How to apply for the Workshops Fund

Meg McLaren talking at the front of a classroom

Now you've registered with the First Minister's Reading Challenge, you might have already discovered our free learning resources, including Authors Live on Demand and our Bookzilla app. But did you know that we also have a fund to support your children and young people to develop their love of reading?

Read on to find out more about the First Minister's Reading Challenge Workshops Fund. 

What is the Workshops Fund? 

The Workshops Fund is for primary and secondary school classes, libraries and community groups who are registered with the First Minister's Reading Challenge. You can apply for funding up to £500 to invite an author, illustrator, storyteller or poet to hold a workshop in your setting, as well as buy books and other resources.  

How to apply 

You can fill out an online application through your dashboard on the First Minister's Reading Challenge website. It's a simple process and a chance for you to tell us as much as you can about your ideas for your workshop.  

Here's a step-by-step look at how to complete your application and make sure your idea stands out.  

About your school (or library or community group) 

This is the easy bit! Tell us about your school, library or community group, as well as the name of your Project Coordinator. The Project Coordinator is the nominated person who will oversee the running of your visit and the person that Scottish Book Trust will be in contact with. This could be a head teacher, class teacher, librarian or group leader – someone who is willing to manage your application and funding if you’re successful! 

Demographics and engagement 

Next, we'd like to know more about the children and young people you work with. This includes the number of participants, the location you work in and if any of your children have English as an Additional Language. 

We also want to know what your engagement with parents and other partners is like. Do parents and carers regularly attend meetings and sessions? Is this something you'd like to encourage more of? Do you already work in partnership with a local charity or business? 

All these things can help us better understand how your group might benefit from an activity like an author or illustrator visit. 

Reading culture and reason for applying 

Now we get to the nitty-gritty! Remember there is no expectation that a reading culture already exists in your setting. You can tell us what you already do to support and celebrate reading and literacy, from daily reading routines to book-related events, or about the things you hope to do to grow a new reading culture.  

If you need practical advice on building a reading culture, we have further resources for classrooms and libraries and community groups available on our website.  

When it comes to telling us why you want to apply for funding, there are four key areas we want to hear about:

  • Why would you like to have an author or illustrator visit? What is it about a live workshop that would bring the most benefit to your group?  
  • What impact do you think the session will have? 
  • What excites you most about this opportunity? What topics would you like to explore? How would it link to other areas of your work? What would this funding make possible for your group? 
  • How would you spend your £500 grant? The minimum fee for an author or illustrator to deliver a one-hour workshop is £175, as set by Creative Scotland. The rest can be spent on anything else you think would help your young readers, including workshop resources, new books or even soft furnishings to create a cosy reading space. 

You should also tell us if anyone else will be taking part. How could you include parents and carers, non-teaching staff or community members? We want to help you build a reading culture that extends to all areas of your children and young people's lives, so tell us about who else will be involved and why. 

Apply now! 

We hope that helps you with your application process and we can't wait to see what projects you have in mind for your reading community. Unfortunately, we can’t award funding to everyone, but our team does consider every application we receive. 

If you're ready to apply to our Workshops Fund, head to your First Minister's Reading Challenge dashboard and get going.  

Still have some questions? Get in touch with us at and we'll be happy to help you.  

The deadline for applications for all funds is Thursday 17 November 2022.  

We can't wait to hear all about your inspiring ideas and look forward to seeing your project plans come to life! 

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