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Live Literature is 50

Let's celebrate 50 years of magical author visits.

Live Literature, the Scotland-wide programme that helps fund and support author events in communities all over the country, is turning 50 and we'd love for you to help us celebrate.


Do you have a story about a Live Litertaure event from years gone by? A funny memory or a touching moment? Whether it's an event, a school residency or something that took place before Scottish Book Trust got involved, we'd love to hear all about it!

(this link will open in a new window)Share your memories – authors

(this link will open in a new window)Share your memories – organisers

Quotation from Russell Jones, writer: 'It's been wonderful to be able to connect with young people in schools – not only does it provide them with an opportunity to meet writers and bring books to life, but it reminds writers like me of the value of what we do, of how much impact our words can have on people's lives.'

Quotation from Kenneth Steven, writer: 'I think of events where I was giving a reading and a musician or a singer was playing or offered songs. I can remember my sense of delight at what Scotland has to offer. That’s why I’m such an ardent campaigner for Live Literature events: they’re unique and precious.'

Quotation from Janis Mackay, storyteller and writer: 'I have become more and more interested in how to deliver creatively, how to enthuse children, how to bring the wonders of reading and writing to life, and how to kindle children's imagination. Live Literature events have made this possible.'

Quotation from Rachel McJury, conFAB Artistic Director: 'Live Literature support has enabled us to develop and create opportunities for spoken word and literature for people who would not otherwise have access these mediums. It has helped us to promote, encourage and secure support for poetry and literature in Scotland.'

What Live Literature does today

Live Literature supports author visits across Scotland, bringing the magic of reading and writing to over 16,000 people each year. It has allowed authors, storytellers, poets and other creative professionals to meet audiences and deliver events in a wide variety of settings.

How Live Literature started

While Live Literature didn't pick up its name until much later, the programme's start stretches all the way back to the late 60s.

Live Literature in recent years

While the programme has held the same goals and ideals from the start, we're constantly looking for ways to help it grow and reach as many people as possible. For example, in 2015 we launched the Schools Residencies progamme, offering schools the chance to work with an author for a year on one project.

In 2019, we revamped the author directory to include more details of author work and links to websites and we're always looking for ways to expand Live Literature where we can. For example, the introduction of our ASN School Residencies has grown into our Sensory Storytelling programme(this link will open in a new window).

We're also just about to run our first Live Literature Coffee Morning, where we'll provide a friendly space to chat and catch up as well as topics for discussion.

Live Literature applications open now

Interested in running a Live Literature event or Schools Residency? Applications are open now.

(this link will open in a new window)School residencies (this link will open in a new window)Part-funded Live Literature sessions

Quotation from Maisie Chan, writer: 'Live Literature is a wonderful programme, not only for schools, libraries, writers’ groups and community groups. It's brilliant for authors too. It allows us to go into some schools who might not otherwise be able to afford an author visit. Money is such a huge barrier for many schools, many in Glasgow don't have any budget for new books and definitely not for an author visit. I think Live Literature is one of the stand-out schemes in the UK for supporting literacy and reading for pleasure.'

Quotation from George Gunn, poet: 'Going over to Taigh Chearsabhagh in Lochmaddy, North Uist to do a reading and a workshop was an unforgettable experience – a full house and a very keen audience. But the thing is that I would never have done any of that without Live Literature.  That is why it is so valuable.'

Quotation from Lynne Rickards, writer: 'Sharing my books with children across Scotland has been an absolute joy, with brilliant young audiences and welcoming teachers who treat me like a celebrity! I feel very lucky to have had the chance to work in this field full of lovely people. Live Literature funding has made it all possible.'

Quotation from Alex Gray, writer: 'Giving a workshop on beginning a crime novel at the Bell Library in Perth was memorable for the keen application of those attending. How gratifying it is now to see some of them as published crime writers!'