Open Call: New Scriptorium Residencies

The New Scriptorium is an artist designed and built structure sited inside the historical grounds of Arbroath Abbey. Designed and built by artist Bobby Niven, The New Scriptorium was initiated by Arbroath 2020 committee in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, Hospitalfield and part of the Angus Place Partnership Programme. The  Power & Word Programme is funded by Creative Scotland through the National Lottery Open Fund for Organisations.

We are delighted to share that we are advertising five funded residencies via open call for dates between May till August 2024.

The residencies in the Scriptorium will run alongside a programme of events, publishing and community activities based in the Abbey grounds and the Scriptorium and into Arbroath itself.

Some of these residencies are specifically for locally based writers, poets, artists and some for practitioners in Scotland and further into the UK. The residencies are being created with partners, Hospitalfield, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Poetry Library and Lakes International Comic Art Festival. 

We are looking for practitioners to focus on language and word, visual, written and oral, to work in the stunning little Scriptorium bothy. This can be a time to develop an idea, giving you dedicated space and time or you can be inspired by the beautiful setting. We will also offer a directory of prompts based on Arbroath itself, whether it be Football or Geology, history or fishing, we have a range of people who are available to share knowledge regarding most things Arbroath. 

The theme for this series of residencies come under the title Power and Word. The themes of Power & Word are embedded in the History of the Abbey and the Power it held, through the transcription and distribution of the written word and its influence across this island and across Europe since its beginnings in the 13th century. What is the power of word now? Who gets to speak and who is heard? The New Scriptorium imagines the Abbey when it was a busy working environment with a library or scriptorium at its heart. The Benedictine order of monks who established the Abbey were from the French Tironensian order, each monk had their own craft or skill, literacy and the making of books was one of the most influential. The town of Arbroath grew up around the Abbey and so too; the red sandstone of the town with the streets running down to the harbour. The great Abbey, with its Round ‘O’ towering above the town, are completely inseparable formally and historically.

The outcome for these residencies is a series of ‘Gifts’ to the town, they can be physical, they can be from a workshop, they can be live, they can be an online poem or comic book. This is where the writer/artist can see what inspiration takes hold based on their experience of this place and what they would like to offer up. This is quite a publicly engaged residency and some involvement with the local community will be expected, a reading, a conversation or a making workshop. We have wonderful connections with the local schools, charities and third sector organisations as well as fish houses, industries and the local artisan makers. 

There are art-form focussed residencies that will operate under this umbrella model, some local, some outside the DD postcode for poets or comic artists as well as more open residencies across any art form. Some include residential time with our partner Hospitalfield. Please see the choices and find the one that sounds like you and apply:

Applications through the Submittable application portal –

Available Residencies

Please click the above links to find your ideal fit for this opportunity.

Closing date – 4th of March at 6pm.

If you have any questions, please email info@arbroathfestival.com