The City of Literature Trust is offering you the chance to read your work at the Edinburgh International Book Festival as part of Story Shop this August.

Story Shop is a showcase for new writing and new writers from Edinburgh, produced by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, which takes place every day – for free and un-ticketed – in the Book Festival’s iconic Spiegeltent. Each daily ten-minute slot features a new writer reading either two 4-5 minute ‘flash fiction’ pieces or one 8-10 minute piece of fiction.


Check you are eligible:

The criteria are detailed in the ‘Who Can Apply?’ section below. Note that this programme is only for local emerging talent. You must be living in Edinburgh or come in to the city for your day job or fulltime course.

Email a short introductory note which includes:

  • your name, mobile phone number and address
  • a short introductionary note
  • if/where you have been published before
  • any public readings you have given in the past
  • your availability – available on at least one afternoon between 13th and 29th August 2016

and attach:

  • a Word document of the work which you would hope to read, with the title but without your name


before 9am on Monday 2nd May 2016.

Each piece will be judged on the quality of the writing alone.

Don’t worry about word count, it should be something which fulfils the reading time and the Trust wants just your writing – no staging directions, musical accompaniments or suggestions for audience participation. It’s you and your words.

Successful applicants will be contacted shortly after the deadline. Submissions received after the application deadline cannot be considered.


Writers applying must be:

  • living or working in Edinburgh (in that you come in to the city every day to do a job).
  • comfortable speaking in public and having their performance broadcast across digital platforms
  • not part of the EIBF 2016 main printed programme
  • available to appear once between 13th and 29th August 2016

The work submitted must be:

  • written by you
  • either one piece of fiction or two 4-5 minute ‘flash fiction’
  • unpublished elsewhere before
  • not poetry, drama, picture books or extracts from longer pieces or novels
  • appropriate for a family audience in a public environment


Applications from newly published writers are particularly welcome (published meaning some form of peer reviewed publication – anthology, literary magazine, newspaper, novel or short story collection) but your submission should not have appeared published elsewhere before. Preference may be given to those with experience reading in public, and priority will be given to applicants who have not performed at Story Shop in previous years.

Each author featured will receive a small appearance fee, a half-day public speaking workshop and their work will appear on the City of Literature website. Their event and author biography will feature on the City of Literature website, Story Shop will be promoted via the Book Festival programme and entrance tent screens and a press release will be issued.



The Emerging Local Writers Programme has seen well over a 100 Story Shoppers take to the Edinburgh International Book Festival stage since the first time it was held, back in 2007. Story Shop aims to help these emerging writers in their development and to expose them to a to wider audience.

You can read about some success stories of previous participants Vicki Jarrett, Catherine Simpson and Martin MacInnes.

You can see the most recent writers who appeared at the famous Book festival’s Spiegeltent in the Story Shop 2015 section.