Five unmissable Saltire Society pamphlets.

We’ve been exploring many elements of the Scottish literary climate, from festivals to authors inspired by our lands. As an initiative run by the Saltire Society as part of their 80th anniversary celebrations, we decided to look into their pamphlets by way of an introduction to newcomers as to one element of what the society do.


The Saltire Society has a strong tradition of acting as a stimulant for debate and discussion on the matters that affect our widest civic interests, so without further ado…

Notes Towards A National Literature – Kirsty Gunn
The tenth and most recent pamphlet in their limited edition Saltire Series saw Kirsty Gunn explore the relationship between a writer and their location. This caused national discussion in the creative industries, as she warned against the damaging effect of political influence on the arts. Read more on her pamphlet here.

Dreaming Scotland – William McIlvanney; Nevertheless – Allan Massie
The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was one of the defining conversations of the country’s history, and it’s one that Saltire tackled in their pamphlets via the father of Tartan Noir William McIlvanney and journalist and novelist Allan Massie. Both taking different sides in the referendum debate, they laid out their visions for Scotland. Read more on their pamphlets here.

Freedom of Expression in the New Scotland – Alan Bissett and Jean Rafferty
Saltire partner with many organisations in their work, and in the case of this pamphlet, it was with Scottish PEN. In it, this recaps a conversation between Rafferty and Bissett, chaired by Scottish PEN’s Drew Campbell, as they discuss whether “freedom of speech is too important to be left to the politicians and their parties.” For more, go here.

Second Wind – Douglas Dunn, Vicki Feaver and Diana Hendry
Last year, in partnership with the Scottish Poetry Library, Saltire published a collection of new poems by Douglas Dunn, Vicki Feaver and Diana Hendry. With humour, melancholy and wisdom, they tackle what a person loses as they age, and what they gain. For more on this poetry pamphlet visit here.

For more on the Saltire Society and their membership, visit

saltire-logoScotLitFest is part of #Saltire80, and supported by Creative Scotland.



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