The New Scriptorium Open Call for two Poets

In association with Hospitalfield, the Arts Organisation and Residency Centre in Arbroath, and Historic Environment Scotland, and the Scottish Poetry Library we are inviting poets to apply for a residency based at the New Scriptorium in the grounds of historic Arbroath Abbey.

There are two residency opportunities available:

– one ‘local’ 5-day writing residency 

– one ‘distant’ 2 week writing residency with accommodation at Hospitalfield

Local and distant are in relation to your home, your place of residency, where you bide.

The New Scriptorium is devised as a place for writing and a place for conversation – a place of activity and to celebrate the power of literacy and learning. It imagines the Abbey when it was a busy working environment with a library or scriptorium at its heart.

As with all the residencies, a ‘Gift’ for Arbroath is the outcome, how that manifests itself is up to the participant. Historically it has been a number of poems by John Glenday and hand pulped paper made using conversations in Arbroath by poet Sean Wai Keung. 

The theme for the residencies is ‘Power and Word’, highlighting the historical importance of the Abbey – scribes writing very important letters, the most obvious one being the Declaration. Who had the power then, who has the power now? Powerful words can achieve a lot, what will you discover?


Applicants should not be currently in full time education at the point of making an application to these residencies. This opportunity is only available to applicants in Scotland. The Local Residency is only available to those within 1 hour transport of Arbroath.


The ‘local’ residency is for 5 days, this is a flexible residency. For instance you could do 2 days one week and 3 the next, or one day a week for 5 weeks – we are sympathetic to requirements for living. 

The fee for the local residency is £750 total, with a further £150 for a public event to be arranged through conversation with partners. 

There is a small Access budget available. We ask that you consider commute time, we think up to 1 hour distance would be classed as ‘local’, in whatever mode of transport you use. 


The ‘distant’ residency is for 2 weeks, you will be housed in Hospitalfield House in Arbroath with meals supplied. You will join as part of Hospitalfield’s Interdisciplinary residency programme. This is not a flexible residency and dates are fixed – July 1st – July 15th. The fee is £1000 total with additional £150 towards a public event, also arranged through conversation with partners. There is a budget for Travel and a small budget for Access.

Selection Panel –

Aly Barr, Deputy Director, Scottish Poetry Library. Charlie Lang, poet and writer. Kristina Aburrow, Creative Projector Coordinator, Arbroath 2020. Cicely Farrer, Programme Manager, Hospitalfield.

If you have any questions, please email