Criteria for Joining the Live Literature Database

Live Literature is a Scottish Book Trust programme that works with people across Scotland to bring authors from our database into communities (including writers, playwrights, storytellers, performance poets and illustrators.)

Scottish Book Trust has an online database of authors in Scotland who are available and appropriately skilled to carry out Live Literature events. 

Please read the criteria below before submitting an application to join the scheme.

1.     Criteria for inclusion as a traditionally published writer

1.1    You must live and work in Scotland. If you live in Scotland for part of the year, please outline your availability in your application and you will be accepted at the discretion of Scottish Book Trust and Creative Scotland.

1.2    You must be a: 

  • Practising, published creative writer of fiction, poetry, or literary narrative non-fiction (Narrative non-fiction is a form of writing that is stylistically similar to fiction but used to tell factual stories e.g. memoir, travel writing and biography. This does not include text books, guide books, standard non-fiction history books or collections of humour/jokes.)
  • Performance poet
  • Storyteller
  • Playwright

1.3    Writers should have at least one published book that should be:

  • published, marketed and sold to a reputable standard (e.g. made widely available in Scottish bookshops)

Books which are solely available by mail order and/or via the internet are not eligible. Likewise, books that are printed on demand will not be accepted onto the database. 
Please be aware that we may ask to see a copy of your contract.

1.4    Writers should have had their work published within the last ten years and should have at least one work in print.

2.     Criteria for inclusion as a self-published writer
The definition of a self-published writer is someone who publishes their own work (in part of in full). This includes:

  • Online and digital publishing
  • Those who have paid for or contributed to payment of having their work published
  • Those who own or direct publishing companies
  • Publishing co-operatives

2.1   We assess applications from self-published writers at a panel twice a year. 

2.2    To apply, those who have self-published or have had a work published on a print-on-demand/ebook only basis must have sold over 300 copies of a single title in print form or 500 copies in ebook form within a 12-month period (as per the Society of Authors eligibility). You will be asked to provide evidence of this (e.g. spreadsheet of orders or sales, copy of invoice/s.)

2.2    You will then be asked to fill out an application form, including:

  • details of two referees  - from a teacher and/or a festival programmer who has commissioned you to carry out an author event
  • information regarding your track record of author events

Please note that all applicants to the database are asked to provide two references and information about their record of events. 

2.3    You will be asked to make four copies of one book available to the panel in print or electronic form. We can return these after the panel meets.

Be aware Scottish Book Trust has the right to turn down any applicant based on quality of work.

3.     Criteria for inclusion as a playwright, performance poet or storyteller
Playwrights should have had at least one professional production of their work performed within the last ten years (i.e. the company who produced your play is legally constituted, a Scottish Society of Playwrights' contract (or equivalent) was in place and you received public funding, a commission or fee for your work.) 

3.1    Performance poets who can demonstrate a regular record of professional performance over a period of at least two years can apply. We will require a reference from either a performance poetry programmer or a festival director.

3.2    Traditional or contemporary storytellers must be registered with the Scottish Storytelling Centre and included in its directory.

3.3    Writers who have six separate publications in a range of established literary magazines, journals or anthologies are eligible.
These periodicals must be:

  • published regularly (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly)
  • produced to a professional standard
  • in circulation for at least 12 months
  • have an ISBN or ISSN number
  • distributed in Scotland
  • not self-published

Online publishing is not included.

3.4    We may request to see your published work for review.

3.5    Graphic Novelists and Illustrators can apply. We will need detailed information on how your proposed sessions will demonstrate the use of illustration as a narrative tool.

3.6    You will be required to provide professional references and supporting information about your experience of events and project work.

3.7    You may be asked to complete appropriate Disclosure checks by relevant local authorities before undertaking work with young people or vulnerable adults.

4.     New applications

4.1    We accept applications at any time and will consider these on an ongoing basis.

4.2    New applicants may be invited for interview. The interview panel will consist of an author who is currently eligible to carry out Scottish Book Trust funded live literature events as well as staff from Scottish Book Trust and Creative Scotland.

If you wish to apply to join the online author database, please contact Kay Bohan for an application form: