THE STORY SO FAR…
Since the start of 2014, the year we decided as a nation our fate, Dearest Scotland has been inviting folks with a Scottish connection to write to the country’s future
Regardless of which way the referendum result went, we’ve been encouraging visions that focus down the line. What might Scotland look like in the future? What do we actually think about our nation? What might our landscape, education system and high streets look like in five, ten, twenty years’ time.
As an apolitical campaign focused on crowdsourcing future visions for Scotland for a common good, we’ve created Dearest Scotland as a place where letters to the future of the country are collected, published and shared with the world. Ultimately, we aim to give a platform to citizens’ voices from all over Scotland.
We’ve received letters from each of Scotland’s regions, and also farther afield from Scots who live abroad. From the Central Belt to the Shetlands, from our Highlands to our Borders, we continue to receive visions from every nook and cranny.
How does it work?
It’s pretty simple. You can download a letter template from our homepage and send it back to us by email or post. Alternatively, you can pick up a letter pack from our post boxes located around Scotland, or check out our upcoming letter writing sessions on the Events page. And for lovers of digital, you can directly type your vision via our online letter submission button.
What should a letter include?
Anything. You can write as little or as much as you want. You can pull ideas from experience or articulate a future vision. It might be poetic, romantic, humorous, critical or angstful. You can write in the first, second or third person. It can be fictional or factual. We leave it down to you, all we ask is that you start with Dearest Scotland…
First, we want letters. Lots of them. As we go we are cataloguing each letter in a digital archive online here. In 2015 we aim to exhibit these future visions inside the Scottish parliament building, along with publishing our first volume of Dearest Scotland letters in a book format.
Throughout the next year we will continue to collect and archive letters which can be viewed on our site. Later on we intend opening up a smart data platform to analyse common themes taken from the letters.
QUESTIONS WE ARE FREQUENTLY ASKED
From day one we’ve always aimed to network Dearest Scotland to as many people as possible, and welcome anyone who wishes to be an ambassador or sponsor for the project. Hosting a writing session or displaying publicly a Dearest Scotland installation are just a couple of the ways to lend support.
No, it hasn’t. Conclusively apolitical, Dearest Scotland was born in 2011 as an idea before an independence referendum was on the political horizon. It is about the future of Scotland and the feeling of all Scots, and regardless of the outcome of the referendum vote, the need for a collective vision remains.
Some letters have contained political views, and of course these will be published, but Dearest Scotland is not aimed specifically at any political point scoring nor standpoint.
Secondly, you can sponsor Dearest Scotland. With more funds we can spread the word faster and gather more letters.
Thirdly, we’re looking for volunteers to run Dearest Scotland workshops and host our letter boxes in their cafe, library or public spaces so we can reach more people in our communities.
We’d be delighted to hear your participation ideas. Please get in touch on our contact page or at email@example.com
Sponsorship funding will go directly towards the publishing of a Dearest Scotland book and curation of letter exhibitions. Any profit made over and above publishing and curation costs will be donated toward new and existing Scottish literacy causes.
We accept letters written literally, fictionally, poetically, metaphorically and more. Upfront, romantic, two paragraphs, a one liner. Future focused while retrospective perhaps. Maybe personal with a nod to the hypothetical.
Illustrations and visuals are also more than welcome.
The choice is all yours.
We’d love to keep in touch with you, if only to share news about your letter be chosen for one of our exhibitions and/or in a future Dearest Scotland publication.
Head over to our Get Involved page where you’ll find materials to use in your own session. We actively encourage more ambassadors to come forward and support us in getting family, friend and communities letter writing to a future Scotland.
That is why we accept visuals and illustrations on our letter templates or audio/video recordings for Dearest Scotland. These can directly be sent back to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you may be part of a group who supports literacy or communication methods. We’ll 100% support you working with us to run a session you feel would be appropriate for the people you support.
We do ask for under 16s that a consent form is signed when in absence of a Dearest Scotland crew member when the letter has been written with a parent. This consent form can be found inside the toolkit in the Get Involved Page.
We’ve also put a big emphasis on designing Dearest Scotland to be as inclusive as possible. It doesn’t come from just an arts organisation, a writing collaborative or a public speaking network, it is designed to bring all sectors and people together to contribute to the future of Scotland.