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Writers' Factory launched in Scotland


A £500,000 initiative to support creative writing in Scotland is launched this morning (Tuesday) by the Scottish Arts Council.

The Writers’ Factory comprises four new initiatives, supported by lottery funding:
• to support training for screenwriters in radio, television and film
• to explore the feasibility of a development agency supporting writers and publishers in the Highlands, as a model which could be used in other parts of Scotland;
• to explore and meet the development needs of writers in all literary communities
• The Writers’ Factory will also provide development grants to publishers and magazines to commission and publish new writing in all the languages of Scotland.

The first initiative to be launched is the development of training for scriptwriters. In partnership with Scottish Screen and Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Arts Council will support writers in television, radio and film to access training in both the UK and internationally. There is currently little professional support for new scriptwriters in Scotland, which puts Scottish writers at a disadvantage in selling scripts to the domestic and international film, radio and television industries. (please see additional release)

James Boyle, Chairman of the Scottish Arts Council, said: ‘We know Scottish writing is amongst the most highly regarded in the world, yet few Scottish writers are able to develop their skills into a product which competes on a level playing field with the best international work. The Writers’ Factory is about raising our game; making sure that our writers have support from the earliest stages of their career and that there is sufficient momentum within Scottish publishing to promote that work throughout the world.

‘We realise that not everyone can get themselves to our biggest cities for support or guidance, which is why we are looking to develop a model for a rural literary development agency which can apply best practice to other areas of Scotland.

‘We shall be working with key national literature organisations to deliver support to writers in all art forms, including screenwriters, poets, fiction and non fiction writers, playwriting and writing for radio.

‘Finally, we will ensure that funding from the Writers’ Factory continues to provide an opportunity for exciting new writers to be read by as wide an audience as possible and that Scotland maintains its world-beating reputation for challenging, insightful and passionate writing.’

Notes to editors

1. The Scottish Arts Council champions and sustains the arts for Scotland, investing £56 million from Scottish Executive and National Lottery funding to support and develop artistic excellence and creativity throughout Scotland. Further information is available on our website: www.scottisharts.org.uk

2. The Writers’ Factory is an umbrella concept to support creative writing in Scotland. The scriptwriting initiative is a partnership between the Scottish Arts Council, Scottish Screen and Scottish Enterprise.

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    Issued by: Scottish Arts Council

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