Our Voices: a development programme for emerging prose writers

Our Voices

Our Voices is now open for applications

Feedback on your book-in-progress at the right time can help you understand the strengths of your writing, how to structure your first book, and the steps you can take to edit and improve it for future publication.

Our Voices aims to develop the writing of emerging writers from under-represented communities who might not otherwise be able to access this kind of professional support as they work towards a full draft of their first book and consider their next steps in building a career as a writer.

Watch this intro video to find out all about the programme, with Literature Officer Viccy Adams.

About the programme

Our Voices is a manuscript feedback scheme run by Creative Scotland and the Association of Scottish Literary Agents (ASLA).

Applications for Round 3 is now open and will close at 12 noon on Monday 31 January 2022.

If selected, you’ll receive written feedback on the first 20,000 words of your book-in progress from a member of the Association of Scottish Literary Agents.

You will also have the chance to discuss the feedback and your ambitions as a writer in a 30 minute one-to-one with them. This will be offered by telephone or Zoom (with access support available).

We expect to support around 30 writers in this round.

Who should apply

To be eligible to apply you must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • based in Scotland
  • someone who self-identifies as being from an underrepresented/marginalised community
  • writing a novel or creative non-fiction book aimed at the traditional publishing market in the UK

We particularly welcome applications from unpublished writers who identify as disabled, LGBTQ+, care-experienced, BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic), and/or from a low-income household.

This opportunity is open to writers based in Scotland who are not currently represented by a literary agent and who have not yet published or self-published a novel or narrative non-fiction book (e.g. biography or memoir) for the traditional publishing market in the UK. By traditional publishing, we mean professional publishing houses that publish a range of authors and titles each year and then distribute these works via recognised channels such as online retailers and through bookshops.

We are not able to accept pitches for collections of poetry or short fiction; picture books; graphic novels; books which have already been published in another language or in another territory; textbooks; educational materials; academic or reference books.

Download the guidance notes

Our Voices Guidance Notes

Download the guidance notes in PDF format.

Apply online

Applications for Round 3 are now open and will close at 12 noon on Monday 31 January 2022.

Apply online using My Creative Scotland, our online application portal

If you have any access needs related to this application and opportunity, please contact the Literature Team to discuss by emailing ourvoices@creativescotland.com