By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Putting Scottish Authors in Front of Live Audiences’As Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, at Frankfurter Buchmesse in October, Publishing Scotland—observing its 45th anniversary—announced an expansion of its international promotion service called Scottish Books International.
Now, the Edinburgh-based organization is announcing that 18 Scottish writers have been awarded grants to promote Scottish writing and culture worldwide by the Author International Travel Fund, a cornerstone pilot initiative of new international promotion service, Scottish Books International.
Scottish Books International is run by a third-party company and is a partnership of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Creative Scotland.
And one of Scottish Book International’s first programs is called the Author International Travel Fund, a grant initiative that supports Scottish authors invited to festivals and events overseas.
The fund was set up as a grants program supporting authors who are invited to festivals and events overseas to promote their work. Aiding the facilitation of cultural exchange the fund is designed to:
- Increase opportunities for Scottish writers to attend festivals and other promotion or exchange events overseas
- To remove barriers for Scottish writers from all backgrounds to take advantage of these opportunities
- To develop relationships between Scottish writers and festivals, publishers and organizations overseas
And in its first year of operation, the fund has supported 18 Scottish writers and Scottish Books International is looking forward to growing this support in the coming year. The panel is drawn from Creative Scotland and the Edinburgh International Book Festival as well as the Scottish Books International manager.
First Grants in the Author Travel Fund
- The Verb Festival, £1,000 (US$1,296) to have Michael Pedersen to The Verb Festival 2019, New Zealand
- Hugh McMillan, £200 (US259) for The Blash o God, France
- Brian Holton, £203.50 ($263) to the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice and the Festival Internazionale di Poesia di Genova
- Laura Lam, £80 (US10), Worldcon Dublin
- Chrys Salt MBE, £1000 (US$1,296), Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Australia
- Wendy H. Jones, £500 (US$648) for the Manuscript to Marketplace Writers Conference, USA
- Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, £1,000 (US$1,296) to bring Irvine Welsh to Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2019, Indonesia
- Christine De Luca, £400 (US$519), Partilha Alternativa Association, Portugal
- Gerry Loose, £227 (US295) for the Third Chengdu International Poetry Week, the Round Table Conference of the World Poetry in Chengdu, China
- Kevin MacNeil, £1,000 (US$1,296),, Yamanashi University, Japan
- Christie Williamson, £350 (US$434),, Festa dos Anos de Ã’Lvaro de Campos, Portugal
- Helen McClory, £1,000 (US$1,296), Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, India
- Clare Hunter, £900 (US$1,167), Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, India
- David Keenan, £300 (US389), Primera Persona festival at the Centre for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), Spain
- Damian Barr, £630 (US$817), Events at literature festivals in India, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa
- Alycia Pirmohamed, £475 (US$616), Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (In Exile), Belgium
- Hugh McMillan, £382 (US$495) for a Limerick Poetry Month Reading, Ireland
- Sha Nazir, £543 (US$704) for the Rumia Comic Con, Poland
‘An Important Scottish Story’
In a prepared statement, writer Chrys Salt—who went to the Tasmanian Poetry Festival—is quoted, saying, “Last year’s award from the Author International Travel Fund enabled me to accept a prestigious invitation to be International Poet at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival 2019.
“A subsequent tour of my work up the East Coast of Australia attracted wide audiences, both live and on-air. Feedback was terrific. I made valuable contacts, sold £500 (US$648) worth of books, and enhanced my reputation as a writer.
“My sequence about Scottish outsider artist Angus MacPhee from Uist was particularly well received,” Salt says, “making folk aware of an important Scottish story.”
Alan Bett, who is Creative Scotland’s literature officer, says, “It’s increasingly important for authors and poets to take their work to international readers.
“The Author International Travel Fund has put Scottish writers in front of live audiences at festivals and events from Dublin to Australia, allowing their books to be read and discussed while opening up a variety of professional opportunities.
“Crucially, the fund helps to remove the financial barriers in the way of writers from all backgrounds being able to exchange ideas and share their work more widely across the globe.”
And Marion Sinclair, who is with Publishing Scotland, says, “Scottish Books International is in its first year and aims to bring together all parts of the literary and book ecology in Scotland for the overseas promotion of Scottish writing, publishing and festivals.
“Through activities such as the author fund and the linkages with our other international activities and organizations, it’s more vital than ever that we engage in a coordinated way to highlight and showcase the work of the sector.”
More from Publishing Perspectives on the Scottish market is here.