Arts & Humanities Research Council Funded Creative Economies Studentship - Women of Words Gender Equality in Contemporary Scottish Writing and Publishing

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  Prof C Squires, Dr E Reeder  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project is one of several funded under the SGSAH AHRC Creative Economies Studentships (CES). These are a collaboration between SGSAH, AHRC, HEIs and organisations. Students work on a set research project, make connections with industry and access resources and expertise not normally available within a PhD.

Partners: University of Stirling, University of Glasgow, Scottish Book Trust

Summary: Women of Words is a PhD collaboration between Scottish Book Trust (SBT) and the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow, examining systemic issues relating to the production, reception and consumption of women’s writing in Scotland. With partners, SBT intends to create a suite of activities for the promotion and development of women’s writing in Scotland, including the possible development of a Women’s Writing Prize. The PhD will provide a research base that will inform the direction of activities and analyse their impact, through informing discussions around gender and writing in schools, public forums, and within the literary and creative economies.

Research Question: What are the barriers to women’s equal and effective involvement in writing and publishing in Scotland, and how might those barriers be overcome?

Research Aims: The doctoral project will undertake collaborative research with Scottish Book Trust in order to provide a robust evidence base for the examination of issues surrounding gender equality in writing and publishing in Scotland. The research will underpin the development of a new programme strand within SBT, which intends to support and celebrate the writing of women living in Scotland, and encourage its development within the literary economy. The project will therefore:

- consider the best approaches, internationally and within the UK, to supporting diversity in the writing and publishing sectors;
- analyse the impact of literary prizes on the literature and publishing ecology of a nation;
- audit existing gender and other equalities-based activities in the wider creative industries in Scotland and across the UK;
- develop a project plan for the implementation and analysis of a women’s writing prize in Scotland, and an associated suite of activities;
- provide a rich, evidence-based and longitudinal case study of diversity in publishing, contributing to knowledge in the area; and
- develop, implement and evaluate a programme of activities and advocacy around women writers and women’s writing in Scotland, run through SBT.

Methodology: It is anticipated that the PhD’s primary research methods will include focus groups, interviews, statistical analysis (including of Nielsen Bookscan’s sales database), and participant observation. In doing so it will consider other prizes and award schemes (including comparative UK and international examples), creative writing groups, reading groups, libraries, bookshops, literary reviewing and publishing, and literary festivals.

Supervisors: Professor Claire Squires, University of Stirling

Dr Elizabeth Reeder, University of Glasgow

Amina Shah/Caitrin Armstrong, Scottish Book Trust

Funding Notes

How to apply: To be considered for this AHRC CES studentship please complete the Women of Words Application Form and email with your transcripts and a 2-4 page cv to [Email Address Removed]. You should attach two references with your application or ask your referees to send these to [Email Address Removed]. You can find the application form at the SGSAH website, at

It is anticipated that applicants will have prior degrees in the areas of publishing studies, creative writing, literature, gender studies, or associated subjects.

Deadline for applications and references is Tuesday 1 August, 4pm.


Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview in person or via a virtual platform in the week Monday 14-Friday 18 August, and will be asked to submit further written work and make a short presentation about their potential approaches to the topic.

Queries about this studentship can be sent to the principle supervisor, Professor Claire Squires ( Please submit applications for this project to