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:
WRITE AT THE MUSEUM
Develop your creative writing in the unique and inspiring surroundings of the Museum of Childhood at a friendly writing group for adults led by Regi Claire. Enjoy exclusive access when the museum is closed to the public. Write among the wonderful displays with support from a professional writer. Discuss your work-in-progress or develop new pieces, in a small group.
Workshops: Tuesday 14 March, 4 April, 2 May, 30 May, 14:30 – 16:30
£80 for four sessions.
SPRING WILDLIFE WRITING WORKSHOP
Come with paper and pen and a readiness to be inspired by the birdlife, wildlife and landscape of one of Scotland’s most beautiful reserves as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Writer in Residence, Anita John, will lead you through a range of exercises to help inspire your writing. We will take a tour of the reserve then return indoors to capture our images in words.
Open to all levels of experience. Tea/coffee provided. Cost £10.00 members/£15.00 non members
Workshop: 10:00 – 14:00, Saturday 25 March
Venue: RSPB Scotland Loch Leven, Vane Farm, Kinross, KY13 9LX
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
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
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The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to writers worldwide aged over 16 years, published and unpublished.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
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
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
MUSA Poetry Writing Workshop
Come along and be inspired by the fantastic creatures in the Bell Pettigrew Museum in St Andrews to create your own poems in this informal workshop. Beginners and more experienced writers welcome. Places are free but booking is advised.
Workshop: Thursday 6 April, 18:00 – 20:00
THE WRITERS' ROOM 2017
The Writers’ Room is a CPD programme which aims to provide a space for emerging and established professional writers in the Northeast to connect with one another, develop new skills and have some focused time to work on creative projects.
Sessions will take place on Tuesdays from 6pm at Rosemount Community Centre across May-June 2017, with additional sessions in August 2017. In these evening CPD sessions we will focus on developing skills as a professional creative practitioner.
Deadline: Tuesday 18 April
BATH NOVEL AWARD
The Bath Novel Award 2017 invites submissions of unpublished or independently-published novels written for adults or young adults. Laura William, literary agent at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop will judge and the winner will receive £2,000 plus the Minerva trophy. There is also a £500 shortlist award plus free literary agent introductions for all shortlisted writers. Submit the first 5,000 words plus one page synopsis. Fee: £25 per novel.
Deadline: Monday 24 April
The Highland Literary Salon are running a weekend writing retreat in the beautiful setting of the Cromarty Arts Trust. Running from Friday to Sunday with a mixture of workshops and free writing time, tutor Morag Joss will guide you through the essential topics of omniscient and partial narrators, viewpoints, rhythm and phrasing, and sensation in storytelling. Suitable for prose writers and poets alike, this gorgeous highland retreat will give you the space and inspiration to take your writing to the next level. The retreat costs £275 for a residential place including meals. Email queries to Helen Sedgewick.
Retreat: Friday 28 – Sunday 30 April
DARK ANGELS: STARTER DAYS WORKSHOP
Dark Angels are running a taster day workshop in Edinburgh, in which they’ll look at how to use language that makes good human connections and how to tell good stories when writing for businesses.
Dark Angels workshops involve lots of writing exercises and discussion. They’re challenging and fun and full of insights into what makes good business writing. Price £395 for a full day (9.30-16.30) workshop.
Date: Friday 28 April
SUBMIT TO THE LIES, DREAMING PODCAST
Lies, Dreaming is a bi-monthly podcast which is looking for submissions. Each podcast will have a theme, and we’re looking for audio recordings of spoken word pieces on that theme. For the next podcast we are looking for people to send us one sentence only.
Why, you might ask? Because once the submission deadline has passed we are going to arrange as many of the sentences you have sent us into a poem or a story, whatever we can come up with. There is no specific theme for this call for submissions so send us whatever kind of sentence takes your fancy.
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. We also ask that you write the sentence in the body of the email so it is easier to arrange.
Deadline: Sunday 30 April
VIRAGO/THE POOL NEW CRIME WRITER AWARD
Virago and The Pool have teamed forces to find a superlative new female crime writer for Virago. To enter, writers must submit a 5,000-word sample plus a 500-word synopsis. This will be judged by novelist Erin Kelly, literary agent Jo Unwin, journalist Coco Khan, Scott Free Development Executive Emily Iredale, Sam Baker and Sarah Savitt.
Deadline: Sunday 21 May
FICTION DESK NEWCOMER PRIZE FOR SHORT STORIES
The Newcomer Prize is only open to authors who have not been previously published by The Fiction Desk, and who have not yet published a novel or collection of short stories on paper. The first prize is £500, and there is a second prize of £250. The entry fee is £8.
The competition is judged by Rob Redman, editor of the anthology series and founder of The Fiction Desk.
Deadline: Midnight GMT, Wednesday 31 May
RE-IMAGINING FAIRY TALES: NATIONAL LITERACY TRUST & BLOOMSBURY CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING
The prize asks new children’s fiction writers to recreate a classic fairy tale, with the chance to have their work published.
A new writing competition challenging unpublished authors to capture children’s imaginations with a short story that gives a well-known fairy tale a modern twist. Entries should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words, aimed at children aged 8 to 12. 10 winning stories will be selected for publication and awarded £2,000 each.
Deadline: Sunday 25 June
I MUST BE OFF! TRAVEL WRITING COMPETITION
Time to type up those travel articles, travel anecdotes and travel reflections. I Must Be Off want to read about that place that changed you, about the experiences you can't wait to share with other travellers. Whether your work is humorous, informative, quirky or profound--send it in. This year, submissions are free until May 31; afterward there will be a nominal charge. All proceeds from entry fees will go towards the prize money. Graham Mercer will judge the 2017 Travel Writing Competition.
Deadline: Monday 31 July
AESTHETICA CREATIVE WRITING AWARD
The 11th Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is now open for entries, presenting an opportunity for emerging and established writers and poets to showcase their work to new international audiences and further their involvement in the literary world. Prizes include £1,000 awards for fiction and poetry as well as puiblication.
Deadline: Thursday 31 August
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Date: On the 4th Friday of every month from 24 July 2015
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.
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!
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.
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.
WORDINESS: OPEN MIC IN INVERNESS
A free event open to poetry, stories, plays, songs, stand-up routines, magic tricks, interpretative dances! Wordiness love storytelling and words and is held on the last Thursday of the month at the Gellions, Inverness.
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