It’s a source of real concern for the cultural life of our nation that most Scottish writers earn less than the minimum wage for their writing – a key finding of a new report from Creative Scotland (your report, 9 July).
A survey commissioned by the Saltire Society last year found Scottish writing has a broad appeal. Almost 70 per cent of Scottish adults said they purchase new books by Scottish writers and almost a third buy at least one new book by a Scottish writer every six months.
But this new report highlights the real challenges today’s Scottish writers face in making a living from their work.
The Saltire Society recently launched a new trust with the aim of raising £5 million by St Andrew’s Day 2016 to help foster Scotland’s cultural talent. One early ambition of the trust will be to create the Saltire Fellowships scheme. The scheme would provide financial support to enable exceptional individuals in Scottish arts and culture to devote their full energies to their work.
Once established, I sincerely hope that some of Scotland’s outstanding writing talent can benefit from the scheme.
That way, we can help ensure that Scottish writing continues to make a valuable contribution to our cultural life for many years to come.
The Saltire Society