In 2014 Luath Press Limited, Edinburgh, published a collection of poems entitled Scotia Nova – For The Early Days of a Better Nation which were contributed by various writers and edited by Alistair Findlay and Tessa Ransford.
When the book was being collated, Gavin MacDougall of Luath Press wrote: “Whatever the outcome of Scotland’s Independence Referendum on 18th September, 2014, a better Scotland is possible. Across every aspect of life in Scotland – housing, inequality, life expectancy, health, education, crime, sectarianism, localism, and more – we all know that a better Scotland is possible. And then there’s Trident. And the Bedroom Tax. And the Democratic Deficit. And on and on it goes”.
It proved to be a popular read and Michael Grieve sums it up perfectly in his review for The Saint when he states the collection is “a testament to the richness of Scottish poetry, and serves as a detailed snapshot of the nation.”
Luath Press and Greentrax Recordings agree that an album of ‘Songs for The Early Days of a Better Nation’ is the next logical step and are inviting Scotland’s finest songwriters and poets to submit a song on any, all or none of the above issues. The songs chosen will be recorded by the writers and included on an album of fourteen tracks, to be released by Greentrax in association with Luath Press.
This is not a straightforward song-writing competition with a “winner”. It is a challenge to write a song about Scotland for the sake of it, written by those who have a desire to write such a song. It should not be seen as a commercial opportunity. An album royalty will be paid, however, and shared equally between the fourteen selected singer/songwriters. A funding application is being made to Creative Scotland to include the recording of the songs.
In addition to Gavin MacDougall and Ian Green, the steering group of the project will also include Ian McCalman, Alistair Findlay, Mairi Campbell and David Francis.
Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Tuesday 31 March.