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:
THE WRITERS' CAFE MAGAZINE: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
The Writers' Cafe are looking for poetry and fiction submissions on the theme of “Letters”.
Deadline: Tuesday 22 January
LUCENT DREAMING: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Lucent Dreaming are looking for poetry, non-fiction and fiction submissions on the theme of 'Discovery' for their fourth issue.
Deadline: Tuesday 22 January
PITCHING YOUR MANUSCRIPT WORKSHOP: CLAIRE WINGFIELD
This half-day workshop gives you the chance to learn about the workings of the publishing industry and ask experienced literary consultant Claire Wingfield all the questions you’ve ever wanted to about the traditional path to publication. We’ll be talking agents and publishers – how to select who to submit to, how to submit to them in the best possible way, and crucially what to do if you gain agent or publisher interest.
Workshop: Saturday 26 January
OPEN BOOK READING GROUP: STILLS #1
Explore the latest exhibition at Stills - 'Andres Serrano - Torture' - then read and discuss passages of fiction and poetry linked to the themes of the exhibition, before trying your hand at creative writing in response. Sessions are led by poet Samuel Tongue and free to attend. Booking essential, though.
Workshop: Wednesday 30 January
LIES, DREAMING SUBMISSION CALL: THE NIGHT SHIFT AT MCDONALDS
The podcast is looking for short fiction/spoken word on the theme ‘The Night Shift at McDonalds’ of five minutes or fewer. Contributors are paid £5 and featured as part of the regular show. The podcast will be set to an ambient soundtrack, so they are looking for recordings that are vocals only. Preferred audio formats are mp3 and wav files.
Deadline: Wednesday 31 January
THE WILLIAM SOUTAR WRITING PRIZE: PERTH AND KINROSS
This year entrants can submit poems, in English or Scots, to compete for a first prize of a prestigious writing course. There are categories for young, adult and Gaelic writers. All winning and shortlisted entries will be published in eBook format and available to borrow from the Libraries and information Services eBook catalogue.
Deadline: Friday 1 February
BUT...HOW DO YOU PAY THE RENT? BUILDING A CAREER IN SPOKEN WORD AND LIVE LITERATURE
A two day workshop from Flint & Pitch's Jenny Lindsay: "A frank and brutally honest exploration of the benefits and pit-falls of trying to forge a career in the literature sector in Scotland, with a special focus on freelance creative producers, spoken word event promoters, and those seeking to carve a path for their creative work outwith traditional routes."
Workshop: Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February, 10.30am - 4.30pm both days
THE KELPIES PRIZE
Are you a writer based in Scotland? Do you have a passion for children’s books and an imagination to match? Then the Kelpies Prize is for you!
Floris Books are looking for emerging writers who are committed to developing their writing craft, their book promotion skills and their profile as a children’s author. Submit three pieces of writing which demonstrate your imagination, writing style, and range, along with a short form telling them a little bit about yourself and any skills you have that will help you to build a readership for your writing.
Deadline: Thursday 28 February, 12noon
THE SCORES: SUBMISSIONS WANTED
The Scores are looking for original, unpublished works of poetry and prose in both English and the Languages of Scotland, as well as work translated into English.
Deadline: Thursday 28 February
GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL POETRY TENT: CALL FOR PERFORMERS
The Poetry and Words tent at Glastonbury Festival is looking for 'spoken word artists, raconteurs, stand-up poets, story tellers and slam champs' to perform at this year's festival
Deadline: Friday 1 March, 5pm.
SCOTTISH MENTAL HEALTH ARTS FESTIVAL
The Writing Competition, in partnership with Bipolar Scotland, is now OPEN. We are looking for entries on the theme of CONNECTED across five categories: poetry, short stories, newspaper articles, diary/blog entries and letters.
Deadline: Friday 15 March
STEALING HOLLYWOOD: WRITING MASTERCLASS IN STRATHSPEY
Are you finally committed to writing that novel or screenplay, or are you a published author but need some plotting help getting to the next level?
A two day masterclass with award-winning author and screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff.On Day 1, explore the concepts of the Three Act, Eight Sequence Structure, Setpiece Scenes and Story Structure Grids, investigating the key story elements of each act. On Day 2, Alexandra shows a movie screening, breaking down the key story elements along with film making tricks and visual storytelling which authors can steal for their books.
The workshops will be held in the unique Pagoda venue which is situated in the capital of Strathspey, Grantown on Spey. Teas/coffees and lunch are included.Prices from £85 per day for workshops only.
Dates: Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March
FEDERATION OF WRITERS SCOTLAND VERNAL EQUINOX COMPETITION 2019
Four 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) and Gaelic (poems and/or flash fiction, line/word limits as above) Prizes in each category: 1st prize £100, 2nd prize £25, 3rd prize £10. Entry fee is £4 for the first poem, flash fiction or Gaelic entry, £3 for each subsequent entry in these categories, £5 per short story.
Deadline: Sunday 31 March
CYMERA: PRIZE FOR SPECULATIVE SHORT FICTION
Writers over 18 (there’s also a 14-17 category) are invited to send a short story on the theme of Scotland to Cymera: Scotland’s Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing. For their writing competition, they are teaming up with Shoreline of Infinity, Scotland's award-winning science fiction magazine to discover fresh voices. The winning writer in each age-range category will be awarded £50
The stories that are selected for the shortlist will be published on the CYMERA website after the festival. The winner in each category will be published in the Shoreline of Infinity Magazine (Cymera Special), and receive a complimentary copy. They will also receive a complimentary ticket to a Cymera writing workshop of their choice.
Deadline: Sunday 31 March
GUTTER MAGAZINE: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Gutter is looking for prose, drama and poetry for its twentieth issue. All work must be previously unpublished in print or on-line.
Deadline: Monday 15 April
WRITER'S RETREAT UK, GILCRUX, LAKE DISTRICT
A writing retreat in the lovely village of Gilcrux in the Lake District, and is available for either 3 (£495) or 6 (£895) nights. Everything, except travel to get there (although they can pick up from local transport), is fully included in the price, and that includes meals (some wine), snacks on demand, entertainment (cinema & games), evening walks, use of laptops/writing equipment, lovely comfortable individual accommodation.
Retreat: Saturday 27 April, for three or six nights
MARKETING FOR AUTHORS WORKSHOP: CLAIRE WINGFIELD
In this workshop, we’ll cover your public profile as an author. Whether you are just starting out and considering a simple author website or building your social media strategy; or are an established author who would benefit from refreshing parts of their marketing strategy, this workshop will help you create a powerful and professional marketing strategy.
Workshop: Saturday 28 April
EDITING FOR AUTHORS WORKSHOP: CLAIRE WINGFIELD
Using examples from a selection of manuscripts Claire Wingfield edited, she will highlight the principals of editing and give participants the chance to develop their own skills. Writers can choose to submit a section of their own work prior to the workshop and will gain feedback and editorial suggestion on this, both working as a group and directly from myself.
Workshop: Saturday 15 June
COMISSION GRANTS: THE GAELIC BOOK COUNCIL
The Gaelic Books Council offers assistance to authors who wish to write in Scottish Gaelic. Priority is given to writers who have a publishing agreement in place, as well as to projects that contain a high percentage of Scottish Gaelic content. They support a wide variety of literary genres, and are open to applications in support of digital titles and other formats, as well as traditional printed books.
THE JOHN BYRNE AWARD
The John Byrne Award is a competition open to 16-30 year olds in Scotland supporting creative expression. Pick a set of values from their diagram, and craft a creative response to be uploaded to their online library. Creative writing & illustration welcomed. Each month, the best entry wins £250. All entries from the year are submitted to the annual John Byrne Award competition where the best entry wins £2,500. All entries are eligible for all prizes and all entries will be considered for posting on the John Byrne Award social media pages.
Invisible Ink is an Edinburgh-based literary consultancy offering advice, support and expertise to writers all over the world. We specialise in ghostwriting, mentoring, manuscript assessment, and teaching and workshops, and are keen to collaborate with you at any stage of your writing project. More information can be found on our website, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch—we’d love to hear your stories.
ÆTHER & ICHOR SUBMISSIONS OPEN
Æther & Ichor are looking for inspiring and imaginative fantasy stories, particularly character-driven works with consistent, inventive worldbuilding. They publish a wide range of styles from urban fantasy to twisted fairy tales to swashbuckling adventures and tend towards darker, slicker, more challenging works with a bit of grit.
LIMINAL RESIDENCY ALTERNATIVE WRITING RETREAT
The Liminal Residency is a series of alternative writers' retreats which take place in neglected and unusual spaces. Most ordinary retreats and residencies depend on isolation and the removal of distractions. The Liminal Residency depends on lived experience, random chance and shared adventure.
If you’re interested in attending a Residency, please get in touch with a bit about yourself and your work. You can specify an interest in a particular Residency, or make a general application.
MASTERCLASS - TEXT INTO PERFORMANCE
Anita Govan, Performance poet, Teaching Artist & Co-founder of Scottish Youth Poetry Slam, offers sessions with individual, constructive feedback on ‘text in performance’. Giving tips and tricks on how to tackle blocks and confidence issues, through to practical voice & performance exercises.
Former Stirling Makar (2012-15) with thirty years of experience behind her in the creative industries (inc. drama, directing & producing), across Scotland. Anita has trained internationally with Keith Johnstone (Canada 2000) Goat Island Performance Company (Chicago) and performed at Glastonbury and the Nuyorician (New York).
Rates: £50 – ½ day up to 3 hrs, 4 spots per session (for individuals or shows, quotes available).
For more details or to sign up to the waiting list contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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).
SHIFT CALL FOR SHORT FORM YA SUBMISSIONS
Shift are searching for original fiction and non-fiction for their next and future issues! Fiction and non-fiction submissions welcome. Your piece should be suitable for a YA audience.
STORIES FROM THE OCD COMMUNITY
The International OCD Foundation is looking for insightful, compelling stories from those living with OCD or a related disorder, their family/friends, researchers, and medical professionals. Stories should be 1000 words or less and IOCDF publish one per month.
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: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING FOR WRITERS WITH CREATIVE COACH PHILIPPA JOHNSTON
Are you keen to make this year 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 £279, but Claire is offering a £50 discount for participants via Scottish Book Trust using the code FRIEND 50.
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