The Dymphna Bursary

  • Grants and Funding
  • Scotland
  • 31/07/2024
  • Grants and Funding
  • Scotland
  • 31/07/2024

Website ByLeavesWeLive Scottish Poetry Library

The Dymphna Bursary is awarded annually to a poet resident in Scotland who identifies as neurodivergent or has a learning disability. The award will be £2000, with £1600 provided at the beginning of the year and the remainder paid at the end of the year on production of a summary of how the Bursary has helped you.

The Bursary is intended to provide new opportunities for what we feel is an under-represented section of the creative community. Being neurodivergent or learning disabled may lead to new and unique ways of self-expression, and we would like to provide  support to help unlock this potential.

The Bursary is funded by a donor who wishes to be anonymous.

What can the Bursary be used for?

The award is intended to support the awardee with some aspect of their creative work. This could be to fund;

• Costs of bringing work to publication

• Professional assistance with proofreading, typesetting or design

• A mentor or editor to develop your writing

• Other costs in support of writing or publishing your poetry

Why Dymphna?

Dymphna was a 7th century Celtic saint, patron of people with mental health conditions. The name means ‘fit’ or ‘eligible’, but also means ‘little poet’. Although this is award has no religious connections, the name carries with it a sense of inclusivity and positivity, allied to the sense of poetry and creativity which it also implies.

How do I apply for the Bursary?

Please provide up to three examples of your work. We understand that traditional application processes can sometimes be a barrier, so entries could be in the form of:

• A digital or paper document (uploaded via the form below or posted to us)

• An audio recording or voice note (via a link to your own platform)

• A video recording or message (via a link to your own platform).

What else do I need to know?

Applicants must be aged 16 year or over after 1 June 2024, and living in Scotland. They are personally responsible for checking the impact any payments might have on any benefits they may be in receipt of. We will consider other arrangements for paying for services or goods if direct payment is a barrier.

As mentioned above, part of the requirements of the Bursary is that at the end of the year in which the award is made, the recipient provides some kind of summary of how the award has helped them. This report can be in the form of a document, or in audio or video form. It can be a printed publication, blog or website.


Applications must be submitted by midnight on Wednesday, 31 July 2024.

Selection Process

A panel will review the submissions and choose the recipient of the award. The panel is made up of allies of the neurodivergent and learning disabled, including Julie McNeil (Mission Dyslexia), Sam Smith (C-Change) and writer Beth McDonough.


The award will be announced on National Poetry Day, 3 October 2024.

How to enter

You can upload your documents or a link to your films or audio recordings using the form here. Alternatively, if you would like to mail in your application, please use the following address:

Scottish Poetry Library
5 Crichtons Close

Please remember to include your name and email contact at the top of each page.

Related Opportunities