person writing

New Declarations writing project

Scottish PEN Trustee Rebecca Sharp launches an artist-led online collective writing project, entitled ‘What does freedom mean, now?’ as part of the Arbroath 2020+1 festival.

April 6, 2021

Today (6 April 2021), Scottish PEN Trustee Rebecca Sharp launches an artist-led online collective writing project, entitled ‘What does freedom mean, now?‘  as part of the Arbroath 2020+1 festival.

The project invites young people based in Angus to come together to devise and create a new letter for the future.

“Right now, we’re living in times of dramatic change – climate crisis, political and economic uncertainty… so now is the time to create your own Declaration.” 

Rebecca Sharp

The project will explore issues around freedom of expression, starting with a look at the Declaration of Arbroath (1320), and its historical and cultural significance, before looking at how we communicate today; including the role of technology and how it shapes free speech. Participants will be guided in writing their own ‘New Declarations’ – short statements of intention to shape the world you want to live in.

Spaces are limited and people registering are expected to attend all 3 workshops. Register via EventBrite to join the New Declarations cohort of Young Writers.

Submitted texts will be showcased as a spoken word production and as text-based art across digital platforms during the launch of Arbroath2020+1 Festival. Your written pieces will also be published in a collective pamphlet that will be launched Autumn 2021. New Declarations is the first of a series of small publications as part of the New Scriptorium Project.



Young aspiring writers aged 16-25


What to expect

You will be guided in writing statements that authentically reflect your opinions and feelings; that are impactful and persuasive in a way that is true to your own voice, while also creating space for others. Your statements might be practical, poetic, or a combination of both.

Many young people have found their learning environments disrupted over the past year, often trying to complete graded coursework and pass exams through virtual lessons which leave little room for networking or creating work outside of the class curriculum. The New Declarations workshops provide a space where you can connect with young writers from all over Angus and contribute your voice to this exciting new project; working alongside others to create a piece of writing which will go on to be publicly showcased.

Joining deadline: Monday 26th April

About Rebecca Sharp

Rebecca Sharp is a Scottish playwright, poet, interdisciplinary artist and trustee of Scottish PEN. Her work encompasses text, performance, visual and collaborative projects. In 2020 she was awarded an RSL Literature Matters Award from the Royal Society of Literature to write Rough Currency, a new poetry collection exploring our personal and collective entanglements with fossil fuels and oil economy. For Arbroath2020+1 Rebecca has devised a series of workshops and is lead artist on The New Declarations Project.

“Within the last year alone, young people’s futures just became even more uncertain. With boundaries shifting and so much in flux, it’s even more important for them to be able to articulate what matters and why, individually and collectively – like focussing our inner compasses. The hope is that the New Declaration will reflect young people’s core values, urgent concerns and intentions for the future, at a time when so much seems precarious. It’s about empowerment and protecting freedom of expression, while actively creating space for voices that are unheard or spoken-over. ”

Rebecca Sharp