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09 July 2020

Publishers attend roundtable with First Minister and Northern Lights sessions

29 August 2019

On 25 August 2019 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon chaired an early morning roundtable of Scottish publishers organised by Creative Scotland before delivering the keynote speech at the Northern Lights Edinburgh sessions.

In her keynote speech the First Minister said that she strongly believed 'that having a strong, diverse literary and publishing scene is essential, for any country. It's also why I think the work that all of you do - is so hugely important'. She particularly welcomed the focus on greater diversity saying 'For all its undoubted strengths, this is an area where we know publishing needs to do a lot better. It's clear - from a range of evidence - that the industry is still not as diverse and inclusive as it should be and as it could be'.

404 Ink, Charco Press, BHP Comics and International Man Booker winner Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi (translated by Marilyn Booth) published by Sandstone Press all came in for praise for embracing diverse voices.

You can read the whole text of the First Minister's speech on the Scottish Government website. See also Mark Chandler's article in The Bookseller of 29 August 2019.

Northern Lights is a collaborative project between the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Bradford Literature Festival designed to bring together Northern and Scottish independent publishers. Supported by Creative Scotland and Arts Council England, this two-part gathering started at Bradford Literature Festival on Friday 28 June and culminated at the Edinburgh International Book Festival over the weekend of the 24 and 25 August. Both gatherings offered publishers and those involved with publishing the chance to discuss key issues in the industry and share expertise around developing inclusive practice and diversifying readership. The Edinburgh sessions were attended by delegates from all over the world.