New Scottish Books Showcase: Focus on Germany

In News by Porter Anderson

The Scottish Books International program stages authors in Germany in its Scottish Books Showcase series, with music by Assynt.

The contemporary music ensemble Assynt, named for the region on the west coast of Scotland, appears with four Scottish authors being promoted on the new Scottish Books Showcase program in Germany this month. From left are Innes White, David Shedden, and Graham Mackenzie Image: Assynt

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

The ‘Year of Focus’ Lies in Germany
Another bit of branding has been added to the mix of the Scottish market’s several literature-promoting services as the “Scottish Book Showcase” is being readied to make its first moves on June 18 and 20—in Germany. It’s part of yet another branding phrase, “Year of Focus,” which refers to Germany as the 2023 target market.

Scottish Books International, with its stylish site online, was opened at the 2019 edition of Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22) and it works to raise the overseas visibility of Scotland’s publishers, writers, festivals, and organizations. It’s under that program that the new Scottish Book Showcase program is being deployed.

In fact, the Scottish Book Showcase is “an extension of its funding package, which is called the Author International Travel Fund. That program reportedly has supported more than 40 Scottish writers in promoting their work at international events, which “fits into Publishing Scotland’s broader internationalization strategy that sees the success of the International Fellowship Program and the Translation Fund as vital in their efforts to facilitate international opportunities for the sector.”

Publishing Scotland, is the network, trade, and development body for book publishing in Scotland.

Creative Scotland is an agency that supports the arts, screen, and creative industries, distributing funding provided by both the Scottish government and the national lottery.

Funding from Creative Scotland is going to support the Scottish Books Showcase, organized in conjunction with the Scottish government office in Berlin.

Scottish Books International is touring four Scottish authors to Hamburg on June 19 and to Berlin on June 20 for promotional appearances in “Year of Focus” country Germany, with the Glasgow-based musical ensemble Assynt. Upcoming performances by the band include other stops in Germany, including Mandelbachtel, Kapsweyer, Esslingen, and Wermelskirchen.

Three Scottish publishers and/or literary agents are also involved, to promote their companies and writers in the rights space: Sara Hunt is on the list from Saraband, Laura Jones from 404 Ink, and Andrea Joyce from Joyce Literary Rights Agency.

The authors chosen for the German dates later this month are Chitra Ramaswamy, James Robertson, Lisa Ballantyne, and Sara Sheridan.

Authors featured in this month’s Scottish Books Showcase in Hamburg and Berlin are, from left, Chitra Ramaswamy, James Robertson, Lisa Ballantyne, and Sara Sheridan. Image: Scottish Books International

Germany thus becomes the first “country of focus” in the Scottish Books Showcase touring program and another focal market is to be chosen each year.

In a prepared statement on the news of the coming Scottish Book Showcase effort, Marion Sinclair, CEO of Publishing Scotland, is quoted, saying, “This new program responds to the appetite in the literature sector for a strategic and coordinated approach to showcasing and championing Scotland’s writers, publishers, and festivals overseas.

“Germany has for many years been an extremely open country for the championing and translating of books from all over the world and it seemed logical to us to begin our ‘Year of Focus’ activities” there.

Christina McKelvie, the minister for culture, Europe, and international development, says, “This is part of the Scottish government’s wider cultural program in Germany this year to strengthen connections between our two countries and develop international audiences for contemporary Scottish writers and artists.”


More from Publishing Perspectives on Scotland is here, and more on the Scottish publishing market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.