Recruiting: Glasgow-Based Shared Reading Lead Readers for Prison Programme

Open Book is looking for two Lead Readers to join their Prison Programme to facilitate weekly shared reading sessions in HMP Barlinnie and HMP Shotts. The new Lead Readers will be joining a strong community of approximately 75 Open Book Lead Readers including a Prison Programme team delivering weekly sessions (subject to COVID restrictions) in 9 Scottish Prisons.


About Open Book


Since March 2013 Open Book ( has run shared reading and creative writing sessions for adults. In our 2020/21 year, we’ll deliver c. 1400 sessions in over 70 locations – the islands off Shetland, to Stranraer, on Uist and Tiree, in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and in the Central Belt. We work in a number of sectors – libraries, health care settings, with the elderly, refugees and migrants, community groups, prisons, libraries and other public settings and on Scottish islands. Stories and poems are read aloud then discussed in a relaxed, informal setting, with about one-third of the groups adding creative writing. (Prison sessions do not include creative writing.) The majority of our groups read material written in English but we also have sessions run in Arabic, Gaelic and Scots.


Applicant Requirements


The successful applicant will:

  • be based in/around Glasgow;
  • have a love of reading and books;
  • have experience of delivering literature-focussed workshops;
  • experience of prison work is useful but not essential;
  • be asked to join the PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) scheme and to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate to provide two references (Open Book will meet the costs of PVG membership and process the applications for the PVG and Enhanced Disclosure certificates on behalf of the Lead Reader);
  • be available to attend a paid training session to take place within several weeks of confirmation of appointment; and
  • be willing to attend such other training as required by the prison (e.g. including a prison induction session, Personal Protection Training (to be refreshed annually), and Talk To Me Training).




The successful candidates will be contracted to deliver weekly shared reading workshops in the Open Book model at HMP Barlinnie and HMP Shotts. This is currently a rolling contract – sessions run while the prisons are open, up to a maximum of 40 sessions per project year. The fee in respect of each session (including preparation, delivery and post session feedback) is £100. In addition a travel allowance of £25 per session delivered is payable. Any time spent undertaking training for the role – including initial training in the model delivered by Open Book, and attendance at prison training – will be funded at £25 per hour.


Application Process


Please submit a CV including any experience in prison work (if applicable, not required), community workshop facilitation, and any other experience you feel is relevant, together with a covering letter telling us a bit about your suitability for the role to by 5pm on Friday 27 August. A short list of applicants will be invited for an interview over Zoom. Please direct any questions relating to the application to