The Scots Language Centre are launching a new website with guidance for learning to write in Scots with support from the Scottish Government.

It will be launched on the 3rd September at 7pm and will include original creative responses to the value of literacy in Scots produced by a some of the most established and accomplished Scots writers and performers, including Antonia Uri, Christie Williamson, Emma Grae, Gerda Stevenson, Iona Fyfe, Martin Travers, Michael Dempster, Morna Young and Susi Briggs.

Inspired by the controversy surrounding Scots Wikipedia in August 2020, where it was discovered the majority of content was written by a person with little experience of spoken Scots, The Scots Language Centre acted upon the desire by many to actively encourage Scots speakers to use their language in writing.

From September 2020, the Scots Language Centre, and the assembled writers, worked with Dr Sara Thomas from Wikimedia UK to provide writing support for Scots Wikipedia volunteer editors during their ‘Editathon’ weekends.


During this project the artists came together with The Scots Language Centre Education Officer, Laura Green, to produce a document that provides support and guidance in writing for those people who can speak Scots but may lack confidence or experience in writing it.

 Scots Warks: Support and Guidance is now available for free on scotslanguage.com in English with a Scots translation provided by The SLC’s Information Officer, Dr Dauvit Horsbroch.

Each of the contributing artists has produced an original work in response to the theme Literacy in Scots, which will premier this Friday night, September 3rd, at 7pm. 

The works, including their written text will be permanently available on https://www.scotslanguage.com/scots-warks. As part of this project Morna Young produced two responses, one of which was developed by Mull Theatre as part of their Braw Tales series into the Edinburgh Short Film Festival 2021 Official Selection – Stella. With kind permission, this will also be shown on Friday.

Scots Wikipedia volunteer editor Marco Cafolla has supported and organised the volunteer community throughout the project and has won the UK Wikimedian of the Year award for their efforts.

Scots Language Links:

Premier of SCOTS WARKS on https://www.youtube.com/c/ScotsLanguageCentreFriday 3rd September @ 7pm
Premier of SCOTS WARKS : In Conversation on https://www.youtube.com/c/ScotsLanguageCentreSaturday 4th September @ 7pm
The warks will thereafter be permanently available at https://www.scotslanguage.com/scots-warks
Hashtags #ScotsWarks #WriteInScots

Contributors’ Comments:

Dr Michael Dempster, Director of The Scots Language Centre commented:
“Writin in oor language haes a continuous seiven hunner year tradition an A’m hairtened tae see sae monie fowk continuin it the day. Scots Warks haes been sic a braw experience bringin thegither sae monie participants an braw airtists fae aw the dialects tae tak sic a deep luik at the challenges an sheer joy o writin Scots. A walcome aw tae jyne us in watchin oor showcase premier, an luik forret tae fowk enjoyin an benefittin fae the legacy o this project fir years tae come.”

Laura Green, The Scots Language Centre’s Education Officer commented:
“We are gey pleased tae hae a haun in developin a resource that will help, guide, an inspire folk tae write in their ain leid. Scots speakers, as weel as folk that are new tae the leid, are sure tae find it usefu an engagin.

Dr Sara Thomas, Scotland Programme Coordinator, Wikimedia UK commented:
“We’ve been helping the Scots Wiki community run Wikipedia editing events for the last year, and we’re really grateful for the SLC’s assistance.  The resources available on #ScotsWarks will help more folk to feel confident to #WriteInScots, and we’d love to see those folk come and help build Scots Wikipedia.”

Antonia Uri, Journalist, and Scots Warks contributor commented:
“Taking part in this project matters to me because I want to help make it easier for others to turn their love for speaking Scots into one for writing Scots, without facing the same issues that I have along the way. The more people that can confidently write in Scots, the richer the Scots’ discourse.”

Christie Williamson, Poet, and Scots Warks contributor commented:
Wis a proper joy ta be involved in dis project – mairryin da meticulous rigour o Dr Dempster’s intellect wi a famous catch o artistic temperaments. A’m ay kent at Scots wirks – ScotsWarks, no afore time shaa’s a glimpse o da breadth an depth awppin tae readers, spaekirs an writers at keen an loue dat tongue. “

Emma Grae, Author, Journalista, nd Scots Warks contributor commented:
“Growin up, ah felt muckle shame aboot speakin in ma ain, natural Scots vyce, let alane writin in it, but ah’m gled that’s nae langer the case – an ah hope tae inspire ithers tae dae the same.”

Gerda Stevenson, Actor, Director, Writer, Singer, and Scots Warks contributor commented:
“Mony braw thanks tae the Scots Language Centre fur giein me sic a walcome chance tae range aboot the braes an hauchs o ma imaigination wi yon bi-ordinar scriever o ingine, ma fellow Borderer, James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd.”
Iona Fyfe, Scottish Folksinger, and Scots Warks contributor commented:
“Tae be gien the opportunity tae explore ma ain sangscrievin, create new music an hae meaninfu discussion wi fellow sangster, Christy Scott, the projeck his allowed me tae release high quality studio versions o twa new sangs – ane thit I scrieved mysel and ane, a translation o a pop sang. The projeck allowed me tae luik intae my ain literacy o Scots an wark on impruivin my ain spellin and readin in the Scots leid. My new single, The Cauld, is oot on 10th Septemmer. Pre-saving is live the noo:  https://threads.lnk.to/cauld “

Martin Travers, Playwright, Founding member of Braw Clan (Scotland’s first Scots Language Performance Company),and Scots Warks contributor commented:
“Scots is like Green Energy fir oor mynds an oor sauls. A howp yer the same as us an canna git eneuch ae hit. Gif yer wantin tae scribe an blether in Scots ettle tae git hit richt. Uise SCOTS WIRKS – ‘at’s whit hit’s thare fir!A’m wantin tae thank the michty Dani Heron, Urbancroft, Laura an Michael at the Scots Language Centre, an ae coorse ma freends an fallae airtists ‘at war pairt ae pittin SCOTS WIRKS thegither. Hit’s buin barrie tae git tae ken yese aw. “

Morna Young, Writer, Actress, Musician, and Scots Warks contributor commented:
“I’m gey chuft tae be a pairt o ‘Scots Warks’, alangside sic a wunnerfu collective o airtists fae aa ower Scotland. Ivery vyce includit in the makin o this resource is addin tae oor history. A story is foriver, an ilka ‘Scots Warks’ piece is a vital pairt o the Scots legacy. Ivery airtist’s vyce is unique – ma tongue, fae Burghead, is different tae a quine fae the next toon, an a loon fae the toon efter that. We aa spik oor ain wye, an ivery scriever is helpin add tae a cannon o wark that captures sic dialect diversity. Ma ain piece, ‘The Twa Chrisses’, draws oan ma North East upbring an love o ‘Sunset Song’, an I’m fair-tricket tae hiv spent time wi ain o ma literary heroquines.”

Susi Briggs, Writer, Storyteller, and Scots Warks contributor commented:
“Whit a blessing it has been tae wark alangside ither Scots language scrievers an activists. The project itsel has shown tae me that I’m no alane in my endeavours tae gaither in my ain sense o Scots literacy. That’s a comfort tae me an validates my identity as a scriever in Scots language. “

(Press Release fae the Scots Language Centre)

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Scots Radio.

You have Successfully Subscribed!