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Author fees and free events guidance

Scottish Book Trust believes that being a writer, poet, illustrator, storyteller, playwright, screenwriter or graphic novelist should be a sustainable profession that is open to everyone. This is why our programmes advocate for authors to be paid fairly for their work when they carry out events either in-person or online.

Live Literature fees

The Live Literature fee is £190 per session. We also pay VAT if it is claimed, as well as expenses within set guidelines. The Live Literature author fee increased to £190 in 2023, for any sessions funded after August 2023.

This is not a recommended fee, although we recognise that many authors and organisations in Scotland use it as a benchmark.

The fee covers:

We do not recommend using Live Literature sessions to hold writing competitions. Adjudication for competitions must be paid separately, appropriately and at a rate that is at least equivalent to the Living Wage.

Authors should be paid for the following additional work:

For further guidance on industry standard rates, please see Creative Scotland(this link will open in a new window) and the Society of Authors' guides and articles for authors(this link will open in a new window).

Live Literature School Residencies and Scottish Friendly Book Tour events

Scottish Book Trust pays authors a full fee and expenses directly when they carry out sessions as part of the Live Literature School Residencies programme and the Scottish Friendly Book Tour. Schools are not charged to receive or deliver these events.

Free in-person or digital events

Scottish Book Trust champions the rights of authors and advocates for the value of their work. Paying authors means that an event programmer can choose from a broader range of expertise, representing a more diverse range of voices, and support the future of literature as a sustainable career.  

Please note that this does not apply to events included in your publishing contract that are agreed between publisher, author and agent.

As an author, we understand that sometimes you might want to volunteer your time as a professional because a charity, cause or school means a lot to you. Examples of this include: a school you attended or a school that your family attend. We have been asked how it is possible to do this in a positive, constructive way.

Here are some ideas for authors at various career stages:

For enquiries about the Live Literature fee, please contact live.literature@scottishbooktrust.com(this link will open in a new window).