Spring Fling x Wigtown Book Festival

Writer-in-Residence 2019


Wigtown Festival Company (the organisation which delivers Wigtown Book Festival) and Upland Arts Development CIC (the organisation which delivers Spring Fling Open Studios) are seeking to appoint a writer-in-residence at Spring Fling Open Studios (May 2019). The writer appointed will also be expected to take part in Wigtown Book Festival 2019.

This will be the third time that Wigtown Book Festival has worked with Spring Fling to offer an opportunity for a writer-in-residence at the May open studios event. The new residency is intended to deepen the creative relationship between the two organisations and to appeal to audiences of both events.


In 1998 Wigtown became Scotland's National Book Town. Since then this small, previously neglected town in Dumfries & Galloway, south-west Scotland, has been revitalised and become a destination for book-lovers, while its book festival has grown into one of the best-loved autumn arts gatherings in the UK.

The festival now has an audience of more than 29,000. In 2018 the WFC was awarded the Sunday Herald Cultural Event of the Year & the Scottish Thistle Award Regional Winner for Innovation in Tourism. The Wigtown Book Festival also includes a Children’s Festival and a Young Person’s Festival. The festival is run by the Wigtown Festival Company, a charitable company limited by guarantee. Further details can be found at www.wigtownbookfestival.com.

Spring Fling is a vibrant visual art and craft open studios event covering the length and breadth of Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland; it is highly regarded as one of the UK’s most successful contemporary visual art and craft events.

In Autumn 2015, Spring Fling CIC evolved to become Upland CIC, a bold, ambitious, world-class rural based visual art and craft development organisation. Spring Fling is Upland's flagship event.

Dumfries and Galloway; inspiring, vibrant and buzzing with creativity is well recognised as a haven for artists and makers and Spring Fling has helped put the region on the national and international cultural map. Further details can be found at www.spring-fling.co.uk and www.weareupland.com

The Residency

We are seeking to appoint a writer-in-residence for Spring Fling Open Studios 2019 (25-27 May) on the theme of “in conversation” to tie in with the Year of Conversation, including but not limited to dialogue between generations and translation. The resident will be expected to attend all three days of Spring Fling, visit artists’ studios, network with artists and visitors, deliver three workshops, and to create new work inspired by the Spring Fling, its setting, participants and audience. Public engagement - which includes engagement with the artists and makers taking part in Spring Fling – is strongly encouraged. Importantly, candidates are also urged to propose original ways to present their work to as wide an audience as possible.

The successful candidate will also be required to attend part of the 2019 Wigtown Book Festival (27 September – 6 October) to deliver up to two further workshops and present the new work created. We strongly recommend that applicants learn more about both Spring Fling Open Studios and Wigtown Book Festival before applying.

Applications are invited from writers with a track record working in any medium, eg fiction, creative non-fiction, theatre, poetry. We welcome proposals from writers using social media and digital media as part of their work. The successful candidate will be expected to use social media to promote their residency, for example through blogging, Twitter, Facebook.

The above guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive. Applicants will be granted leeway to shape the residency and to interpret it imaginatively. Above all, we are looking for originality, engagement and a demonstration of creative excellence.

The resident writer will be supported by Anne Barclay from Wigtown Festival Company and Joanna Macaulay from Upland CIC. During the Spring Fling event Upland staff will be dispersed across the region during the event weekend, and the writer must be prepared to work independently across the studios.

The Fee

The successful applicant will receive a fee of £2,000, to include any travel costs both during Spring Fling 2019 and Wigtown Book Festival 2019.

Accommodation will be provided free of charge during both Spring Fling and Wigtown Book Festival. This residency will involve travelling to various venues across the region where public transport links are not regular and therefore we would expect the resident writer to have their own car. 

The writer will be given a free pass to Wigtown Book Festival events, according to availability and by prior arrangement with Wigtown Book Festival.


If you would like to apply for this residency, we would request the following:

· Three examples of your work of not more than 500 words each

· A statement about your work to date (not more than 400 words)

· An up-to-date CV, plus web links to published work not included in the CV

· Up to 500 words (maximum) about how you would approach the residency, what you would propose to produce by the end of the residency and details of any relevant experience

Applications must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 8th January. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by Thursday 10th January and will be expected to attend a brief interview on Monday 14th January in Wigtown, for which expenses will be paid, providing these are reasonable and agreed in advance. Interviews may also be conducted by Skype.

Please email your application to Anne Barclay, Operational Director of Wigtown Festival Company:  anne@wigtownbookfestival.com.

This is a partnership between Upland and Wigtown Festival Company