SCOTLAND'S main cultural funding body has appointed a new head of literature.

Jenny Niven has begun work at Creative Scotland as manager for literature, publishing and languages.

She takes the post previously held by Dr Gavin Wallace, who died last year.

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Ms Niven was associate director at Melbourne's Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, where she led the programming department, responsible for creating over 300 events annually.

She has also worked for six years in Beijing, where she directed the events programme at The Bookworm, an English-language literary events venue.

She said: "While living overseas I've kept a strong engagement with literary Scotland and am looking forward immensely to being 'back on the ground' and engaging fully with the excellent work being produced here, by individuals and organisations alike.

"It feels a very vibrant time culturally in Scotland, , despite the challenges of the changing market and cultural environment."

Laura Mackenzie Stuart, the acting director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said of the appointment: "Jenny Niven brings a high level of experience and expertise in her field, along with a clear ambition and passion for literature.

"This is also matched by her proven international success.

"I am sure she will continue to be a source of inspiration and opportunity for writers and publishers in Scotland."