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Literature links

Literature Organisations
Literature and Book Festivals
Information for writers and poets
Resources for education and learning
Literary publications
Prizes, Awards and fellowships

Literature Organisations

Association for Scottish Literary Studies The ASLS aims to promote the study, teaching and writing of Scottish literature and to further the study of the languages of Scotland.
Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (The Gaelic Books Council) Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (The Gaelic Books Council) was set up to promote Gaelic Books and is mainly funded by the Scottish Arts Council.
Edinburgh International Book Festival The book festival is a key event in the festival season and runs for two weeks in August.

Moniack Mhor


The only dedicated creative writing centre in Scotland. It offers mainly taught courses, mostly in association with the Arvon Foundation.
Publishing Scotland A trade association of almost eighty Scottish publishers, assisting their members with the marketing of their books to the widest possible readership.
Scottish Book Trust An organisation committed to the promotion of reading and books.
Scottish Language Dictionaries A body established to develop dictionaries and promote the languages of Scotland.
Scottish Poetry Library The Scottish Poetry Library holds a vast collection of written works as well as tapes and videos. The emphasis is on contemporary poetry written in Scotland but also featured are historic Scottish works and contemporary works from all over the world.
Scottish Storytelling Centre The Scottish Storytelling Forum is Scotland's national charity for storytelling and in 1997 it established a resource and training centre - the Scottish Storytelling Centre - at The Netherbow in Edinburgh.
Scots Language Centre (SLC)  The main aim of the SLC is to promote the Scots language through various means. They are based at the AK Bell library in Perth.
Stirling Literary Society Stirling Literary Society aims to promote, encourage and deepen enjoyment of all branches of literature. The society hosts a monthly lecture series between September and May.

Literature and Book Festivals

Aye Write!

Aye Write! is Glasgow's first ever major book festival, and is a celebration of the rich variety of Glasgwegian writing. It also brings together the best of Scottish and international writing, with over 150 events taking place and around 170 authors coming to the city.

Borders Book Festival Four days in June when writers and audiences are welcomed to historic Melrose and words come alive at this friendly book festival in the heart of the Scottish Borders. This popular annual event has a programme covering a broad range of interests and authors who will appeal to audiences from age five to 105.
Burns Festival Every year in May, this festival brings together international performers with local people to celebrate Scottish life and culture.
Edinburgh International Book Festival

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is now a key event in the August Festival season. It began in 1983 and was biennial at first but became an annual celebration in 1997. Held in the beautiful surroundings of Charlotte Square Gardens, the Book Festival attracts thousands of visitors of all ages, and programmes over 650 events.

Scottish Storytelling Festival A city-wide programme of events for adults and children, including National Tell a Story Day
StAnza Held annually in the ancient university town of St Andrews, this is the only regular festival dedicated to poetry in Scotland.
St Magnus Festival Orkney's annual celebration of the arts. This festival is held every June and encompasses music, drama, dance, literature and the visual arts.
Ullapool Book Festival

An opportunity to hear some of Scotland's finest writers in the most captivating setting. The festival takes place in May and features fiction, non-fiction, poetry, storytelling, and lectures, with both English and Gaelic events.

Wigtown Book Festival This festival is held annually in September and has expanded from the traditional three days to ten days.
Word - University of Aberdeen

The Word festival is one of Scotland's most popular literary events and takes place annually over three days at the King's College Campus at the university of Aberdeen and various other venues across the city.

Information for writers and poets

ConFAB: Working with Words ConFAB aims to support, develop and expand opportunities for writers of all mediums, encouraging the innovative growth of the arts of the written and spoken word across Scotland and internationally.

Genoch Cottage

A retreat in South Ayrshire for writers and artists, available to rent.

Help! I need a Publisher

This blog by writer Nicola Morgan makes essential reading for any unpublished writer.
Established to promote and develop the arts in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.


Literaturetraining acts as a first stop shop for writers and literature professionals across the UK looking for information and advice to help them move on preofessionally.

The Society of Authors

The Society of Authors is a non-profit making organisation working to promote the rights and interests of writers.


A not-for-profit association of professional writers and language specialists.

Writers & Artists Yearbook

Features useful tips, the most-asked FAQs and introductions to other useful resources contained in the Yearbook.
Writers' Guild of Great Britain
The Writers' Guild of Great Britain supports writers for
TV, film, radio, theatre, books, online and video games.
Writing Scotland
A collection of all the best Scottish literature resources on the web

Resources for education and learning

Quick Reads A major new initiative supported nationally by a host of organisations. Some of the biggest names in fiction and non-fiction have published short, fast-paced books designed to encourage reluctant readers.
Scuil Wab Launched by Scottish Language Dictionaries, the Scuil Wab is a website for children of all ages, developed to encourage the use of Scots from an early age.
Literature in Learning A national network to support education staff and creative professionals who are working together to develop creative uses of language with children.
Literature Training This website is the easy way for writers and all those involved in creating or supporting new writing and literature to find out about the wealth of training and professional development opportunities in the UK.
BRAW BRAW is the network for the Scottish Children's Book, and the website aims to promote the magical world of Scottish Children's books. It will help parents, carers, librarians, teachers and children access a goldmine of information on contemporary Scottish children's authors, illustrators and their books.

Literary publications

Chapman Chapman published the best in Scottish writing and promotes new writers, new ideas and new approaches.
The Dark Horse Founded in 1995, this is an international magazine committed to British and American poetry. It is published in Scotland.
The Drouth A magazine dealing in informed critique, satire, film, theatre and prose.
Edinburgh Review A magazine containing essays, new poetry, short stories, novel extracts, review articles and shorter reviews.
Lallans Published twice a year and is the journal of the Scots Language Society. It includes poetry, fiction, reviews and articles in Scots.
Northwords Now A new writers' magazine for the North, which is published quarterly.
Product This is a multi-arts magazine which promotes the work of writers and artists in Scotland, provides unique coverage of contemporary Scottish culture and encourages dialogue on arts and politics in Scotland.
Saltire Magazine The latest news, views and interviews from the Saltire Society.
Textualities Textualities covers diverse aspects of the world of the book, from author interviews and original writing to specialist articles about rare and collectible books.
Variant Free arts, culture and political magazine, published four times a year

Prizes, Awards and Fellowships

The Callum Macdonald Memorial Award

The Callum Macdonald Memorial Award is given in recognition of publishing skill and effort in the field of poetry pamphlets.  The prize consists of the Callum Macdonald Quaich and a cash prize of £500.
Dundee International Book Prize A biennial prize of £10,000 and the chance of publication by Birlinn, awarded for an unpublished novel.


Edwin Morgan Translation Fellowship

This scholarship, supported by the Scottish Arts Council, provides one free place at the 2009 Scottish Universities' International Summer School, based in Edinburgh.  The Fellow, a professional translator with an interest in twentieth century and contemporary Scottish writing, will attend SUISS for six weeks studying British and Irish Literature from 1900 to the present. 

James Tait Black Memorial Prize

Two prizes of £10,000 each are awarded annually: one for the best biography and one for the best novel, published during the calendar year.

The Muriel Spark International Fellowship


A four-week residency for a writers of international stature at Cove Park, Argyll & Bute or Moniack Mhor, Inverness and Edinburgh.  The inaugeral Fellow was Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood, who became a Fellow in 2006.  The most recent Fellow is Australian writer David Malouf, in September 2008. 

Pushkin Prizes
A unique creative writing competition for pupils in S1 and S2.  Ten winners are offered the opportunity to attend Pushkin Prizewinners' Week where they are tutored by professional writers.

Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship
A fellowship open to writers who are Scottish by birth or currently resident in Scotland.  The chosen writers are funded by the Scottish Arts Council and the National Library of Scotland for a two-month residency at Grez-sur-Loing, Fountainbleu, France, where Stevenson met his first wife Fanny Osborne.   


Robin Jenkins Literary Award


The Robin Jenkins Literary Award is a national writing award of £5000 for a work of fiction or non-fiction.  The award is aimed at promoting new Scottish writing that draws and builds on Scotland's cultural heritage.

Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children's Books


Awards are given to new and established authors of published books in recognition of high standards of writing for children.  Managed by Scottish Book Trust in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council, and supported by the Times Education Supplement Scotland.
Saltire Society Scottish Literary Awards Two awards, Scottish Book of the Year (£5000) and Scottish First Book of the Year (£1500), are open to any author of Scottish descent or living in Scotland. 
Scottish Arts Council Book Awards

Scotland’s richest book awards have four categories, fiction, non-fiction, first book and poetry.



Canongate Books

Details of imprints, new books, news and features


Specialises in Scots language books for children and young people



Publisher of pamphlets, based in Angus, Scotland. Kettillonia aims to put original, adventurous, neglected and rare writing into print, published as pamphlets.

Luath Press

A growing Edinburgh-based publishing company with strong Scottish connections
Publishing Scotland A trade association of almost eighty Scottish publishers. A list of members of the association is also available on this site.


Achins Bookshop

Achins Bookshop, in Lochinver, specialises on books on hillwalking, natural history and Scottish history.  Special services include mail order; library and school supply.



Atikinon-Pryce, based in Biggar, specialises in contemporary fiction, children’s, gardening, Scottish, cookery, history/current affairs, health, biographies and autobiographies, music and art.

Blast-Off Books

This bookshop is dedicated to books for children and young people and includes a range of materials for children with specific learning needs.  Based in Linlithgow.

Bookpoint, Dunoon 

Stocks an extensive range of titles by Scottish authors plus a variety of books on local history.

Books and Beans


An Aberdeen coffee shop and second hand bookshop combined. There are poetry evenings at 6.30pm on the last Thursday of every month run by the Dead Good Poets.


An online bookshop and information site dedicated to Scottish books, writers and publishers with over 14,500 books available.

Special services include author biographies, interviews, features and essays on Scottish books, events listings, reviews, blogs, literary maps and information on forthcoming titles.

C&E Roy


Stocks books on subjects such as Celtic and Scottish history, whisky, natural history and local interest books.  Special services include mail order and customer orders.  Located in Bowmore on the Isle of Islay.

The Children’s Bookshop


An Edinburgh based bookshop specialising in children’s books, with some adult stock.  Additional services include book ordering and search service, school supply, author events.

Elvis Shakespeare


An Edinburgh outlet that specialises in vinyl and literature. Online bookselling service available.

The Linlithgow Bookshop


Stocks an eclectic range of titles, good section of local and Scottish history and a special interest in pre-school age range.  Other services include rapid ordering, extra help and advice with early years titles, loyalty schemes in all departments.

Loch Croispol Bookshop


Located in Durness, Loch Croispol bookshop stocks books on Scotland, poetry, fiction, biography, history, Gaelic, food, natural history and environment, art, music, food and drink, children’s books.

Special services include book search service, a second hand section, internet selling, publishing, the Scottish representative of World Book Market – an international co-operative of internet booksellers.

Alternative website address: www.worldbookmarket.com

The Watermill, Aberfeldy


Voted UK Independent Bookshop of the Year 2009 and is also the largest bookshop in the rural highlands.  Hosts regular events.


With over twenty stores throughout Scotland, Waterstone's is one of the most well known bookstores in the country.  See the link to find a store near you.

Word Power


A leading quality independent bookshop in Edinburgh with a worldwide online service.

Yeadon’s of Elgin & Banchory


One of the oldest bookshops in Scotland stocking a wide range of titles.  Regular events and talks from authors.

Fruitmarket Bookshop interior; Photo: Michael Wolchover
Young woman posing
Fruitmarket Bookshop exterior; Photo: Michael Wolchover
A Books for Babies event; Photo: Natasha Grumelova
Edinburgh International Book Festival engaging young minds; Photo: Pascal Saez
Young woman posing
Books in Fruitmarket Bookshop; Photo: Michael Wolchover
Fireworks; Photo: Renzo Mazzolini
Scottish Poetry Library Children’s workshop; Photo: Roddy Simpson
Sorley MacLean's "Poems to Eimhir" cover; Illustrator: Mark Blackadder
Man holding globe
"Milking the Haggis" cover; Illustrator: Stephanie Black
ALSL cover for Modernism and Nationalism; Illustrator: Mark Blackadder
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