre, technology, health and wellbeing, and ergonomics. There will also be a limited number of one-to-one sessions with publishers and agents and attendees can enjoy a gala dinner, Ceilidh and drinks receptions with time to mingle, network and explore the exhibitor stands and the bookshop.
Conference: Friday 22 – Sunday 24 September
PLAYWRIGHT'S STUDIO SCOTLAND: MENTORING PROGRAMME
Every year, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland selects six aspiring or emerging playwrights for an eight month programme of mentoring. The Mentoring Programme is delivered by established professional playwrights, to support the development of new plays. This is an opportunity to improve playwriting skills and gain valuable insight into the playwriting process and profession.
Deadline: Monday 25 September, 17:00
W.S. GRAHAM CENTENARY ANTHOLOGY: CALL FOR ENTRIES
The Estate of W.S. Graham are seeking submissions for an anthology of poetry commemorating the centenary of W.S. Graham (2018). The anthology will be published by Donut Press and will contain 100 poems, a number of which will be previously unpublished poems by Graham himself.
SPECIFICATION: your poem needn't be a straightforward tribute; it could, for example, respond to an aspect/aspects of W.S. Graham's poetics, or to themes or locations in his work, or perhaps even to his friendships with other writers, or visual artists, etc. We’re hoping the anthology will offer variety for the reader, and we also suspect that W.S. Graham would want any contribution to be simply an opportunity for poets to write good poems.
The editors (Rachael Boast, Andy Ching and Nathan Hamilton) will read all submissions and come to a collective decision on which poems will be included.
Whilst we can’t offer a fee for any poem chosen for publication, each contributor will receive a free copy of the anthology. In the coming months, we hope to interest festival promotors in staging W.S. Graham celebratory events during 2018, whereby there may be opportunities for contributors to read their work.
Deadline: Friday 29 September
CHASING TIME WRITING RETREATS
Are your days crammed with non-creative commitments? Do you struggle to prioritise your writing? Escape to a gorgeous, Baronial-style country house just ten minutes from Arbroath, on Scotland’s beautiful east coast. Fully-catered, with tutored workshops and one-to-one mentoring, your stay will still allow plenty of free writing time. Finish your work-in-progress, or be inspired to create something new! Limited spaces so book early to avoid disappointment.
Dates: Friday 29 September – Sunday 1 October
MY TIME - POETRY INSPIRED BY VOLUNTARY ARTS
Voluntary Arts Scotland and the Scottish Poetry Library have collaborated to create My Time - Poetry Inspired by Voluntary Arts. Funded by Creative Scotland, My Time is a Scotland-wide participative project taking place over 2017 and into 2018 that recognises and celebrates the diversity of voluntary arts activity in Scotland. Take part in the open call for poems capturing what ‘my time’ means. Poems can be written in any style – haiku, sonnet, limerick, you decide – and without word restriction.
Deadline: Friday 29 September
HEAT HOLIDAY READS COMPETITION
Simon & Schuster UK has announced an “industry-first partnership” with Heat magazine for the new #heatseeker short story competition. The contest aims to discover the newest and most exciting writing talent and the winning entry will be published in e-book format on S&S UK’s Digital Originals list and the winner will receive an author mentoring session with bestselling writer Paige Toon.
Deadline: Saturday 30 September, 23:00
WRITER'S KITCHEN GLASGOW: SWEETS
This month Writer’s Kitchen will be exploring our wonderfully complex relationship with sugar and sweets and how they fulfill so many functions in our lives: comfort, guilt, bribery, and reward! Chef Kawther Luay (Ruzbowl) and writer Lynnda Wardle are collaborating in a series of food and creative writing workshops, to bring food, memory, and experience to the table; inspiring you to connect with your senses and produce writing that is rich and full of flavour.
Beginner and more experienced writers welcome. At the end of the session, you will have produced 3 pieces of writing to take away, and tasted some lovely home made confection too.
Workshop: Saturday 30 September
HAMMOND HOUSE: COMPETITIONS
Competitions play an essential role in the selection process for inclusion in Hammond House publications. Categories for 2017 will include Short Stories, Poetry and Scriptwriting all on the theme, ETERNAL providing inspiration and creative scope for the author and a cohesive theme for publications. Entry fee £10 or £5 for members.
Deadline: Saturday 30 September
WRITE TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AWARDS
The fifth Write to End Violence Against Women Awards are now open for submissions! They are seeking well written, original contributions to the awareness raising of gender inequality or Violence Against Women (VAW). The Write to End Violence Against Women Awards has six separate award categories. Anyone may nominate their own writing, or an article written by someone else for any of the categories.
Deadline: Saturday 30 September, Midnight
NEW WRITING SCOTLAND 36
Submissions are invited for New Writing Scotland 36, publishing in summer 2018. Submissions should be typed on one side of the paper only and the sheets stapled at the top-left corner. Prose pieces should be double-spaced and carry an approximate word-count. You should provide a covering letter, clearly marked with your name and address. Postal submissions only. Please send no more than four poems, and no more than one prose work. Successful contributors will be paid at a rate of £20 per published page.
Deadline: Saturday 30 September
SCI-FI FLASH FICTION COMPETITION: SHORELINE OF INFINITY
Shoreline of Infinity are looking for flash fiction of up to 1000 words inspired by images available on their website. Entry is free but a purchase of the magazine is necessary to enter. £40 for the winning story plus 1 year digital subscription to Shoreline of Infinity. Two runners-up will receive 1 year digital subscription to Shoreline of Infinity.
Deadline: Saturday 30 September, Midnight
BIGGAR SCIENCE FESTIVAL WRITING COMPETITION
Biggar Science Festival is looking for poetry and flash fiction on The Powers of Nature. You can interpret this theme as widely or as narrowly as you wish. Entries can be in any style or genre and are free for under 18s and £3 for adults. The competition had Adult, Teen and Children’s categories.
Deadline: Saturday 30 September, midnight
OPEN SCRIPT SUBMISSIONS: TRAVERSE THEATRE
Traverse Theatre is opening its submissions window once more to seek bold, brilliant and innovative new plays. Open Script Submissions introduce the theatre to writers who are new to them, as well as encouraging submissions from those with whom they have an existing relationship. All scripts are read anonymously and the theatre is looking for a story that could only be told on the Traverse stages.
Deadline: Saturday 30 September
THE VIRGINIA PRIZE FOR FICTION
Aurora Metro launched its biennial prize to find new women fiction writers writing in English from around the world in 2009. The prize is open to any woman (over 18) around the world, writing in English. The winner will receive £1,000 and a conditional offer of publication by Aurora Metro Books. Entry: £15.
Deadline: Sunday 1 October
PITCHING YOUR MANUSCRIPT WORKSHOP WITH CLAIRE WINGFIELD
A half-day workshop in Dunfermline Carnegie Library (Queen Margaret Room). Learn how to create an appealing pitch for your manuscript and how to run an efficient and effective submissions period for your work. This is your chance to learn about the workings of the publishing industry and ask experienced literary consultant Claire Wingfield all the questions you’ve ever wanted to about the traditional path to publication.
Workshop: Saturday 28 October, 12:00 – 16:00
WHAT MATTERS MOST: VALUE-BASED LIVING, WORKING AND CREATING
A day of Mindfulness, coaching and Creative Writing in rural Fife. Be nurtured and inspired to think about how to live creatively in difficult times. A course run by tutor and mentor Helen Boden, £50.
Workshop: Saturday 28 Oct, 10:00 – 16:00
THE DINESH ALLIRAJAH PRIZE FOR SHORT FICTION
Comma Press and the University of Central Lancashire are proud to announce the first annual Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction. The theme for this inaugural year will be ‘Café Stories’, in honour of Dinesh’s Café Shorts series. He believed cafes to be “fertile ground for the short story.” In his own words, he said “The reason a café setting works is because we understand what goes on there, without the gauze of a local or historical context.” We would like to see how writers handle this narrative space, and how the writer projects his or her fiction onto it, and so we ask that all submissions are written with this theme in mind.
The prize is open to anyone 18 years or over, and the story you submit must not have been published anywhere else, online or in print. It is free to submit your entry, but only one per writer please.
Deadline: Tuesday 31 October
CALEDONIA NOVEL AWARD 2018
Judged by Madeleine Milburn, literary agent and director at Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency, this novel competition looks for the first 20 pages and 200-word synopsis from an unpublished writer. The winner will receive £1,000 and the Writer of best novel from UK + Ireland will win a free place on a week-long residential course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre. Entry fee: £25.
Deadline: Wednesday 1 November
FACILITATING HEALING THROUGH LITERARY ARTS
Lapidus Scotland are hosting a residential workshop for experienced facilitators and potential trainers of reading, writing, and storytelling at Whatton Lodge, Gullane, East Lothian. For more details, brochure and application form, please email: Lapidus.firstname.lastname@example.org,
Workshop: Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 November
BOLD TYPES: SCOTTISH WOMEN’S CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION
Glasgow Women’s Library are looking for diverse interpretations of the theme Body Positive, so give your creative muse free rein and share short stories and poems of up to 1,000 words. Shortlisted writers will read their stories on 30 November at the Bold Types Creative Writing Showcase event. The wonderfully supportive and encouraging panel of judges at the event include: acclaimed short story writer and novelist Anne Donovan; writer and intersectional feminist Sim Bajwa; Zoe Strachan, award-winning writer and tutor on the postgraduate creative writing programme at the University of Glasgow; and GWL’s own librarian, Wendy Kirk.
Winners will be announced on the night and prizes include a one to one mentoring session with one of our judges and a selection of covetable books.
Deadline: Friday 10 November
LALDY!: OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS
Bi-annual literary journal Laldy! is accepting prose and poetry submissions just now. Any length of poem, and min 750 words to max 5000 words for prose. English language only. Laldy! is run by Clochoderick press, a non profit small press who invest profits into publishing/showcasing new writers using the following platforms: individual collections of poetry, literary journals, poetry competitions and live events.
Deadline: Friday 24 November
IAN BELL AWARD FOR NEW WRITING
The National Union of Journalists Edinburgh Branch and Ian Bell’s family invite entries by young writers for a new award to commemorate Ian Bell, the radical journalist and author who died in December 2015, and who was a member of our branch.
Entrants should be aged 30 or under at 30 November 2017, and be living, working or studying in Scotland. Submissions should be as yet unpublished. They should be in the critical spirit of Ian Bell and written in a style – taut, provocative but thoughtful – suitable for online and newspaper publication. 1,500 – 2,000 words, submit entries by email, together with your name, date of birth and place of work/study. Find out more and enter by emailing: email@example.com
Deadline: Thursday 30 November
2018 TIMES/CHICKEN HOUSE CHILDREN’S FICTION COMPETITION
Chicken House and The Times are looking for original ideas, a fresh voice and a story that children will love! First prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus representation from a top children’s literary agent. To enter, you must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years.
Deadline: Friday 8 December
SUCCESSFUL SELF PUBLISHING WORKSHOP WITH CLAIRE WINGFIELD
A half-day workshop in Dunfermline Carnegie Library (Queen Margaret Room). This workshop will discuss what is needed to self-publish successfully – and produce the best possible product. We’ll be covering everything from the cost of self-publishing – where you need to spend and where you don’t – to the essential steps in publishing your work independently.
Workshop: Saturday 14 January, 12:00 – 16:00
CLOCHODERICK POETRY COMPETITION
Clochoderick is running a poetry competition in conjunction with its annual main event in March 2018, which includes the launch of its literary journal, and the launch of four new writers' individual collections of poetry. The competition will be judged by Magi Gibson and the winner will received £500 and entry cost is £5 for one poems with discounts on multiples (£7.5 for three poems and £10 for 5 poems). All 7 winners will be published in lit journal, Laldy!.
Deadline: Thursday 25 January, 2018, 17:00
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
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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Date: On the 4th Friday of every month from 24 July 2015
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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