New Writers Awards: Eligibility Criteria

Things you need to know before applying:

The awards are divided into three different categories:

Writers may only apply for one category. We can only accept one application per writer. 

If you have any questions about how the eligibility criteria below applies in your circumstances, please read our Frequently Asked Questions, or email applications@scottishbooktrust.com.  

To apply

  • You must be aged 18 or over.
  • You must be based in Scotland.
  • You must be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to developing a career in writing.

Publishing record

  • You must not have published a novel, narrative non-fiction book (e.g. biography or memoir), a collection of short stories or poems.
  • You can apply if all your work has been
    • self-published
    • digitally published
    • published in a pamphlet
    • published as part of an anthology or magazine.
    • published academically (e.g. standard non-fiction, textbook, academic journal).

You are not eligible to apply if:

  • You have already received a Scottish Arts Council New Writers Bursary, New Writers Award, Callan Gordon Award, Next Chapter Award or are in receipt of another award from Scottish Book Trust.
  • You are in receipt of a Creative Scotland Artists’ Bursary, fellowship or residency, or other form of Creative Scotland funding intended for your development as a writer. 
  • You are a writer registered on the Live Literature database. Illustrators and Storytellers who are registered on the database may apply to work on writing if they fulfil the criteria above. Performance poets who are registered on the database may not apply for the Poetry category. Performance poets registered on the database may apply to work on writing for the other categories if they fulfil the criteria above. 
  • You have a book publishing deal already in place.
  • You wish to focus on plays, screenplays or radioplays.
  • You are on staff at Scottish Book Trust. Contracted Scottish Book Trust staff are not eligible to apply for any writer development opportunity.

Students and formal education

  • You are not eligible to apply if you are in formal education (accredited school, university, PhD and college courses both part-time and full-time and including long-term distance learning courses).
  • If you are currently in formal education, your course must be completely finished by January 2018 (e.g. no coursework, exams or classes remaining).
  • If you are taking part in summer schools, evening classes, other short-term classes or community education classes you may apply.
  • If you accept a place on a formal education course while your application is being considered or during the award period you will no longer be eligible to take up a place on the programme. You may be asked to return the award or withdraw your application.

We may request references at the shortlisting stage in certain circumstances.

Find out how to apply for an award.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please email applications@scottishbooktrust.com. These will be considered before the next round of applications.