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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 12/08/2022

As part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, we’re highlighting the many ways that Scotland’s tourism industry and cultural organisations have engaged with the Themed Year.

In this case study, Vikki Reilly, Business Development Manager at Publishing Scotland, shares details of their Year of Stories activity, and why they’ve chosen to get involved.

Publishing Scotland Year of Stories promotional image featuring a wall mural
Publishing Scotland Year of Stories promotional image featuring a wall mural
Image credit Publishing Scotland

Can you tell us about Publishing Scotland and what it does?

Publishing Scotland is the trade and network body for the book publishing sector in Scotland, providing support, training, funding and advocacy. We have a large membership of publishers ranging from long-standing institutions to dynamic new indie presses, and run a lot of further projects and partnerships including Scottish Books International, which works on behalf of the literature sector in Scotland and is dedicated to the promotion of books, publishers, writers, festivals and organisations, and Books from Scotland, our sister website which spotlights and celebrates the breadth of brilliant Scottish books in monthly issues.

Why did you decide to get involved in Year of Stories 2022?

Year of Stories as a campaign is an amazing fit for Scotland’s thriving literature sector, offering many opportunities to put the stories created and published in and from Scotland at the fore. We felt the themed year naturally leant itself to books and authors being in the foreground, and so we wanted to use our corner to showcase the publishers and the often invisible or unknown work that goes into bringing stories to life, via our sub-strand ‘Shaping Scotland’s Stories’. Who are the people bringing books into the world? What do they do? We wanted to show how interesting and inspiring the publishing process can be too.

What sorts of activities are you doing to celebrate Year of Stories?

In the spirit of inviting readers behind the scenes into what makes stories, we have been partnering with book festivals across the country and sponsoring events that spotlights our member publishers and their output, ranging from Mick Kitson and Anne Pia and their editors talking through the evolution of their books at Paisley Book Festival, and pairing new crime writers Leela Soma and Ewan Gault at Aberdeen’s Granite Noir, to partnering poet Andrés Ordorica with his editor Rachel Plummer at StAnza Poetry to showcase what goes into taking a collection from its first drafts to a polished manuscript.

We’ve traversed nature writing at Boswell Book Festival, historical fiction at Borders Book Festival and we’ve got more to come, including a new voices showcase at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which will bring together authors and publishers such as Trishna Singh OBE and Fledgling Press, children’s author Corrina Campbell and Little Door Books, and novelist Charlie Roy and Leamington Books, with a performance from poet Anna Cheung to close.

Online, we’re running profiles year-round from our publisher members inviting them to tell their own stories in their own words, highlighting the range of work being published in Scotland. We’re also diving into our members’ backlists to find hidden gems, interviewing a range of authors in line with various monthly sub-themes that we think complement the ethos of Year of Stories.

We’ve also adapted our biannual catalogues which spotlights Scottish books to tie in with the Year of Stories themes and branding – these are available in bookshops, libraries and visitor centres across the country.

All of this will be continuing for the rest of 2022, so we’d love to see you at events, and invite you to come learn more about the amazing work publishers do.

What feedback have you had – has it been worthwhile taking part?

In terms of visibility, we’ve had feedback that Publishing Scotland’s been a consistent face when it comes to Year of Stories and that’s really our goal – publishers are often working behind the scenes and, rightfully, the authors and their work get all the attention, so for us it has been worthwhile to really point the focus on those that are often behind the scenes working collaboratively to make it happen. This is all work that Publishing Scotland did before, and will continue to do, but the Year of Stories has offered a real spotlight for 2022 that has allowed us to further celebrate publishing as part of something larger.

Would you recommend that other organisations take part in a Themed Year?

Definitely. The Themed Year has given a real focus on stories in their many forms and has allowed Publishing Scotland to channel the vast annual output we already undertake through this lens – whether adapting our catalogues to celebrate the Year of Stories, or giving new opportunities and ideas to spotlight the work our membership do. It’s been great to see how the themed year has grown and taken its own form in other organisations, and we have enjoyed being part of it. You can keep up to date with all of our Year of Stories work at

Publishing Scotland Year of Stories promotional image featuring highland cows against a backdrop of hills and blue skies
Publishing Scotland Year of Stories promotional image featuring highland cows against a backdrop of hills and blue skies
Image credit Publishing Scotland

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