Fresh Ink: Emerging writers respond to 2020
Call for applications
'Fresh Ink' is a new initiative commissioning 10 emerging writers to create literary responses on the theme of 'my experience of 2020'.
The venture is part of the National Library of Scotland’s commitment to capturing the nation’s memory, and demonstrates our support for developing new literary talent.
We will award up to 10 commissions of £1,000 to those who can evidence their suitability, and their commitment to writing via the submission of previous work, a pitch that describes their proposed literary response, and a brief CV.
The allocation of the commissions will be decided by a panel, and in return for the award the Library will receive original creative literary responses, with writers encouraged to choose from a range of genres and forms including, but not limited to:
- Short fiction
- Graphic novella
- Flash fiction
- Creative non-fiction.
Writers are free to respond in Scots, English, or Gaelic.
We are particularly keen to read pitches from writers from under-represented groups, in particular from women, members of BAME communities, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, and from the diverse range of social and cultural communities which exist in Scotland.
We will place a selection of the commissioned works on our website and in our magazine 'Discover', promote the writers and their work, and host an event (likely to be online) featuring readings and performances by the commissioned writers. The commissioned works will also be added to the Library's national collections.
How to apply
Your application should include:
- A short pitch outlining how you might respond to the theme
- A relevant example of your creative writing
- A short statement or CV.
The pitch should be a brief outline — no more than 150 words — that describes how you might respond to the theme. Our selection panel will use this to help balance a breadth of types of response across the commissions.
The writing sample should be no more than 2,000 words or eight pages of your writing in the same form as your proposed response to the theme. For example, if you would like to write a short story for the commission, then please submit a short story as your writing sample. Our selection panel will use this to understand your strengths in producing the final commission, as well as your style of writing and unique voice.
The statement or CV should be no more than 300 words or one page that focuses on your previous writing experience. Our selection panel will use this to understand your background as an emerging writer and to balance our support across the commissions.
All applications should be emailed to email@example.com by 17.00, 4 January 2021.
The panel and the Library will discuss the specifications and requirements with the commissioned writers, and the parameters of the commissions will be agreed with each individual writer.
However, the following represents some initial guidance.
Please note: these guidelines do not apply to examples of work submitted as part of an application, but will apply to the literary responses of those chosen to be commissioned.
- Fiction, short story, and creative non-fiction responses should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words in length
- Poetry can be submitted as a single poem or a series of poems, but must total a minimum of 80 lines of verse
- Graphic novel / novella responses should total a minimum of eight pages including at least 20 completed panels, up to a maximum of 24 pages
- Drama should be submitted as a one-act play, with a minimum of 100 lines
- Flash fiction — a minimum of five pieces, totalling a minimum of 2,000 words.
- Other forms of responses will be agreed on a case-by-case basis.
If you think you can create an original, literary response on the theme of 'my experience of 2020', then please send us your pitch. We would love to hear your stories inspired — or provoked — by your experiences of this year.
Timeline and dates
The deadline for applications is 17.00, Monday 4 January 2021
The 10 writers awarded a commission will be informed on Monday 25 January 2021
The deadline for the submission of completed commissions is 17.00, Wednesday 17 March 2021.
The event, the announcement of the completed submissions, and related publicity, will take place during April to May 2021. We will invite commissioned writers to the event.
Applicants should be aged 18 and over, and resident in Scotland.
People employed by the Library (either directly or indirectly) are not eligible to apply.