[lg policy] Big stooshie over interview process for new Scriever

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 10:30:38 EDT 2018

 Big stooshie over interview process for new Scriever
Andrew Learmonth @andrewlearmonth <http://www.twitter.com/@andrewlearmonth>
[image: For the past two years the position has been held by Hamish

For the past two years the position has been held by Hamish MacDonald

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THE hunt for an official new Scottish scriever has resulted in a bourach, a
rammy and a stooshie, with the National Library of Scotland
<http://www.thenational.scot/search/?search=Scotland&topic_id=9026> (NLS)
and Creative Scotland accused of changing the criteria after applications
had closed.

One prominent Scots writer said the process “reeked”.

Both NLS and Creative Scotland say they’re confident the job has gone to
the best candidate.

Emails seen by The National show that two weel-kent Scots writers were not
interviewed for the job because they lacked sufficient “digital skills”.

Stuart Paterson (above), until recently the BBC Scotland Poet in Residence,
asked for feedback when NLS knocked back his application.

He was told that failure to give due emphasis to digital media in his
application resulted in his overall score being lowered.

He was told the panel had assessed him and all candidates by looking at the
“quality and artistic merit of work”, the “quality of vision for the
residency”, his “experience of working collaboratively with a range of
different audiences”, his “familiarity with and use of digital media”, and
the “expected impact of the residency on the applicant’s creative

The original advert lists all of those criteria apart from the use of
digital media.

Instead it said candidates would be judged on their track record in Scots.

National columnist Rab Wilson was also not interviewed for the post.

The National understands NLS and Creative Scotland will be announcing the
name of new Scots Scriever later this week.

But Paterson says the process was “unfair and inequitable” and has asked
NLS for an apology and a reversal of their decision not to interview him.

For the past two years the position has been held by Hamish MacDonald
(bottom). The role is a two-year residency based at the NLS, supported with
funding from Creative Scotland.

The purpose of the role is to produce original creative work in Scots and
to raise awareness, appreciation and use of Scots across the country and
amongst all parts of the population.

Paterson said: “Hoo are we meant tae ken whit it is they’re luikin for when
whit they say they want in public’s ane thing, an whit they’re really
luikin at in private’s anither? Ah pit it tae them three times that the
selection process wis wrang an heard nocht back aboot it, jist hoo Ah’d
scored laigh in a criteria that wisnae a criteria ava when the advert came

“An no been scored ava in a criteria they’d taen aff the list. Hoo can they
gan aboot appyntin tae sic a muckle national role when they dinnae select
on the criteria o ‘proven track record in Scots?’”

“The hail process reeks,” Paterson added.

A library spokeswoman said: “We received a very strong field of applicants
for the Scriever position, and all were assessed on the same criteria.

“We are confident that we selected the best person for the role and will be
in a position to announce them shortly.”

Creative Scotland published its first Scots Language Policy in June 2015,
in which the role of Scots Scriever was identified.

A Creative Scotland spokeswoman said: “The quality and strength of
applications received for the Scriever position were extremely high. All
shortlisted candidates had an extensive track record in Scots and presented
exciting plans to progress and develop the language. Candidates were
reviewed in terms of suitability for the role and all applications were
assessed and scored against criteria as outlined in the job spec. We
realise that unsuccessful applicants will be disappointed but are confident
that we have selected the strongest candidate for the role and look forward
to announcing them shortly.”


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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