National Library of Scotland seeks Galloway Scots Scriever

04 October 2023
The National Library of Scotland is seeking applications for the one-year long residency as Scots Scriever, a residency that aims to support the creation of original writing in Scots.

The post also involves the promotion of the Scots language with communities throughout Scotland. This year, the Library is specifically seeking applicants working in Dumfries & Galloway.

National Librarian Amina Shah said: “Over the past few years we have chosen to be location-specific with our Scriever programme, and this has paid off. Orcadian Scriever Alison Miller delivered excellent work in Orkney in 2022. As we were about to launch our new Treasures exhibition during her residency, we asked if she might respond to the collections items on show. She recited a haunting poem that spoke to Ae Fond Kiss and Bantam, and also linked the archives to the present day, in this case the invasion of Ukraine.

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"Miller was a hard act to follow, but Shane Strachan smashed it as the Doric Scriever this year. He delivered events around the country, including to schools, and produced excellent written work in response to the Library’s Scots collections. If you’re a writer with a flair for Galloway Scots, and a passionate advocate of the language, we want to hear from you.”

2022-23 Scots Scriever Shane Strachan

Alan Bett, Head of Literature & Publishing at Creative Scotland, said: “The Scriever offers Scots language writers a unique opportunity to develop new literary works with support from the National Library of Scotland and access to the Library’s extensive Scots language collections as inspiration. So much of the vibrancy of Scots comes from the dialects and variations within it, much linked to community and history. This is why, following a focus on Orcadian and Doric over the past two years, the richness of Scots language in Dumfries and Galloway is at the heart of this year’s iteration. We’re looking forward to a wide range of applications from the many writers working in Scots across its many literary forms.”

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Shane Strachan has just completed his one-year residency as Scots Scriever. He was recently awarded Scots Champion o the Year at the Scots Language Awards, which took place in Renfrewshire earlier this month.

Strachan said he relished searching through the Library’s archives, particularly those in North East Scots (Doric), of which he is a native speaker and published author.

“Being Scots Scriever has gien ma the space, time and resources tae scrieve new wirks in Scots, and the confidence and platform tae write in braider Scots. It’s also been an affa rare opportunity tae share my dialect o North East Scots (Doric) tae a much wider audience ootside my hame region, performin tae audiences across Scotland in Edinburgh, Perth, Johnstone and Wigtown, as weel as a conference in Paris!

“Screivers o Dumfries and Gallowa – get applyin!”

How to apply

The successful Dumfries & Galloway Scriever will produce original written work in Scots in any genre or discipline, and contribute to raising the profile, understanding and appreciation of the Scots language in general. They will also promote the Scots language to local communities in Dumfries & Galloway and further afield through their creative practice, and via other channels such as events and social media.

The primary aim of the 12-month residency is the creation of exciting original work in Scots. While some community engagement work will be encouraged, the Scriever will be expected to prioritise and set aside a significant amount of time during the residency for the development of new written work. This includes time for the exploration of the rich and extensive Scots language collections held at the National Library.

Funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, the postholder will receive a monthly fee of £1,250 for the fixed-term residency of 12 months.

The application deadline is 12 noon, Monday 23 October. It’s expected an appointment will be made in early November. Full details are on the National Library’s careers website. For more detailed information about the residency, visit the National Library of Scotland website.

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