Scots Scriever to promote Scots language in arts

The first Scots Scriever post is to appointed to produce work in the Scots language across any art form including writing which has ranged from Hugh MacDiarmid to Irvine Welsh.

Fiona Hyslop, Jenny Niven, James Robertson, and Dr John Scally promote the new Scots Scriever initiative. Picture: Rob McDougall

The post holder will also be expected to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to reach and attract a wider audience and “hiv explicit responsibilitie for heizin up the profile” (have explicit responsibility for raising the profile) of the Scots language.

Over 30 per cent of Scots identified themselves as speaking Scots in some form in the 2011 Census. This figure is believed to be an underestimate.

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Scots, along with Gaelic and English is one of Scotland’s three indigenous languages. It has various regional dialects including Central Scots, Dundonian and Doric.

The Scots Scriever role is jointly supported by Creative Scotland with funding of £50,000, and the National Library of Scotland where the successful applicant will be based.

The announcement today comes as Creative Scotland launches its first Scots Language policy which will promote the use of Scots in a range of mediums including writing, film, theatre, dance, song and story-telling.

Speaking at the launch, writer James Robertson, a long-term advocate of the Scots language, described the new policy as a “statement of intent” but also a “promise to the future.”

“This is not about looking back, whatever the language’s past achievements: it is about ensuring that Scots goes forward to be seen and heard in the future.”

Mr Robertson added that he hoped organisations such as the BBC, National Museums and book festivals would “take their cue from Creative Scotland.”

Fiona Hyslop, MSP, cabinet secretary for culture, europe and external affairs, said: “The Scottish Government’s ambition is for the Scots language to be recognised, valued and used in Scottish public and community life.

“The Scots language is an essential part of Scotland’s distinctive culture and heritage, and the Scottish Government takes seriously the promotion of Scots language throughout Scotland in all its regional and local variants.

“In adopting this policy, Creative Scotland acknowledges the contribution the Scots language has brought and continues to bring, to Scotland’s rich culture and heritage, in a country with over 1.5 million Scots speakers.”