How to Apply for Live Literature

How to apply

We are currently accepting applications. Please apply as follows:

  1. Check you can apply and you can meet the cost of your sessions by reading the information below.
  2. Download a draft application form, which will include some notes about what our panel look for when they read the applications.
  3. Please draft your application offline! You can’t save part-way through the form and the website does not auto-save, so please back up your application and copy/paste it in online.
  4. Apply online before the deadline. 
  5. You will hear the result of your application within six weeks of the deadline.



Who can apply?

Individuals and not-for profit organisations in every part of Scotland can apply for support to host events or projects with authors. These include:

  • Schools
  • Libraries
  • Community groups
  • Arts organisations
  • Local festivals
  • Writers/Readers Groups
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Organisations that work with adults and/or children with disabilities


Important information for schools

You cannot ask pupils to pay a cost to help you meet the cost of organising the author visit. It is a condition of any sessions awarded that you do not charge pupils a cost to attend any session held in, or organised by, a school. (Though we do allow a small entry charge of up to £5 for events held for the general public, we do not allow a charge to be applied in schools.)

Please be aware that due to extreme pressure on resources we do not give priority to applications from independent schools.

Please carefully read the guidance regarding the Curriculum for Excellence in the draft application form before submitting your application.

Schools running ongoing projects, including Patron of Reading schemes, can apply. However each round of applications is different and our panel changes every time. If your project runs over several years, we can’t guarantee you’ll get all of the sessions you ask for at each deadline. Please consider other ways you can support your project if future applications are not fully awarded.  


How do authors get paid and how much does it cost?

The Live Literature programme supports sessions with authors but you will be asked to contribute to the author’s fee.

  • If your application is successful, you organise the event directly with authors.
  • After the session, the author submits a claim form to Scottish Book Trust.
  • Scottish Book Trust pays authors listed on our database a fee of £175 for each Live Literature session they carry out.
  • Scottish Book Trust covers their travel and accommodation.
  • This is paid directly to authors by Scottish Book Trust after the session is carried out.
  • Then, Scottish Book Trust will invoice you for half of this fee. This will cost you £75 per session, a total of £90 including VAT (some organisations can reclaim VAT).

For more information about how we pay authors for Live Literature events, email


Complete your application

  • There are no streams or priorities. We consider all applications.
  • You can apply for as many sessions as you think you can use and your budget can support. You can also apply for one single session. A session is approximately one hour long.
  • If your application is successful, you can decide who you want to work with by using the Live Literature author database. Only authors on the database are eligible to carry out Live Literature events.
  • You cannot apply for sessions featuring authors who are in a leading role within your organisation, e.g. director, chair, board level. In exceptional circumstances, contact Scottish Book Trust before booking the author to discuss this further. 
  • Authors cannot apply for sessions on your behalf.
  • As the scheme is highly oversubscribed, we primarily support well-planned applications where the events or project fit within wider activity and have clear benefits.
  • You should consider how to evaluate the success of your project.


How are Live Literature decisions made?

Scottish Book Trust supports a set number of sessions every year. We calculate how many we can support by using the average cost of a session during the previous year and the total funding granted to Scottish Book Trust by Creative Scotland.

After the deadline has passed, we assess all applications at a two-day panel meeting. The panel may include representatives from Scottish Book Trust, Creative Scotland and members of the Live Literature Advisory Panel.

We will let you know whether your application has been successful or unsuccessful within six weeks of the deadline.


What are the panel looking for in your application?

Imagination - We like to support interesting, imaginative sessions which show a commitment to the promotion and enjoyment of reading and writing.
Your local authority area - We aim to support events and projects that reach as wide a range of people as possible and events are spread throughout every local authority in Scotland.
Clear outcomes - We want to support sessions that have a clear and demonstrable benefit. We want to know how many people will benefit from the events and how. We also like to know how the session fits in with any other activity you're planning and whether it will have a legacy.
Your history of funding - Decisions are not affected by whether or not you have received sessions in the past. However, we will consider whether you have used sessions well in the past and provided us with evidence of this (completed evaluation forms and so on). Equally we will take on board any past misuse of sessions (unused sessions without good cause, delays in payment).

You can read some advice from previous panellists on our blog.

Get in touch

If you have any further questions about Live Literature, or the author database, please get in touch with:

Kay Bohan, Writer Development and Live Literature Administrator, 0131 524 0160