Statement regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The ongoing situation with COVID-19 has had an impact on the First Minister’s Reading Challenge. Please refer to the information below to find out how different aspects of the programme have been affected.

Funding programmes

Schools, libraries and community groups who received funding through our Inspiring Classrooms, Creative Workshops, Library and Community Funds for the school year 2019-2020 may be impacted in different ways:

  • If you had to cancel a session with an author or other creative practitioner because of the virus with less than a week’s notice, the author or creative practitioner should still be paid and Scottish Book Trust will cover this payment. Authors and creative practitioners should invoice us for this payment.
  • You can reschedule any visit by an author or creative practitioner that has not yet taken place. The deadline for using the funding has now been extended until 26 November 2020. You can hold the visit in person or as a digital event. We have additional terms and conditions to cover digital events, and more information can be found on the separate funding pages.
  • If you would like to return the funding to us instead of rescheduling your visit for later in the year, please contact 


Supporting you as you return to your school, library or community group

The Reading Challenge is now open for registration for the new school year! As young people and staff return after a difficult time, the role of reading for pleasure in supporting health and wellbeing is more important than ever. You can find out more about how reading supports wellbeing in our blogpost from Jennifer Horan.

We hope that you will join us again for the next stage of your reading journey. We will continue to provide resources, funding opportunities and good practice to inspire you. In particular, you might find the following helpful:

  • Our upcoming webinars can help provide some new inspiration on a number of different topics
  • We now have digital passports available - both for groups and for individuals. You may prefer to use these if you want to get your young people started straight away rather than waiting for delivery, and if you are reducing the number of physical resources you use
  • Our updated mind maps are available to download and print for primary schools, secondary schools, public libraries and community groups. These will help keep you right on all of the key dates and important details of this year's Reading Challenge


Supporting you during closures and local lockdowns

When all schools and libraries were closed, we created a number of resources to support those taking part in the Reading Challenge. These resources can still be accessed and may prove useful to you as you get used to new ways of working and respond to any local changes:

If you have any questions, you can contact us at


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