Calling Edinburgh’s new and emerging writers!

Each August Edinburgh City of Literature Trust offers you the chance to read your work at the Edinburgh International Book Festival as part of Story Shop.

Story Shop is a development opportunity and showcase for new and emerging writers based in Edinburgh. Produced by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, it takes place every day – free and unticketed – 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 complete 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, studying or working in or around Edinburgh and have an EH postcode.

Email a short introductory note which includes:

  • your name, mobile phone number and address
  • if/where you have been published before
  • any public readings you have given in the past
  • your availability – available on at least one Edinburgh International Book Festival afternoon between 12th and 28th August 2017
  • a Diversity Declaration – the information listed below is extremely useful in allowing us to measure the diverse range of Story Shop submissions we receive, as well as helping us to build on improving our reach in the coming years of the programme. Declare as far as you are comfortable:
    • gender
    • age
    • sexual orientation
    • disability
    • ethnic origin
  • where you heard about Story Shop

and attach:

  • a Word document of the work that you would hope to read (to come no more than 10 minutes when read aloud, approx. 1500 words). We judge each piece anonymously, so please put the title of the story on your submission, but not your name. You should, of course, include your name on your covering letter.


by midnight on Sunday 4th June 2017.

Successful applicants will be contacted shortly thereafter. Submissions received after the application deadline will not be considered. Any further enquiries should be sent to [email protected].


Writers applying must:

  • live, study or work in or around Edinburgh and have an EH postcode
  • be comfortable speaking in public and with having their performance broadcast across digital platforms
  • be available to appear once between 12-28 August 2016
  • not be part of the EIBF 2017 main printed programme (Unbound participants will be considered)
  • be over 16 years of age

The work submitted must:

  • consist of either one 10 minute piece of prose fiction (approx. 1500 words) or two flash fiction pieces of 4-5 minute each
  • not be published elsewhere
  • not be poetry, drama, picture books or extracts from longer pieces or novels
  • be appropriate for a family audience in a public environment
  • not include staging directions, musical accompaniments or suggestions for audience participation. It’s just you and your words


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 we will prioritise applicants who have not performed at Story Shop in previous years.

Each author featured will receive a small appearance fee, take part in a half-day public speaking workshop, and produce a recording of their work. The recording will be featured on the City of Literature website alongside their piece and biography. Story Shop will be promoted in the Book Festival programme, in the entrance tent screens, and a press release will be issued.



The Emerging Local Writers Programme has seen over a 150 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 2016 section.