Glasgow’s Aye Write festival has been called off, with organisers blaming scandal-hit funding body Creative Scotland.

The book festival’s application for a £77,500 grant from the arts quango was rejected, forcing GlasgowLife to pull the plug on this year's event. 

The Glasgow City Council arms-length organisation confirmed that the Wee Write festival for children has also been cancelled.

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A spokesperson told the Scotsman: “The Aye Write and Wee Write book festivals celebrate the joy of reading, writing, and books, bringing audiences and authors together.

"Their delivery is dependent on securing external funding and while bids for funding support continue to exceed monies available, especially during the current difficult economic climate, some events will inevitably miss out.

“Aye Write and Wee Write have developed and grown over the years thanks, in part, to support through Creative Scotland.

"Our 2024 funding application to Creative Scotland was not successful so Aye Write and Wee Write will not be able to take place as festivals this year. We appreciate this will cause considerable disappointment.

“Glasgow Life will organise some pop-up Aye Write events during 2024 and will develop an application for multi-year funding starting in 2025, which if successful, means a return for the festivals next year.”

The news comes as the arts funding body comes under increasing pressure to explain why they handed more than £100,000 of taxpayers’ cash to a "hardcore" performance work.

Rein by Leonie Rae Gasson, aimed to “push the boundaries of what it means to create and show dyke sex on screen," and promised an "erotic journey through a distinctly Scottish landscape” with the cast participating in real, explicit, sex.

The project was awarded £23,219 in lottery funding through Creative Scotland in August 2022 for research and development and then £84,555 through the agency’s Open Funding round in January.

Earlier this month, following public outcry, the arts funding body withdrew support and they would be “seeking recovery of funding paid.”

Last year's Aye Write featured around 175 authors appearing in more than 120 events across 10 days. One of the most popular draws was former first minster Nicola Sturgeon being interviewed by Janey Godley. 

Taking to Twitter on Thursday morning, the ex-SNP leader said it was "really bad news."

“I know money is tight but very much hope that a way is found to get @AyeWrite back on track.

“Books, culture generally, are so vital to our wellbeing – and never more so than in the troubled times we live in today.

“Book festivals are opportunities to celebrate the wonder of literature and those who create it. We mustn’t lose that.”

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A Creative Scotland spokesperson said Aye Write should consider applying elsewhere for funding.

They said: “We recognise the significance of Aye Write to audiences and the literature sector and understand that this is disappointing news.

“The National Lottery open fund for organisations remains available to Aye Write to apply for further funding, and we welcome future applications.

"As demand for these funds continues to increase, Creative Scotland also continues to advocate for more resources to support culture and creativity across Scotland.”