ONE of Scotland's leading literary magazines is to cease printing after being denied Creative Scotland funds.

The Scottish Review of Books, first published in 2004, said it cannot now print its quarterly magazine after being turned down for funding.

The SRB bid for £45,000 in funding from the Opening Project Funding pot.

The editor of the magazine has said the decision to deny funds is "shameful."

Alan Taylor, the writer and journalist, said: "It goes without saying that I am deeply distressed and angered by this latest turn of events and utterly dismayed by Creative Scotland’s decision which, by the way, was made in camera and with the names of those who took it redacted.

"It really does beggar belief.

"This is a dysfunctional organisation which professes to support Scottish cultural when what it actually does is hinder it in the most destructive manner.

"The irony is that Creative Scotland’s own “sector review” recommended that there should be more support for literary reviews and criticism.

"Well, we know now what to make of that. So here we are in the world’s first so-called City of Literature [Edinburgh] with no printed publication dedicated to reviewing Scottish books. It is shameful.’

It is believed that Creative Scotland wanted the journal to expand its board, and pay its board members, who are currently unpaid, among other suggested changes.

In a 9 May letter to the body, its chair, Jan Rutherford, said the effective withdrawal of funds "kills publication of Scottish Review of Books as we know it – a magazine reviewing Scottish writing and the wider arts that is freely available to readers through the Herald newspaper, bookshops, libraries, festivals and other venues.

"Then, of course, there are the subscribers and the website – – which has an international, as well as a more local, following.

"Creative Scotland's decision...denies much-respected existing and new writers a platform for their work and leaves Scotland’s readers much the poorer.

"And it takes with it a highly-valued news and advertising platform for publishers, booksellers, venues and producers, exhibitors and the like."

The letter adds: "The impact on Scottish letters and criticism will be incalculable. Who would have thought such a thing could be allowed to happen in what we fondly boast is the world’s first City of Literature."

A Creative Scotland spokeswoman said: “Creative Scotland appreciates that reviews and criticism serve a vital function within the literature and publishing ecosystem.

“Scottish Review of Books has been supported on multiple occasions through Creative Scotland's Open Project Fund, and we have worked with the organisation to support on the development and delivery of the Emerging Critics programme, which is also supported by our funding. 

"The Open Project Fund is highly competitive and a recent application by Scottish Review of Books, was unsuccessful in this context."

She added: "Unsuccessful applicants to the Fund may reapply and Creative Scotland is committed to offering support in these circumstances; members of our team have met with Scottish Review of Books to advise on a strengthened resubmission and are available to do so again at any time."

In 2017, the Scottish Review of Books started a mentoring programme for emerging critics.

It said: "It is our intention to carry on with online activity and make our archive fully available on our website. We hope to return to print as soon as practicable. The future of Emerging Critics is uncertain."

Ms Rutherford said that it is now looking for funding to continue publishing the quarterly magazine.

"We fight on," she said.

She added: "The Board and management team at Scottish Review of Books have given their time voluntarily for 15 years and have relied on advertising, subscription, sponsorship and grant-funding to allow us to print copies of the magazine to distribute to all who have an interest in Scottish writing. 

"We have been inundated with notes of dismay and good wishes over the last few days and very much hope that we will find another way forward. Arts pages are shrinking in every area of the media and the printed edition of the Scottish Review of Books was a much needed resource and a fine read 

"Our website will continue and we hope our readers will find us there."