This page offers a comprehensive list of the online resources that are available to writers. To make it easier to navigate, we have shown organisations based in Scotland, or which have a particular Scottish focus, as a separate list. All other organisations listed have a UK-wide remit.
Established in 1968, the Gaelic Books Council’s main aims are to support the development of Gaelic writing, to stimulate interest in Gaelic books, to support Gaelic authors by awarding grants and commissions, to support the Gaelic publishing industry, and to increase the range, quality and impact of Gaelic literature. Based in Glasgow, the Gaelic Books Council also has an on-site bookshop, stocking a wide range of Gaelic and Gaelic-related books, cards, CDs and DVDs. Their website contains information on all the latest Gaelic literary news and events, as well as a section on opportunities for writers and publishers.
The Federation of Writers (Scotland) is an organisation dedicated to making the written and spoken word available to the public of Scotland, with respect for diversity and recognition of additional support needs. Membership is free, with their work supported by donations. The FWS website is very handy resource for writers, with posts including events, latest news, as well as publishing and writing tips. The FWS Facebook group is also worth joining for regular updates.
Glasgow Women’s Library is no ordinary library! It is the only resource of its kind in Scotland. As well as being a lending library, its collection includes historical and contemporary artefacts and archive materials that celebrate the lives, histories and achievements of women. The website offers endless inspiration from the GWL’s collection, from Suffragette memorabilia and 1930s dress-making patterns to rare 1970s Scottish Women’s Liberation newsletters, as well as information on its lively annual events programme and latest projects opportunities, with resources for readers and writers.
Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) is a membership organisation which is committed to advancing the interests of literature and languages at home and abroad. It is Scotland’s largest network for literature and languages, bringing together writers, publishers, educators, librarians, literature organisations and national cultural bodies.
Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre is located in the Scottish Highlands, just fourteen miles from the city of Inverness. Since 1993 Moniack Mhor has been running creative writing courses tutored by some of the finest authors in the UK and beyond. Their website also has a number of useful tools for writers, including news on their own events and awards, as well as a directory of resources for writers.
When it comes to looking for writing inspiration, there’s no better place than the National Library of Scotland. Its website has an extensive Learning Zone featuring a range of resources from the world-class research library’s vast collection, including some gems from the world of Scottish Literature and Language.
Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland is the nation’s only arts organisation exclusively dedicated to the long-term support, development and promotion of Scotland’s playwrights. It works actively and creatively with playwrights, connecting them with audiences and organisations. Its website offers a directory of playwrights, as well as regular updates on projects, events, mentoring schemes and other opportunities available.
Publishing Scotland is the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland. If you’re looking for the latest industry news, this is a good first port of call. There are also sections on training, courses and job opportunities, which are regularly updated.
The principal resource for writers in Scotland, the Scottish Book Trust site holds a whole range of useful information for writers, from the latest writer awards and an excellent advice and resources page to a calendar of opportunities, and of course the Live Literature directory for authors looking to offer events. You’ll also find regular writing prompts and flash fiction to help keep the creative juices flowing!
The Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) is a unique national resource and advocate for the art of poetry, and Scottish poetry in particular. Although the library itself is physically based in Edinburgh, the SPL also has a very helpful website, showcasing poems and poets, offering information on the latest projects and events, and also some learning resources.
The Scottish Writers’ Centre (SWC) is a countrywide resource which supports national writers and promotes Scotland’s vibrant literary culture. Operated solely by volunteers, the SWC provides a space for writers to meet, share ideas and experiences about the craft, and learn from those further advanced through regular masterclasses. It’s worth following their Facebook page for latest updates.
The Saltire Society is an apolitical membership organisation with branches across Scotland, existing to strengthen and enrich Scottish culture and heritage in their local regions. It is also the home of the Saltire Society Literary Awards, now one of Scotland’s foremost literary awards, which celebrates modern Scottish literature in all its varied forms, and supports literary and academic excellence.
For over fifty years Arvon has been the UK’s home of creative writing, with three centres offering residential courses and retreats led by acclaimed writers and which span poetry to playwriting, song to screenplay, fact to fiction, starting to finishing. The Arvon website provides full details of its numerous courses and grants on offer, along with a Writers’ Hub offering news on the latest writing opportunities as well as writing tips and exercises. You can also follow their latest updates on Facebook.
BBC Writersroom works with script writers at every stage of their career, to discover, develop and champion new and experienced writing talent across the whole of the UK. They are based in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. The website offers a Writers’ Lab resources section as well as a list of latest opportunities. There is also a very useful Script Library, with scripts from a range of leading shows from Casualty to Doctor Who.
British Council Literature works with hundreds of writers and literature partners to develop innovative projects and collaborations. The website has a searchable database of some of the UK and Commonwealth’s most important living writers, as well as writers from these regions whom the BCL works with. There is also information on any current or upcoming project and grant opportunities, as well as a blog featuring industry news and interviews with writers.
The legal stuff on how to set yourself up as a freelance writer, including how to register as self-employed for tax purposes.
Jericho Writers grew out of the Writers’ Workshop editorial agency to help writers improve their craft and publish or self-publish more successfully. It is a membership-based service that gives writers unlimited access to its online courses, masterclasses and webinars, as well as their AgentMatch literary agent database and online writing community. Their website also offers a resources library with writing advice. There is also the option of finding editorial support as well as advice on sending letters to agents, and many other helpful things.
Although based in Norwich, the NCW has a range of online courses on offer through their website, as well as other useful resources for writers, such as a handy list of literature organisations.
Founded in 1820, the RSL is one of the UK’s oldest literary organisations, looking at ways to support and promote literature development. It now holds some twenty public events a year, runs masterclasses, awards prizes and grants to authors and sends writers into schools. One of its current initiatives is Literature Matters, and there is a Literature Matters Hub on the website, showcasing interviews with writers and interesting commentary on the literary industry in the UK.
The Creative Penn is an online resources hub and toolkit created by American author Joanna Penn, offering information and inspiration on writing, self-publishing, book marketing and how to make a living with your writing through articles, regular podcasts, books and online courses.
The Poetry Society is one of the UK’s most dynamic arts organisations, with more than 4,000 members worldwide, and publishes the leading poetry magazine, The Poetry Review. The Society produces regular events, projects and publications, runs The Poetry Café, and offers promotions and prizes. Its educational work provides development opportunities for poets, teachers, pupils and emerging writers, creating a central position for poetry. It also runs the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, the National Poetry Competition and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
The Society of Authors (SoA) is a trade union for writers, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers. Members receive unlimited free advice on all aspects of the profession, including confidential clause-by-clause contract vetting, and a wide range of exclusive offers. The SoA also administers a number of grants and prizes to support and celebrate authors at all stages of their careers. The website is worth consulting for advice on copyright, contracts, rates, tax, and much more.
If you’re looking for a bit of editorial support with your writing, or are looking to understand more about the publishing process, then the Society for Editors and Proofreaders is a very good place to start. The website has a comprehensive directory of editors and proofreaders of all shapes and sizes, many of whom specialise in particular genres as well as in helping authors through the self-publishing process. The Society also offers a range of online courses if, for example, you’re looking to brush up on your grammar or to learn about how to edit your own work.
The Writing Platform is a website dedicated to arming writers with digital knowledge. The website is a free online resource for writers and poets – whether they are emerging or established, traditionally published, self-published or not yet published – who are looking for neutral and best practice information about writing in the digital age in order to inform their practice and career choices.
The Writers & Artists website is an online hub from the team behind the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. It offers a community platform, an extensive collection of free advice articles on the writing and publishing process and also a free-to-use Writing Calendar feature. It is also home to a number of editing services designed to give writers access to the right expert at the right moment. There is a Writers’ Toolkit section, as well as ample advice on the submissions process and self-publishing.
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) is a trade union representing professional writers in TV, film, theatre, radio, books, comedy, poetry, animation and video games. Our members also include emerging and aspiring writers. WGGB offers a range of benefits to members including free training, contract vetting, a pension scheme, a welfare fund, entry to the Find A Writer directory, a weekly ebulletin, plus member-only events and discounts. The website offers useful guidelines and resources for writers working in different sections of the industry.
Writers’ HQ offers a whole range on online courses at affordable prices, as well as bursaries and freely accessible resources including writing advice and the latest opportunities. There is also a quarterly flash fiction competition run through the site. The Writers’ HQ team helps early career writers to run writing retreats around the UK and continually expanding their network.
Young Poets Network is The Poetry Society’s online platform for young poets up to the age of 25. You’ll find features about poets and poetry, challenges and competitions to inspire your writing, new writing from young poets, and advice and guidance from the rising and established stars of the poetry scene. It also features the latest news and ideas from the writing world, and a list of competitions, magazines and writing groups which particularly welcome young writers.
Grammarly is an app that automatically detects potential grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in writing. Grammarly’s algorithms flag potential issues in the text and suggest context-specific corrections for grammar, spelling, wordiness, style, punctuation, and even plagiarism. It is available via a browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. A range of premium services are available for a monthly payment, although there is a free option for more basic spelling and grammar checks.