Opportunities for Writers

To find out more about opportunities for young writers, click here.

The opportunities listed are not directly associated with Scottish Book Trust. Please check submission deadlines and guidelines carefully before submitting your work.

At Scottish Book Trust we get lots of people telling us about different opportunities for writers in Scotland. Here's the current crop, organised by the month of deadline:

 

2017

February

READER’S DIGEST 100 WORD STORY COMPETITION

Now in its seventh year, the Reader’s Digest competition receives thousands of entries from across Britain and it’s an opportunity that no wordsmith will want to miss. The requirements are very simple: each entrant must write a story that is exactly 100 words long (not including the title). It must be original and unpublished but, other than these stipulations, writers can allow their imaginations to run wild when crafting their tiny tale. Each individual can submit as many entries as they like for their chance to win.

In the adults’ category, the winner will receive a whopping £2,000, and two runners-up will each receive £200. There are also categories for 12 - 18 year olds, and Under-12s.

Deadline: Monday 27 February

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404 INK ISSUE 2 SUBMISSIONS: THE F WORD

Submissions for Issue 2 are open. Theme: The F Word. What word is that? Well, that’s up to you. They accept, in English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic and are looking for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics and illustrations. Your work must not be previously published in a book, collection or magazine, or be under consideration anywhere else.

Deadline: Tuesday 28 February

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LIES, DREAMING PODCAST OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS

Lies, Dreaming is a bi-monthly podcast looking for submissions. Each podcast will have a theme, and they’re looking for audio recordings of spoken word pieces (including poetry, flash fiction and rants!) on that theme. The theme for the next podcast is ‘Robots’. Please interpret this in any way you like, although to get a sense of what they like listening to the podcast is a good idea. These will be set to an ambient soundtrack, so we ask that the recordings are just vocals only. Recordings should be sent to lies.dreamingpodcast at gmail dot com.

Deadline: Tuesday 28 February

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March

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING FOR WRITERS

Make 2017 your year for moving forward as a writer. Plan your path to achieving your writing goals with accredited coach Philippa Johnston.

Writing is a solitary pursuit. As writers, you are usually juggling your writing with lots of other work and family commitments. What professional development planning offers is an opportunity to step back for a moment from the hurly burly of daily life and spend some time reflecting on where you want to get to as a writer, with the help of someone experienced, impartial and supportive.

Cost: £35 for an individual two-hour session or £65 if you’d like to book a follow-up session as well. Also available: a face-to-face session followed by two half-hour coaching sessions by Skype/telephone £50

To book: For further information and to book a session, email Philippa Johnston philippajohnston@btinternet.com or ring 01337 842513

Date: Saturday 4 March 2017, Edinburgh

(session slots: 10.30 – 12.30, 1.30 – 3.30)

Sessions also available across Scotland at other times during 2017.

More information

 

2017 DUNDEE INTERNATIONAL BOOK PRIZE

Entires are now open for the Dundee International Book Prize for unpublished novels, which offers £5,000, publication with Freight Books, and a week’s protected writing time in Dundee. Manuscripts will only be accepted in electronic form. Submission packs must contain three separate documents; the full manuscript, an entry form and a synopsis (maximum 500 words). The winner will be announced at the Dundee Literary Festival in October 2017.

Deadline: Monday 13 March

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MSLEXIA WOMEN'S SHORT FICTION COMPETITION 2017

The competition now has two categories for previously unpublished work by women writers: Short Story, for previously unpublished stories of up to 3,000, and Flash Fiction, for tales of up to 300 words. Deborah Levy will judge the short fiction award, which has a prize of £2,000 plus two optional extras and Kit de Waal is to judge flash fiction, which will award three finalists £50. Entry fees and £10 and £5 respectively.

Deadline: Monday 20 March

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FEDERATION OF WRITERS SCOTLAND VERNAL EQUINOX COMPETITION 2017

Three categories, poetry (any number of poems, no more than 40 lines each), short stories (any number, between 1,500 and 2000 words each), flash fiction/mini-story (any number, up to 500 words). Prizes in each category: 1st prize £100, 2nd prize £25, 3rd prize £10. Judges: poetry, Andy Jackson, short story Colin Will, Flash Fiction to be confirmed.

There is no theme this year. Entry fee is £3 per poem, £3 per flash fiction piece, £5 per short story.

Deadline: Sunday 26 March

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STRIKING 13’S WRITING CONTEST

This new, free writing contest is looking for a piece of flash fiction that’s 513 words or fewer. The theme is ‘journeys’ and there are Amazon vouchers to be won (these will be awarded in the currency of the winner).

Deadline: Friday 31 March

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SCOTTISH ARTS CLUB SHORT STORY AWARDS

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to writers worldwide aged over 16 years, published and unpublished.  Stories entered for the competition should be 1,500 words or less and can be on any topic.

A team of dedicated readers assists the selection process with Alexander McCall Smith making the final selection of the winner and the runners-up. Eligible entries will also be considered for the new Isobel Lodge Award for New Scottish Writing.

Deadline: Friday 31 March, 2017

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April

WRITING & YOGA RETREAT

Escape to the mythical island of Naxos, Greece. Unwind completely, slowing down and reconnecting with your creativity, body and breath. Relax and open your mind with acclaimed novelist and yoga teacher Meaghan Delahunt and experienced editor and writing coach Sophy Dale. A week of writing workshops, one-to-one coaching and yoga will ignite your creativity, nurture body and mind and inspire your writing.

Course Dates: 21 – 27 May

Deadline: Saturday 1 April

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ORKNEY WRITERS' COURSE

Now in its sixth year, the Orkney Writers’ Course sits alongside St Magnus International Festival’s long-established Conductors’ and Composers’ Courses, and is run in partnership with Orkney-based literature organisation, the George Mackay Brown Fellowship. Directed by Orkney-based poet Pamela Beasant, with co-tutor, Shetland-based poet Jen Hadfield, the course offers intensive poetry workshops and a platform for participants to perform their work as part of the Festival programme as well one-to-one mentoring on request and a session with the Festival Poet, Jackie Kay.

The course will accept eight writers, will run 17 - 21 June 2017 and will cost £500.

Deadline: Monday 3 April

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SOUTH WEST WRITERS PET MEMORIES ANTHOLOGY

Have you written a poem about your pet? Would you like to see it published? South West Writers would like your poem for their new anthology, Pet Memories. There is a bonus for the best poem. Poems should be no more than 32 lines long. Please have them typed if possible. Written submissions should be legible. Please send your poems to:

South West Writers, C/O 85 Shortlees Road, Shortlees, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, KA1 4SR

 Or Email: southwestwriters@yahoo.com

 

Ongoing Opportunities

 

READING, EDITORIAL AND TUITION SERVICES WITH HELEN BODEN

Writer, editor and experienced arts educator Helen offers the following services for individuals:

Editing and reading - including manuscript appraisal, development editing and proof-reading; student essay and dissertation reading

Tuition and mentoring – from a couple of meetings or conversations to a longer-term programme involving regular submission of work and critique

If you are looking for an objective, professional assessment of your writing, I provide a customised and client-focused approach. We develop a schedule that reflects the client’s needs and is appropriate to the nature of their project. This can include checking for clarity, flow, structure and readability. I work on poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Feedback by mark-up on electronic or hard copy can be supplemented by written reports, or given in person, by telephone or online. My guideline rates are £45ph, but this varies according to the nature of the project.

More information: contact helenboden@talktalk.net

 

THIRD THURSDAY WRITERS

Ekphrastic (using visual art as a prompt) writing group, facilitated by Helen Boden, which meets once a month in a different Edinburgh gallery or exhibition. Each two-hour workshop moves between viewing, discussion, writing, and constructive critique. We visit most of the free exhibitions at National Galleries Scotland, and have also formed relationships with Fruitmarket Gallery, City Art Centre, Talbot Rice Gallery and Dovecot Studios. Using specially-devised exercises, we respond to art-forms from a range of mediums – painting, drawing, sculpture, video, installation, print-making . . . and from all historical periods.

This supportive tutored group is suitable for all levels of experience, and meets 10.30am-12.30pm on the third Thursday of each month. £12 per session.

More information: contact helenboden@talktalk.net

 

THE ZOOKER AWARD

A new literary award that aims to encourage disadvantaged authors and reward works of social value. Single prize of £500, plus embossed certificate and featuring. Open to anyone who has published a book through Arkbound or any other publisher. 

Entries can be made between 19th May and 10th October each year.

Fee: £4.50 entry fee, unless disadvantaged (same criteria as competitions).

More Information

 

FIGMENT CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS, FEEDBACK SESSIONS, AND MASTERCLASSES

Join Figment for their Workshops: for those who enjoy writing fiction, autobiography, travel writing, short stories and poetry; Thursday evenings Feedback Sessions for more experienced writers simply seeking feedback on their work; and Masterclasses: Monthly workshops on specific themes. These offer advice, discussion, writing activities and inspiration that aims to support and enthuse your future writing trajectory. Based in Stirling.

More Information or email laura@figmentcreativity.co.uk for details

 

Whilst no theme is specified for the residencies, successful applicants will be expected to reflect some aspect of Iona and an awareness of environmental issues and sustainability in their finished work.

Accommodation is in the Bothy with toilet and kitchen facilities available in the Hostel nearby, or, in the Hostel itself. The Byre (30’ x 15’) will be available as a large studio space. Applicants are asked to submit photographs or details of their recent work and to write a short statement on how they would intend to use their time on Iona. Diversity is welcomed. 

Fee: £750.00 for the four week period (28 days) and to confirm reservations I require a non-refundable deposit of 50%.  Logs for the Byre cost £5.00 per basket.

More Information 

Written a play but don't know how to take the first step?

Our free script reading service provides an opportunity for Scotland's writers to receive valuable script feedback from theatre professionals. Plays are read anonymously and extensive script reports provided by experienced practitioners in playwriting, directing, producing or dramaturgy. The feedback about these new plays is then made available to the artistic directors of our partner organisations.

What plays are eligible?

  • Plays by writers who are Scottish or based in Scotland
  • Plays that have not been produced
  • Plays for live performance (not TV, film or radio scripts)
  • All genre of plays except musicals
  • Plays that have not previously been submitted
  • Plays submitted must be 40 pages or more in length.

We are only able to consider one play per writer, per year.

More Information

 

TWEET YOUR PITCH TO CURTIS BROWN

Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh are to host a series of one-day new writing events on Twitter this summer.

The literary agency, which runs Curtis Brown Creative (and which completed its purchase of Conville & Walsh earlier this year), is inviting unpublished writers to tweet one-line pitches for their work, using the hashtag #PitchCB.  Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh agents will invite their favourite tweeters to submit directly via the agency's submissions portal, www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk.

Hosted by Rebecca Ritchie and Richard Pike, the #PitchCB events will be open to all unpublished writers and will be held on the fourth Friday of each month, beginning Friday 24th July.

Date: On the 4th Friday of every month from 24 July 2015

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THE WEEKEND READ

The Weekend Read will publish outstanding fiction by women every Friday. We’ll feature prize-winning stories, stories from published collections and brand new work by established authors as well as showcasing new, emerging voices from across the globe. Read online, or listen to our podcast.

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A CALL FOR CHILDRENS FICTION FROM DEBUT BAME WRITERS (NOSY CROW)

I think that it’s incredibly important that our industry represents a wide range of voices, not only so that children from every background can recognise their own lives and experiences in the books that they read, but also simply to enrich the body of children’s literature that we publish, by moving out of a monoculture and embracing a wider world of ideas.

I’m posting this open call for children’s fiction submissions (so, anything in the 5 – 12 age range, but I’d be especially interested in 9 – 12, aka “middle grade”) from BAME writers. I’m very happy to receive submissions from agented and un-agented authors – and although I’d particularly like to see children’s fiction submissions from debut writers, if you’ve already been published, I’d still be very pleased to hear from you!

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GET ON TRACK IN 2017: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING FOR WRITERS WITH CREATIVE COACH PHILIPPA JOHNSTON

Are you keen to make 2017 your year for moving forward as a writer? I work with writers in Scotland and further afield, helping them to define and prioritize their goals, explore options and then map out a plan of action. I offer two one-to-one services: Professional Development Planning which consists of one (or sometimes two) face-to-face two-hour sessions and Coaching which is available by Skype or telephone (or face-to-face, location permitting) and comprises five or more one-hour sessions. (Some writers like to combine the two services and have a PDP session followed by a coaching series.) I’m an accredited coach and my coaching practice is informed by my work specialising in writer development with NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) and my 30 years of experience working in the arts sector in Scotland and England. I also offer Application Guidance, detailed advice on how to make your application for an award or funding the best it can be, drawing on my extensive experience as a funding assessor and applicant.

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COMPLETE BOOK MARKETING TOOLKIT

This is an online course for anyone who would like to create a clear and comprehensive strategy to reach more readers.

It includes professional feedback on your author website and social media accounts as well as dedicated support to help you come up with an effective and achievable marketing plan. 

The course is run by experienced literary consultant Claire Wingfield, who is on hand to guide and support you throughout.

The marketing toolkit can be undertaken at your own pace, and gives you access to a supportive Facebook group upon completion, where Claire will continue to share updates to the course and new ways to sell more books.

Fees: Usually £329, but Claire is offering a £50 discount for participants via Scottish Book Trust using the code FRIEND 50.      

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WEEKLY CREATIVE WRITING CLASSES

Join like-minded wordsmiths to share ideas, work in progress and receive useful tips. The classes are suitable regardless of whether it is the first time you have put pen to paper, or you have been scribing away for years. Age 16 years+. These classes run broadly in line with the school terms and will finish mid-July.  

  • Mondays: 5.30pm – 7.00pm at Airdrie Library
  • Mondays: 6.30pm – 8.00pm at Chryston Cultural Centre
  • Wednesday: 1.00pm – 3.00pm at Bellshill Cultural Centre

Fee: £5.00/Concession £4.50

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