Open Call to Submit a Creative Response to the Theme of Big Ideas within Scottish Literature

Figures of Speech: Creative Commission

November 2022

Scottish Storytelling Centre | Edinburgh City of Literature

What Big Idea from Scottish Literature inspires you?

Figures of Speech is a cross-artform series of six events throughout 2022 which explores who we are as a modern literary nation, celebrating Scotland’s literature and challenging its boundaries. The event series is a collaboration between the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust and is funded via EventScotland as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

As part of this project we are hosting an open-call to commission a creative response to the theme of Big Ideas within Scottish literature, to spark fresh imaginings of the stories and ideas we know so well and continue the national literary conversation. The inspiration for this could range from historic texts which defined a generation, and had global impact – Hume on philosophy, Hutton on geology etc – to new ideas about nationality, sexuality, artificial intelligence, environmentalism or any big idea within Scottish books (fiction or non-fiction) you feel is worth exploring.


  • Propose a creative response to in your chosen artistic discipline which responds to the theme of Big Ideas within Scottish literature. This response can be inspired by a specific story, character, scene, lyric, or text within the theme, or it can be to the overall theme itself.
  • The final piece must be ready to be presented at the live event at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh on Wed 30 Nov 2022. If being presented live it should be no longer than 15mins.
  • If the art form is not suitable for live performance, it will still be featured in some capacity at the event, even if that is via a presentation by the artist or by the audiences accessing it some way post-event (online, on location etc).
  • The selected artist will be paid a fee of £500. This will cover research, development, and creation of the piece, as well as attendance and performance (if suitable) at the live event.
  • Travel expenses will be provided to attend the live event and the costs of any accessibility support requirements will be met.
  • The artist would own all the rights to the work.
  • Applications are welcomed from any artist based or working in Scotland.
  • Applications can also be submitted via video, please contact via the email below.
  • The live event will be filmed, and footage of the piece may be used to promote the project.
  • As part of the commission fee the artist may be asked to contribute to the online dialogue discussing the theme or share a teaser of their work in progress. This is to help engage an international audience in the discussion and promote Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.


The application deadline is Monday 12th September at 10am. For full information on how to apply, please download the Creative Commissions Brief below.

Creative Commissions Brief PDF Creative Commissions Brief Microsoft Word Document