5 Ways to Make Your Live Literature Application the Best it Can Be

Category: Writing

It’s that time of the year again – the time to apply for Live Literature sessions! Live Literature brings authors from our database into your community. Scottish Book Trust covers half of the author’s fee and all of their expenses, so you know how much the event will cost right from the start. Any not-for-profit organisation, or individual person, can apply and our panel consider all applications.

We asked members of past judging panels what stood out in the applications they loved and collected their top five tips below.


‘For me, the best applications told me what I needed to know in a clear way.’

Even brilliant applications can miss out key information - check you have covered the basics

Lay out your application clearly and make sure you tell us

  • How many sessions you need
  • What you will use them for
  • What impact these sessions will have on the people who attend or the community, school or area where they take place

It is absolutely worth your time to go back at the end, before hitting the submit button, and check that these three things are clear. Sometimes even brilliant applications miss out key information, so please check you have covered the basics.


‘I remember applications written in their own words that helped me understand what they do.’

Our panellists come from a variety of backgrounds to reflect the broad range of organisations that apply for sessions. If you need to use specific terms or techniques to tell us what you do, it is great to include a brief explanation so that everyone on the panel can understand what you mean. This is especially important for acronyms. When you are reading your application through before you submit, try to imagine someone from an entirely different profession is reading it. Is there anything they would not understand, even if it is a term you use every day?


‘I love when the application is based on a really solid idea that comes from a good understanding of what the audience enjoys.’

Some of the best projects we have supported have stood out because the event organiser has asked what people want to happen. They have listened to the answers and the events they are applying for are the result of that conversation.

We trust that you know what is best for your audience in your area. Do library users at your school or local library check out an author’s books again and again? Would your group love to know more about writing short stories or crime novels? Have you carried out evaluation work in the past that has changed what you want to do next? If your audience helped you to put together your application, let us know.

We trust that you know what is best for your audience


‘The applications that really stayed with me were the ones that wanted to try something new.’

Our panels don’t expect you to reinvent the wheel every time you apply for sessions. However, if you would like to try something new to you or your audience, let us know! This could be anything, big or small. Is this a pilot project? Are you using new ways of advertising to reach new audiences or carrying out events with authors who are new to you? Are you including workshops for the first time?


‘I loved reading applications that inspired me to read and write! I thought, “I really want this to happen. I want to speak to the people running it and find out all about it.”’

Live Literature exists to promote reading and writing for pleasure across Scotland. Our panellists believe in this and they want to support events that will make it happen. They are waiting for your application and they want the best possible result for your project, so what are you waiting for?


Apply for Live Literature sessions now!

Deadline: Wednesday 27 January 2016, noon.