Scottish Literature Now!

British Council Literature Seminar, Hamburg, 13–15 February 2020

After having hosted the British Council Literature Seminar in Berlin in recent years, we are now heading north to Hamburg for the first time.

We are delighted to partner the 35th British Council Literature Seminar with the Literaturhaus Hamburg. Chaired by the renowned Scottish writer Louise Welsh, we shall look at Scottish Literature Now! The seminar will start in the evening of Thursday 13 February 2020 and finish at lunchtime on Saturday 15 February 2020. 

The seminar will consist of a public reading, presentations by four further literary voices from Scotland, panel discussions and author-led workshops. The participating authors are Mary Paulson-Ellis, Malachy Tallack, Kirsty Logan and Jay G Ying. 

  • Complete Seminar full price: €150
  • Complete Seminar student price: €100 (students will be required to show valid Student ID to gain entrance to the Seminar.)

All prices include a lunch on Friday, 14 February 2020 (with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available), plus tea, coffee, water and snacks, which will be available throughout the seminar.

We are committed to making the seminar as accessible as possible and would like to hear from you if you have any special requirements. Please scroll down to the bottom of this page to find out more.

There will be a public reading held by Louise Welsh on 13 February at Literaturhaus Hamburg. All information is available here. 

“Scotland’s literature is woven through with political discourse, social realism, absurdity, romance and murder. This is not the tartan you’ll find in the tourist gift shop. This is the real thing. Reflections of a country on the cusp of change.” – Louise Welsh

Ein lächelnde Louise Welsh guckt nach rechts, Seminar Chair
Louise Welsh
Autorin Mary Paulson-Ellis guckt geradeaus und lächelt mit distinktiver Brille
Mary Paulson-Ellis © Chris Scott
Autor Malachy Tallack Porträt draußen mit graßigem Hintergrund
Malachy Tallack
Schwarzweiss-Porträt vom Autor Jay G Ying mit bergiger Landschaft im Hintergrund
Jay G Ying
Kirsty Logan guckt geradeaus in die Kamera mit rot-gefärbten Haar und gelbem Hintergrund
Kirsty Logan © Simone Falk

Accessibility: what to expect when you arrive

What to expect when you arrive

  • Literaturhaus Hamburg is located on a quiet street in central Hamburg. The entrance to the building is directly on the road with a short flight of steps to enter the building, with a handrail on the left-hand-side. There is also a lift which provides step-free access into the building.
  • If you will need to use the lift when you arrive, you are welcome to contact Eva Rhiemeier (0172-1396869) in advance of the seminar for extra support. However this is not mandatory and staff will be able to assist you on arrival. 
  • There is no parking available at the venue directly, but it is possible for individuals to be dropped off in front of the building on the roadside. The nearest disabled parking is located at Herbert-Weichmann-Straße 44-46, approx. 450m away from the venue.


Accessibility: what to expect during the seminar

What to expect during the seminar

  • The seminar will take place in English, but staff from the British Council and Literaturhaus Hamburg are equally happy to assist you in German or English if you have any questions during the breaks.
  • The seminar schedule and biographies of the authors will be available as print-outs for participants on arrival. These can be printed in large print in advance of the seminar, so please let Eva Rhiemeier know (0172-1396869) in advance if you would like a large-print copy.
  • During the readings, authors will read from their own work and be asked questions from a moderator. There will also be time for audience members to ask questions.
  • During the panel discussions, multiple authors will sit on stage together and speak on the topics stated in the schedule. Again, there will be time for audience members to ask questions.
  • No prior knowledge of the topics discussed at the seminar is required.
  • If you have any questions about the format of the seminar in advance, please contact Eva Rhiemeier (0172-1396869) and she will only be too happy to provide more information.


Accessibility: the venue

The venue

  • Inside the building there is a lift to all floors, and a disabled toilet in the basement (accessible via lift). The seminar will be taking place on the first and second floors.
  • There is a streaming system for D/deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, with or without hearing aids, which can be used with a device loaned to you by the Literaturhaus or through a download onto your smartphone. Please see Literaturhaus Hamburg’s website for more details in German language; if you would like more information in English, please contact Eva Rhiemeier directly.
  • The lighting at Literaturhaus Hamburg is quite dim in the main room where the readings and discussions will take place. If you would therefore like assistance when you are there, please speak to Eva Rhiemeier (0172-1396869) on arrival or in advance who will be able to organise assistance for you.

Seminar Schedule

13 February 

19.30 hrs

Public Reading: Professor Louise Welsh
chaired by Dr Kirsten Reimers

14 February 09.00 hrs


  09.30 hrs

Reading by Mary Paulson-Ellis
chaired by Norah Campbell, British Council Scotland

  11.30 hrs

Reading by Malachy Tallack
chaired by Professor Louise Welsh

  14.00 hrs Panel Discussion on 'Writing this World and Others: History, Fantasy and Other Realities'

with Kirsty Logan and Jay G Ying
chaired by Professor Louise Welsh

  16.00 hrs Reading by Jay G Ying

chaired by Matthias Kniep, Haus für Poesie Berlin

  18.00 hrs

Reading by Kirsty Logan
chaired by Professor Louise Welsh

15 February  09.30 hrs

Writers’ workshops
with Mary Paulson Ellis, Malachy Tallack, Kirsty Logan and Jay G Ying

  11.30 hrs

Panel Discussion on Interior and exterior landscapes: Writing Scotland, Writing the World & Closure
with Mary Paulson Ellis and Malachy Tallack 
chaired by Professor Louise Welsh

Any questions? 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email us at

See also