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:

 

2017

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

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PRODUCT MAGAZINE: MENTORING FOR NEW WRITERS

Have you written something which you feel has potential but needs a little help? Or do you have a completed piece which is fine, but you’ve lacked the confidence to take the leap and show it to someone else? This winter, Product’s Literary Editor Richard Allen will offer a mentoring service to new writers of fiction and non-fiction. Richard will help selected writers draft, revise and perfect an original piece of writing to be published in Product early in 2018. Interested writers or would-be writers are invited to send one example of work and a brief outline of their idea to laura@productmagazine.co.uk.

Deadline: Friday 17 November

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SAM BOYCE WRITER'S CONSULTANCY: KICKSTART YOUR NOVEL (FREE WORKSHOP 18 NOV)

Do you have a novel in you that’s not quite coming out? This fun, interactive session helps you create the essential components of your novel. Working from a simple premise, you'll start developing your idea and making initial narrative decisions. You'll also get plenty of takeaway tools for further planning, so you can make a strong start on that first draft.

No novel writing experience necessary – just jot down a summary of your story idea and bring it with you.

Booking essential. See link below.

Workshop: Saturday 18 November 10:00 - 13:00 

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HIDDEN DOOR CALL FOR SPOKEN WORD PROPOSALS

Hidden door are looking for spoken word performers of all descriptions, and at any stage of their career, to take part in the 2018 festival next May/June. They are on the hunt for innovative proposals and well considered work; projects which innovate or develop the practice of the poet, writer or performer, and/or consider and engage the audience in terms of accessibility and/or their experience and interaction.

Deadline: Monday 20 November at 23:59

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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

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SAM BOYCE WRITER'S CONSULTANCY: A-Z OF WRITING IMAGINARY WORLDS (FREE WORKSHOP 26 NOV)

Inventing new worlds is awesome fun – but how to bring those amazing ideas to life on the page?

This workshop helps you create a unique vocabulary to translate your worldbuilding concepts into storytelling, fully immersing readers in your world. Quickfire games will encourage you in feats of linguistic invention, and you'll leave with the beginnings of a phrasebook for your story.

No experience of alternate universes necessary – just bring some notes on the world you want to build.

Booking essential. See link below.

Workshop: Sunday 26 November 10:00 - 13:00

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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: hilaryhorrocks@btinternet.com

Deadline: Thursday 30 November

 

December

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

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EMMA PRESS OPENS CALL FOR PAMPHLETS

The Emma Press has launched call for pamphlet proposals. The independent publisher, which is based in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, is looking for both poetry and prose pamphlets, for adults and for children. Writers are invited to send in six pages of their manuscript for the first round of submissions, and to select the editor they would prefer to read their entry. The publisher has released profiles of the four editors – Rachel Piercey, Emma Wright, Richard O’Brien and Yen-Yen Lu – to help writers to choose.

Deadline: Sunday 10 December

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2018

January

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

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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

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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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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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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

 

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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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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