Communications Manager

November 18, 2011


The Scottish Poetry Library is a dynamic organisation, a unique national resource and advocate for poetry. We are expanding our team over the next few months, and are initially looking for a Communications Manager to start in January. This will be a full-time post, based at the SPL in Edinburgh, working with the team to enhance the SPL’s profile and to bring people and poetry together.


  • to develop and manage the SPL’s communications strategy
  • to ensure that our social media maintains and expands its high profile: managing the blog, communicating via Twitter, Facebook and Flickr
  • to manage the website – maintenance, creation of content, commissioning
  • to manage communications generally: with press, radio, television, other organisations
  • to manage communications with our audience specifically e.g. a weekly email
  • to assist in marketing the events programme
  • to assist with the creation of regular podcasts
  • to edit the Poetry Reader twice a year
  • to act as liaison for and diary assistant to the Makar, Liz Lochhead
  • to communicate the Makar’s activities to the general public and stakeholders

Essential skills

  • A graduate with a wide knowledge of and enthusiasm for poetry
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Time-management skills, and an ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to take the initiative as well as work collaboratively
  • Significant experience in social media and communications
  • Attention to detail


  • £20,000 per annum starting salary


 See the attached background information for a general description of the SPL’s work:  SPL background for CM post

If you wish to proceed with an application, please send your CV with an accompanying letter, setting out your reasons for applying for this post and drawing attention to particularly relevant qualifications.

Please let us know where you found out about this post.

Referees’ names should be included but references will only be taken up in the event of your being selected for the post.

Applications should be addressed to:

Dr Robyn Marsack, Director, Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DT

and emailed to:

The closing date is midnight 4 December 2011.

We expect to interview short-listed candidates on 12 December.

Fancy working at the wonderful Robert Burns Birthplace Museum? This from Nat Edwards, director.


We are currently recruiting for a new Learning Manager at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, to replace Alison Burke, who is leaving us for pastures new (well, castles old, to be precise) in the North East.

This is a great opportunity for someone to help shape our learning and public programmes; to build on the excellent work already done by Alison and her team in establishing an education service at the museum; to develop new audiences and particularly further develop its potential as a centre for Scots literature, culture and language as well as a cultural hub within the community.

More about the job here:

Invitation to tender

March 25, 2011

The Scottish Poetry Library and the Scottish Storytelling Centre are working on pilot projects in Edinburgh to bring oral culture and the power of memory and social connection to carehome residents and senior groups. We use stories, songs and poetry, with the help of trained volunteers and professional storytellers, across several different projects. We aim to develop this work as a single, well-resourced and sustainable model for delivery on a national scale, ideally in partnership with care or health organisations.

We are inviting applications to tender for research and recommendations on how we can best develop this work. It is crucial that the consultant has influential contacts with, and can think strategically across, social and healthcare policy as well as arts. This research is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Creative Scotland.

Tender submission by Tues 12 April.  Please see full brief below, and please contact Lilias Fraser to discuss any further queries,, 0131 557 2876.

Download: Invitation to tender (word document).


Creative Scotland is now accepting applications for the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship 2011. The fellowship enables up to three writers to spend up to six weeks at the Hotel Chevillon in Grez Sur Loing, France.

Completed applications should be submitted no later than Monday 4th April 2011 to Emma Turnbull, Creative Scotland, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG. Guidelines can be downloaded from the Creative Scotland website.

The closing date for applications is Monday 4th April.

Details of the new Callum Macdonald Memorial Award are now available. There has been a change to the prize awarded:

The prize

The publisher of the winning pamphlet will receive a cheque for £750 and will hold the Callum Macdonald Quaich for 12 months.

The judges may also wish to award a runner-up prize.

The poet of the winning pamphlet in 2011 will be eligible for a separate prize, supported by the award’s sponsors, as the Michael Marks Poet in Residence for two weeks in July 2011 at Harvard University’s summer school in Greece.

You can download a pdf copy from the CMMA link on the website or obtain a copy from the NLS.


Mary Bourne, who carved the oak leaf pavement outside our building (left, in snow) is now working on an arts-based countryside interpretation project with the local Primary School and Path Network charity in Dufftown. They wish to recruit a writer. Please see further details below.

Mortlach Story Walks, March 2011

Deadline for submission 14th Jan 2011

Mortlach Story Walks is a partnership project between Mortlach Primary School, Dufftown, Moray and the Speyside Paths Network Group to produce arts-based interpretation for the countryside around Dufftown.

Opportunity 1: Writer to work with Primaries 2, 4, and 7 on text for 3 “Story Walk” leaflets.  Also work with children on brief poetic texts to be integrated into interpretative sculptures.  10 days @ £150 per day

Opportunity 2: Visual Artist working in 2d (photographer, glass artist, printmaker etc) to work with Primaries 1, 3 and 5 to produce visual artworks for public buildings within the town which celebrate the local countryside. 15 days @ £150 + £2000 materials budget

Opportunity 3: Artist/designer to work with Primaries 2, 4 and 7 on Story Walk leaflet designs and Primary 6 on a fold out poster/map and templates for information boards and way markers. 14 days @ £150 + printing budget

Practitioners can apply for more than one opportunity and collaborative applications are also welcome.

For a brief and application details contact: Mortlach Primary School, York Street, Dufftown, Keith AB55 4AU

Email: tel 01340 820268

If you would like to discuss the project, please contact project co-ordinator Mary Bourne on 01340 821162

Hark, writer pals!

Moniack Mhor – The Jessie Kesson Fellowship

1st– 27th March 2011



JOB DESCRIPTION – Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre are offering a unique opportunity for a published fiction writer to spend a month at the centre to dedicate time developing their own work.  The writer in residence will work a minimum of two sessions a week with the local community by sharing their expertise through workshops in schools.  The writer will be expected to participate in a literary evening event either as part of a ceilidh setting or at a designated local venue.

Moniack Mhor is a residential facility dedicated to the furtherance of literature in Scotland and beyond, it runs creative writing courses in partnership with the Arvon Foundation.

SALARY – £350 stipend per week and travel expenses.

DEADLINE – 29th November 2011

CONTACT DETAILS – Tel: 01463 741675              





April 2010 (minimum length of one month)

Unpaid, 25 hrs / week (preferably 1-6pm Mon-Fri, negotiable)

The SPL is offering a short-term library assistant internship position. This position will provide an excellent opportunity for a recently qualified Information and Library Studies graduate to gain CV experience and to receive practical training. In return the successful candidate will make a valuable contribution to the day-to-day work of a special library. To learn more about the work of the SPL, please visit and


–          based at reception, dealing with visitors, calls and enquiries

–          managing circulation, assisting borrowers, shelving

–          general administrative assistance

–          new acquisitions processing, some cataloguing (training will be given in MARC21)

–          assisting with events programme and public campaigns

–          occasional special projects and assisting Librarian and Assistant Librarian when needed

Essential skills/qualities

–          a recent Information & Library Studies post-graduate qualification, or current enrolment on a distance learning programme

–          a friendly, helpful manner (this is a frontline position dealing with the public)

–          IT skills (although specific training will be given where necessary)

–          ability to multi-task

Desirable skills/qualities

–          knowledge of Scottish literature, and an interest in poetry

To apply, please send, by email, a covering letter explaining why you are applying for the internship, together with a CV to Julie Johnstone, Librarian, Scottish Poetry Library

T: 0131 557 2876 F: 0131 557 8393

Closing date: Friday 19 March 2010 | Interviews will be held for this post.

Our pals up the road at the Scottish Book Trust have asked us to flag up these opportunities.

Screen Lab

You are currently writing short stories, novels or plays. Ever wondered what it takes to write for Film and TV? After the success of last year’s course, Scottish Book Trust is pleased to announce the launch of Screen Lab 2010. Screen Lab will show you exactly what it takes to break into one of the most competitive and lucrative areas of writing and will also include a day on adaptation. Screen Lab is led by award winning writer and director Adrian Mead, who will take you through the realities of the script development process and the strategy you need to adopt in order to break into the industry.

Application Deadline: Thursday 4th February

Dates: Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th February
Cost: Screen Lab is completely free of charge to successful applicants

Find out more

Writers in Schools: a three way mentoring programme

Scottish Book Trust is seeking a professional writer, interested in developing their skills in delivering sessions, projects and residencies within a school setting. The successful applicant will be paired with a writer with experience in delivering school projects, as well teacher to carry out a six session residency which will take place over a period agreed by the participating school and writers. The purpose of this initiative is to give writers with little or no experience of delivering classroom projects the opportunity to work with a mentor with an established track record of working in schools, as well as developing good practice models for effective schools projects.

Application Deadline: Friday 5th February
Cost: Successful applicants will not have to pay for this opportunity and will be paid Live Literature Funding rates for the residency
Find out more

A consultant is required to carry out a feasibility study into developing the Poetry Garden in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

Summary: The Scottish Poetry Library, on behalf of the Poetry Garden in St Andrew Square Steering Group, wishes to appoint a consultant to carry out a feasibility study into the proposed development from 2010-2013 of Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square as a space for poetry in the heart of the city.

Growing the Poetry Garden
St Andrew Square, recently opened to the public for the first time in generations, has been officially designated as a place for poetry in the heart of Edinburgh, first UNESCO City of Literature. Already the Garden features poems on the glass of the Coffee Republic pavilion and on surrounding buildings, and occasional poetry events.
The Poetry Garden Steering Group proposes to further develop poetry in St Andrew Square and to establish the Garden as an oasis of imagination. We want to bring people into the Garden to discover poetry in the heart of a vibrant literary city, to enrich the experience of those visiting the Garden, and to stimulate the people’s enjoyment of poetry. The  feasibility study will provide a blueprint for this development.

The successful applicant will:

  • Identify potential sources of support and involvement, in cash and in kind, that will enable us to carry out our three-year plan for the Poetry Garden
  • Suggest funding model/s, encompassing corporate sponsorship and public funding
  • Identify businesses, community/arts/funding organisations, and individuals with whom we can develop relationships with a view to securing support for the garden
  • Identify needs of potential funders and recommended methods of approach to secure funding
  • Identify potential barriers to success
  • Make recommendations as to how the steering group should develop and how the Poetry Garden project should be run long-term

The successful applicant will have excellent business and cultural contacts within Edinburgh, extensive knowledge of arts funding sources including corporate, public and trust funding, and a proven track record in conducting feasibility studies and delivering project outcomes.

Interested applicants should email Jane Alexander,, for full details including fee and timescales, consultancy brief and the Poetry Garden three-year development plan.

Deadline for expressions of interest and intended approach: Tuesday 13 October 2009.