Here’s a list of some of the most useful organisations for writers in the Highlands and further afield.
Have we missed something? Let us know.
Book Festivals (starting closest to us)
Ness Book Fest
Inverness, October. www.nessbookfest.wordpress.com
Word on the Street
Dingwall, October word-on-the-street.weebly.com
Nairn Book & Arts Festival
Nairn, September nairnfestival.co.uk
Ullapool Book Festival
Ullapool, May www.ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk
Cromarty Crime & Thrillers Weekend
Cromarty, April www.cromartyartstrust.org.uk/crime-and-thrillers.asp
Skye Book Festival
Skye, August/September skyebookfestival.co.uk
Islay Book Festival
Islay, September/October www.islaybookfestival.co.uk
Colonsay Book Festival
Colonsay, April www.colonsaybookfestival.org.uk
Bookshops & cosy places to write around the Highlands
Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness
Scotland’s largest secondhand bookshop. Complete with open log fire and just about any book you could think of. Church St, Inverness IV1 1EY, UK
Waterstones Inverness is the biggest bookshop in the Highlands. As well as a wide range of books, maps and games, the bookshop often runs book launches and signings. 69, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Inverness IV2 3PR
Picaresque Books, Dingwall
Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh is a wonderful little shop on the High Street in Dingwall, full of an eclectic selection of books and artworks. They run events and support a writing community. 55 High Street, Dingwall, IV15 9HL
The Nairn Bookshop
The Nairn Bookshop is located on Nairn High St (at the top of The Brae). The selection includes fiction, non fiction and children’s books, and reading and events are frequent. 94 High St, Nairn IV12 4DE
The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
Someone once said… “I always stay at the Ceilidh Place because it’s the only bookshop I know that has rooms [and a bar!]”. 12-14 W Argyle St, Ullapool IV26 2TY
The Mountain Coffee Company & Hillbillies Bookstore, Gairloch
The Mountain Coffee Company offers a wide range of specialist coffees and delicious baking for visitors and locals alike – attached to the coffee shop is Hillbillies Bookstore, with the widest range of books available for sale in the area. Strath Square, Gairloch, Wester Ross , IV21 2BX
Stromness Books and Prints, Stromness, Orkney
A small shop packed with an eclectic and considered collection of books. Fiction, children’s books, and an excellent range of titles about Orkney and the North. 3 Graham Pl, Stromness KW16 3BY, UK
Research, Libraries & Archives
Highland Archive Centre, Inverness
The Highland Archive Centre at Bught Road, Inverness is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making accessible, archives relating to the history of the Highlands.
National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
The National Library of Scotland is a reference library with world-class collections. It is also Scotland’s largest library and one of the major research libraries in Europe.
Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh
The Scottish Poetry Library is a unique national resource and advocate for the art of poetry, and Scottish poetry in particular.
Writers Groups in the Highlands
Highland Lit Salon
The Highland Literary Salon hold regular meetings in the Inverness, where speakers range from poets to publishers. The members’ organisation also runs retreats.
Black Isle Writers
Black Isle Writers is a forum where people interested in creative writing can meet up, exchange ideas and ask for constructive feedback on their work. Members meet twice a month from September to April. The meetings are led by members themselves, or by an invited speaker.
Stornoway Writers’ Circle
Stornoway Writers’ Circle have a weekly writers meeting on Tuesdays at 7 at An Lanntair.
Skye Reading Room
Skye Reading Room run author events, workshops and collate an anthology of writing from Skye.
As well as the programme of theatre, cinema and exhibitions in Inverness, Eden Court hold regular writing classes and reading groups.
Literature Alliance Scotland
Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) is the collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland, and works for their advancement in every aspect of our national life. LAS is Scotland’s largest network for literature and languages, bringing together writers, publishers, educators, librarians, literature organisations and national cultural bodies.
Highland Youth Arts Hub
The Highland Youth Arts Hub aims to increase access to youth arts activities across the region and across a range of art forms including dance, digital art, drama, film, literature, music and visual art.
The Pushkin Prizes
The Pushkin Prizes in Scotland and St Petersburg is a unique creative writing initiative, established almost 30 years ago by Lady Butter, the great great granddaughter of Alexander Pushkin. The Prizes fulfil her two main objectives – to encourage young people to share their thoughts through the written word, and to enable young writers from St Petersburg and Scotland to meet and work together. The winning writers are invited to attend Pushkin Prize-winners’ Week at Moniack Mhor where they work under the guidance of professional writers and poets.
Scottish Book Trust
The Scottish Book Trust runs a number of programmes to develop and promote readers and writers. Their website is packed with useful content, from reading inspiration to how to submit your novel to an agent.
National Association of Writers in Education
NAWE’s mission is to further knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of Creative Writing and to support good practice in its teaching and learning at all levels. Their website details events, conferences and courses/
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) is a trade union representing professional writers in TV, film, theatre, radio, books, comedy, poetry, animation and videogames. Membership is also open to emerging and aspiring writers.
Abriachan Forest Trust
In 1998 the community purchased 534 hectares of forest and open hill ground from Forest Enterprise. Since then, as a social enterprise, the Abriachan Forest Trust has managed this land to create local employment, improve the environment and encourage it’s enjoyment by the public through a network of spectacular paths, family suited mountain bike trails and innovative education opportunities.