Useful links and on-line resources for the professional creative sector.

Links to a range of organisations, networks and resources offering support, opportunities and information.

Creative Networks - National

Applied Arts Scotland Membership organisation offering professional development and networking opportunities to craftspeople and makers based in Scotland.

Scottish Fashion Creative Network is a member led organisation aimed to help the growth of individuals and businesses working in the fashion industry in Scotland.

Scottish Film Talent Network offers new and emerging filmmakers significant support for individual film projects and professional development.

Scottish Contemporary Arts Network (SCAN) is a member led network committed to championing and supporting the contemporary art sector in Scotland. They deliver a programme of advocacy, information sharing and networking, professional development and research activities with and on behalf of members.

Central Station is a creative social network. If you make work, Central Station is a community where you can talk to peers and showcase yourself. It's also a place where you can find opportunities.

Creative Networks - South of Scotland

Borders Writers Forum  A website devoted to the very best contemporary writing from the Scottish Borders. By contemporary we mean writers living and working in the Scottish Borders. The Forum organises workshops, writers' visits, and readings throughout the year.

Moving Image Makers Collective (MIMC) A dynamically evolving group of film and moving image creatives who are based in the Scottish Borders - if you feel you would like to explore this filmmaking medium you are welcome to join us.

Extending Practice Group  an informal friendly gathering of professional creative practitioners from different art forms that meet once a month to share and extend our practice.

Crossing Borders promotes artists and craft makers from the Scottish Borders and north Northumberland.

Sound Cycle is the Youth Borders Music Forum. It aims to reinvigorate the youth music scene throughout the Borders and provide more opportunities for anyone with an interest in music in any form.

The Scottish Borders Business Forum represents forty-plus associations, enabling industry to speak with one voice within and outwith the Scottish Borders. Its purpose is to give critical mass to the diverse spectrum of Borders businesses, permitting credible dialogue with decision-makers and influence-formers in Newtown St Boswells, Holyrood, Westminster, and other appropriate quarters.

Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce ‘the voice of Borders Business’ the SB Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of members to all levels of government. They welcome businesses of all sizes and encourage business cooperation through networking events and by publicising local and national business events run by others.

The Stove Network – Dumfries is a membership, artist-led organisation based in Dumfries and are a means for the creative community to play a role in the future of their region.

 DG Unlimited DG Unlimited is a membership organisation which promotes and supports the phenomenal creativity of the fabulous region of south west Scotland. DG Unlimited are an independent charity with hundreds of members and supporters across the region, from every area of arts and cultural activity and interest.

Upland  is a bold, ambitious, rural-based visual art and craft development organisation based in Dumfries & Galloway, South West Scotland. As well as supporting individual practitioners, they deliver the flagship Open Studios event Spring Fling.

Events and Festivals

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is an international festival of experimental film and artists’ moving image in held annually in Hawick. Alchemy Film & Arts was founded in 2010 and as well as the festival they support residencies and installations of moving image work. The festival brings together an imaginative mix of screenings, events and talks.

Borders Book Festival is an annual celebration of books in the Scottish Borders.  Taking place in Melrose in June it is four wonderful days of talks, discussions, food and drink, live music, comedy and more for all the family.

Borders Heritage Festival is a yearly celebration of heritage in the Scottish Borders every September. In 2017 it will celebrate innovation, architecture and design through a wide range of walks, talks, theatre, exhibitions and living history.

Beyond Borders 2017 is an international festival of literature and thought based in Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders. Beyond Borders is dedicated to facilitating dialogue and international cultural exchange between nations.

Creative Coathanger is an annual showcase of creativity in the Scottish Borders. In 2016 it supported creative events and activities in the towns of Galashiels and Selkirk and aspires to continue to contribute to the regeneration of the High Streets in the Scottish Borders.

Creative Peebles Festival Over a period of 10 days in late summer, this small but incredibly creative Borders town celebrates the work of its many artists, arts groups, musicians, poets, filmmakers and craftspeople. As well as indoor performances and workshops, there are opportunities to explore the fascinating history, architecture, nature and landscape of Peebles and around through a series of talks, walks and tours.

Denholm Folk Festival A wee folk festival for a wee village. The weekend's programme includes evening concerts, workshops and an open stage competition. The main events are joined by continual sessions for uninterrupted foot-tapping.

Innerleithen Music Festival is an established Celtic music festival based in Innerleithen, that augments its line-up of local musicians, sessions, traditional singing, street events and workshops with international stars.

Newcastleton Traditional Music Festival Newcastleton is probably the longest running traditional music festival in Scotland and has essentially maintained the same successful format since its inception in 1970.

Riverside Rock is a premier music festival held annually in Jedburgh with something for everyone old and young with music from rock to traditional.

Spring Fling – is a vibrant visual art and craft open studios covering the length and breadth of Dumfries and Galloway in late May each year.  It is widely regarded as one of the UK’s most successful contemporary visual and craft events.  In Autumn 2015 the Spring Fling CIC evolved to become Upland CIC, Dumfries and Galloway’s leading arts development organisation supporting artists and makers year round. Spring Fling is Upland's Flagship Event.

Stowed Out is a family friendly boutique music and arts festival held annually in August in Stow.  It aims to showcase a high quality diverse line up of music, spoken word and arts that is sometimes challenging but always entertaining.


Moving Image Makers Collective are a dynamically evolving group of film and moving image creatives based in the Scottish Borders. The Collective meets once a month at various locations around the Borders to present new work for peer feedback, as well as inviting specialist speakers and filmmakers to share their skills with the group and screen their own work.

Alchemy Film and Arts exists to champion the development of independent arts and film related projects in the Scottish Borders and Scotland as a whole. It aims to advance the arts, by the practice, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of visual arts and film.

Film Hub Scotland - As part of the BFI's Film Audience Network, Film Hub Scotland are one of nine Hubs set up across the UK to extend film choice, increase and broaden film audiences, and enhance opportunities for audiences to engage with and learn about film. They provide Hub members with a range of funding opportunities, screening programmes, training, networking events and audience research, helping Scotland's exhibitors become truly inclusive, reaching as many new and existing audiences as possible.

LUX Scotland LUX Scotland is an agency with an international remit to support and promote artists working with moving image in Scotland.

Scottish Borders Community Filmmaking Initiative will guide interested Scottish Borders residents through the filmmaking process, using both conventional and non-conventional filmmaking practices.

Screen Academy Scotland - Screen Academy Scotland is a collaboration between Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College of Art, dedicated to fostering the future of film makers. From film, TV, animation, photography, journalism and acting, their aim is to allow talent to thrive whilst equipping students with the knowledge and hands-on experience they need to become skilled, confident and employable graduates. SAS is one of only three Film Academies (along with the London Film School and the National Film and Television School) in the UK recognised by Creative Skillset as a centre of excellence in film practice education. Since it was established in 2005 Screen Academy Scotland, has helped over 200 writers, directors, producers and animators to make their mark on the page, on the set and on the screen.

Key Organisations and Agencies

Creative Scotland is the national leader for Scotland's arts, screen and creative industries. Creative Scotland’s website also has links to a number of Professional Resources, including guidance and toolkits and information about Research both by Creative Scotland and across the Cultural Sector. You can also sign up for their Opportunities Newsletter.

Craft Scotland is the national agency for craft. They work to unite, inspire and champion craft in Scotland. Craft Scotland create opportunities for Scottish makers to exhibit, sell and promote their work and for the public to see, purchase and learn about craft. 

Cultural Enterprise Office is Scotland's specialist business support and development service for creative businesses and practitioners. Their website hosts a comprehensive collection of Resources to help you and your creative business.

6274 Public Art are one of Scotland’s leading public art commission agencies. They work with local councils, regeneration companies and private companies to transform open spaces within the public realm into eye-catching artwork projects.

Voluntary Arts Scotland works to promote and increase active participation in creative activities across Scotland. They provide news and information about funding, good practice resources and consultations.

Wasps Artists' Studios is an award-winning charity which provides affordable studio space to support visual artists working in Scotland.

Nesta is an independent charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. They provide investments and grants and mobilise research

Creative & Cultural Skills are a campaigning organisation championing youth employment and fair access. Their mission is to give young people opportunities to work and learn in the creative industries, to ensure that employers benefit from a skilled generation of talent and to help the creative industries continue on a course of economic growth. There are a number of useful tools and resources on their website.

Federation of Scottish Theatre is the development body for professional dance, opera and theatre in Scotland, bringing together the sector to speak with a collective voice, to share resources and expertise and to promote collaborative working. They provide information on Research and Resources on their website.

Creative Carbon Scotland believe that arts and culture have an essential role in achieving the transformational change to a sustainable future. They share information on opportunities, run projects and hold resources on their website. You can also sign up for their newsletter.

Make Works Scotland is an open resource made by dedicated factory finders where you can discover skilled manufacturers, tools and materials to make work in your area.

Magazines and Online Resources

Aesthetica Magazine is a British art and culture magazine.  Founded in 2002 it covers photography, visual art, music, film and theatre.

a-n The Artists Information Company offers fast routes into an information-rich resource that's relevant to all engaged in the visual arts. Its in-depth features and content along with the Communities areas are designed to represent the multiple voices and wide range of activities and industry insights within contemporary visual arts.

Source is a quarterly magazine of contemporary photography. They publish emerging photographic work and engage with the latest in contemporary photography through news, features and reviews.

ArtRabbit is a platform for international contemporary art exhibitions and events. 

Axisweb is an independent charity, a platform and network supporting the development sharing and showcasing of contemporary art practice.



Music Glue is a specialist e-commerce platform for the music business. They enable fans to buy music, merchandise, tickets and experiences directly from artists in one simple transaction. Artists, managers, labels, merchandisers and promoters can use Music Glue to control their online presence and commerce with ease. 

Sentric Music is an independent music publisher which is home to over 80000 songwriters at all stages of their careers. It was founded to reduce the complication and confusion that surrounds music publishing and give every songwriter/catalogue owner the infrastructure to collect royalties. 

Hands Up for Trad Tour Directory – a website that is free to use for everyone. If you are a venue, a promotor or festival you can add your listing to the directory.

Sound Cycle is the Youth Borders Music Forum. It aims to reinvigorate the youth music scene throughout the Borders and provide more opportunities for anyone with an interest in music in any form.

Wide Days Wide Days was launched in 2010 and is Scotland’s only music-business convention.  

Social Media

Your Mailing List Provider manages mailing lists and sign ups and offers many different packages including some free packages for smaller mailing lists.

TweetDeck is your personal browser for staying in touch with what's happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and many more.

Pay with a Tweet In today’s world the value of people talking about your product is sometimes higher than the money you would get for it. ‘Pay with a Tweet’ is the first social payment system, where people pay with the value of their social network. It’s simple, every time somebody pays with a tweet, he or she tells all their friends about the product. Boom.

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. A home for film, music, art, theater, games, comics, design, photography, and more.


Scottish Artists Union - the pre-eminent representative voice for visual and applied artists in Scotland. Website carries information on policy and also recommended rates of pay for artists. Members gain access to discounts and complimentary Public Liability Insurance.

The Musicians’ Union is a globally-respected organisation which represents over 30,000 musicians working in all sectors of the music business.

The Writers' Guild of Great Britain supports writers across media including books, film, online, radio, theatre, TV and videogames. We campaign for writers and negotiate agreements to secure the best possible pay and conditions. Membership is open to writers of all levels of experience.

Venues and Organisations offering opportunities

Cove Park is an international centre based in Scotland for the arts and creative industries and has an annual programme of residencies for national and international artists working in all art forms to undertake research and develop new projects.

VARC Visual Arts in Rural Communities is based at Highgreen, Tarset, Northumberland. VARC  funds and manages an on-going programme of twelve-month residencies for visual artists and projects with special schools. Through the residencies it aims to offer opportunities to artists to develop new work in response to the remote rural landscape and its community

Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre in the heart of Peebles in the Scottish Borders is a vibrant, busy, well-loved hub for live performances, films, classes and exhibitions.

Eyemouth Hippodrome The Hippodrome is an arts space where people of all ages can meet to enjoy theatre, music, exhibitions, poetry and film in the picturesque fishing town of Eyemouth.

Heart of Hawick is an arts and culture led regeneration project, designed to make a substantial contribution to the social, cultural and economic well-being of Hawick and the wider Borders includes Tower Mill, Heritage Hub and Borders Textile Towerhouse.

Mac Arts  is a fantastic and vibrant community and performance venue in the centre of Galashiels.


The Writer’s Compass is a professional development service for writers. It brings together NAWE's professional development programme with the free information and advice services for all writers formerly offered by literature training.

First Writer is every writer's indispensable internet resource. This site aims to provide you with all the information you need as you progress in your writing career.

David Godwin Associates is a leading literary agency, founded in 1995 by David and Heather Godwin. We represent an exciting and varied list of international writers, including novelists, poets, biographers, historians and journalists.

The Writing Room - Are you serious about writing? So are we. Get in touch for a clear, honest opinion of your work and creative advice on how to take it forward to the next level. Maggie McKernan, one of the UK's top book editors, founded the Writing Room with the aim of making the very best professional editorial assistance available to all writers who seek it, whether they have been published before or not.

Scottish Poetry Library is a unique national resource centre of recognised excellence for poetry.

Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland is Scotland’s only arts organisation exclusively dedicated to the long-term support, development and promotion of the nation’s playwrights.

Traverse Theatre has a history of working with some of the most adventurous playwrights from Scotland and around the world.  They work with playwrights at every stage of their career, reading and feeding back on scripts, hosting play development workshops, commissioning new work and providing one-to-one meetings between writers and members of their Artistic team.

BBC Writersroom is at the heart of storytelling: Nurturing originality, creativity and craft. BBC Writersroom Scotland was launched in early 2017 and aims, alongside the rest of BBC Writersroom across the UK, to champion new and experienced writing talent, to support and develop writers so that they can go and create brilliant stories for the audience.

The Society of Authors is a trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers.

Writers Guild is a trade union representing professional writers in TV, film, theatre, radio, books, poetry, animation and videogames.

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity which believes books, reading and writing have the power to change lives. Their Writer Development team nurtures Scotland’s writing talent with bursaries, mentoring and professional development to ensure that creative opportunities are open to people of all backgrounds.

Pentland Writers Group was formed in 2000 by a number of people of varying levels of expertise in prose, poetry and playwriting.  Its aims are to raise the profile of literature locally, and to encourage writers to develop their skills.

Indie Books and Illustrators in the Scottish Borders  Publishing your own book is an exciting project, and these days, it's easier than ever before.  However, the options are changing all the time, and with so many different routes to choose from, it can be hard to decide what to do.

To help you get started in independent publishing, CABN has compiled some case studies on writers in the Scottish Borders who have taken that route. The case studies, and contact details for Illustrators in the Scottish Borders.

Download PDF

(Please note that we have a higher resolution version of the booklet which we can email to you on request, please contact Kay McCluskey.

The writers who have provided information for this resource have kindly shared their experiences to save you time.  This is a very dynamic area however, so do keep us posted with any recommendations of news from your self-publishing ventures by emailing Kay McCluskey.

If you are an illustrator based in the Scottish Borders and would like to be included in any future version of this publication, please email Kay McCluskey.