The New Scriptorium Open Call for Artists

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 and 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. 

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 of Arbroath. Who had the power then, who has the power now? Powerful words can achieve a lot, what will you discover?

We have 2 local residencies available for practitioners in any art form: ceramics, photography, performance, print making, as long as your project or practice is concerned with ‘word’. It does not need to be a literal interpretation. We are keen to see many perspectives of the theme and your interpretation of it. 


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.


You will have access to the Scriptorium daily, operating within the Arbroath Abbey hours which are seasonal. We will also have access for you to local people, experts in certain fields regarding Arbroath.

We are very interested in poets who might explore certain elements of Arbroath life – 

  • Football – a key community involved activity in the town. We want the residents of Arbroath to see the Scriptorium as a beacon for their historical and contemporary voice, the things they care about now – and they certainly care about Football – Jeezy Peeps Man! 
  • Arbroath’s underrepresented histories, for example traveler/gypsy stories, LGBTQI, bpoc and any community you perceive to be hidden but present.
  • Arbroath’s history and future in the fishing world is quite impressive, young families taking over the fish shops and carrying on the protected specialities. How does that influence the town and its residents? 
  • The geology of the area holds many stories, the pick marks still visible from harvesting the stone along the cliffs. There are guided kayak tours that gets you into the belly of the coastline, with plenty stories shared of pirates and cliff jumpers. 

These are a few points of interest for the town, but the real stories come from the residents and the communities. We have found, given the right situations, people are very keen to chat and share their stories.. We are eager to hear from people who enjoy community engagement and would like to work with us on this element of the programme. 


The fees for the residencies are calculated using fee guidance for literature and visual arts resources on the Creative Scotland website. The fees for the local and distant residency differ based on the significant in kind provision provided through the residency stay at Hospitalfield.

DATES – the residency will be scheduled over May and June.


We welcome applicants from the DD11 area, or within a manageable commute. You cannot be in full time education at time of application.

Selection Panel –

Hanna Tuulikki, Artist, Glasgow. Kristina Aburrow, Coordinator, Arbroath 2020. Cicely Farrer, Programme Manager, Hospitalfield.

If you have any questions, please email