Trustee Recruitment Pack

Four images: top left Seamus Heaney talking on stage to another white man; bottom left, a 30-year-old white woman putting up a StAnza pop up; top right a stylised drawing of a fish; bottom right, a young-ish black woman talking into a mic

Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in Scotland SC253342
Registered Charity, regulated by OSCR: SC031789

You can also download this information as a PDF here.

  1. Introduction
  2. About StAnza
  3. Role Description and Terms
  4. How to apply
  5. Appendix: Equal opportunities monitoring form


Following a recent board skills audit and the retirement of several trustees at the end of their term, we have vacancies for three new trustees.

We are looking for three or four skilled and enthusiastic individuals to join our Board to guide and support the organisation through its next exciting phase of development. New trustees will have an active interest in poetry, and ideally (but not essentially) experience of the cultural sector, a broad interest in writing and literature, and a familiarity with the arts ecology of Scotland. They may also be writers with a demonstrable commitment to supporting emerging writers and/or socially engaged practice. We welcome applications from people who have not held trusteeships before. Induction and training will be given.

We wish to attract people from a broad range of backgrounds, demographics and cultures to steer and inform our work. We are aiming for inclusivity, richness of experience and diversity to ensure a StAnza Board of Trustees that reflects the diversity of contemporary society. We particularly welcome expressions of interest from LGBTQIA, BAME, under 35-year-old candidates and disabled people. All appointments will be made on merit of skill and experience relative to the role.

Specifically, we seek new trustees who can complement our existing board of trustees in these four fields:

  • The digital environment
  • Equalities, diversity and inclusion action
  • Fundraising
  • Environmental issues in an arts context.

And we are looking for people to fill two specific posts:

  • Vice-Chair – a person to take over as Chair in 2022
  • Treasurer – in preparation for taking over in 2022


About StAnza

StAnza brings together poets and audiences from around the world to discover and celebrate, in innovative ways, the richness of poetry.

StAnza’s main focus is our annual festival in St Andrews, held in early March. Now recognised as one of the leading poetry festivals in the UK and Europe, StAnza has over its 24 years featured a strong list of contemporary poets from within Scotland and also from across the UK and the rest of the world, brought a range of major poets to the festival, commissioned art works from leading artists, and has showcased poets from over 50 countries worldwide.

StAnza actively promotes readings in foreign or minority languages and has featured poets reading in many of the national languages of Europe, as well as in regional languages and dialects. It regularly includes Scottish Gaelic and Scots-language poets.

StAnza is very much a cross-arts festival with poetry at its core. As well as readings, the festival features performances, conversations, an annual lecture, workshops and masterclasses, films and video projections, children’s events, Open Mic sessions and a range of exhibitions and installations. Regular digital events have played an increasing part in the festival in recent years.

StAnza also delivers schools and community workshops and projects during the year, as well as stand-alone events in St Andrews and elsewhere, and multiple digital projects.

The organisation is a charitable company limited by guarantee under a Board of Trustees to whom the Festival Director reports and is directly responsible, supported by a Programme Co-ordinator and Press & Media Manager. The festival is put together by the Festival Director and Programme Co-ordinator, supported by a Festival Planning Committee formed of volunteers drawn from the local, student and academic communities who help to plan, organise and develop the programme, meeting throughout the year and chaired by the Festival Director. StAnza’s principal funder is Creative Scotland, to which it applies on a year-by-year basis.


Role Description and Terms

The role description below applies generically to each Trustee on the Board of StAnza. In addition, we highlight specific responsibilities for the Trustees we seek to recruit. The following role description applies across all three vacancies:

Accountable to - Chair and Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity and its financial health, developing the organisation’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines. Trustees are not paid for their work, though approved reasonable expenses are reimbursed.


a. To determine the overall direction and ensure the effective and efficient administration of StAnza through strong governance, risk management and clear strategic planning

b. To ensure that the policy and practices of StAnza are in keeping with its governing document and are carried out by management

c. The Board does not have a role in planning the annual festival, which is the responsibility of the Festival Director, Programme Co-ordinator, and the volunteer Festival Planning Committee, although it can make suggestions and approves the major festival funding application/s

d. To ensure that the organisation complies with charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations

e. To ensure the organisation uses its resources exclusively in pursuit of its charitable objects

f. To attend a minimum of three out of four board meetings per year, and participate in committees or time-limited reviews, as may be set up from time to time

g. To contribute to appraisal, recruitment, disciplinary and grievance panels as required

h. To assist in promoting and advocating for StAnza and its work

i. To adhere to the StAnza Trustee Code of Conduct and all other policies which are relevant to the role of Trustee

j. To maintain confidentiality and declare any conflicts of interest while carrying out the duties of a Trustee.


Person Specification

A Stanza Trustee will

  • be committed to the purpose and objects of StAnza
  • be constructive about other trustees’ opinions in discussions (and in response to staff members’ contributions at meetings)
  • be able to act reasonably and responsibly when undertaking such duties and performing tasks
  • be able to maintain confidentiality on sensitive and confidential information
  • be supportive of the values (and ethics) of the organisation
  • understand the importance and purpose of meetings, and be committed to preparing for them adequately and attending them regularly
  • be able to analyse information, including financial information, and, when necessary, challenge constructively
  • be able to make collective decisions and stand by them
  • be willing to act as an ambassador for StAnza.



o Term: Trustees are elected by StAnza members, or co-opted by the Board, and their elections are confirmed at the Annual General Meeting in May. They serve for 3 years with a possible second term of 3 years.

o Remuneration: the role of Trustee is unpaid

o Expenses: Trustees are recompensed for travel and costs associated with attending meetings and for any other costs incurred whilst undertaking activities for the organisation. All expenses must be approved by the Chair or Festival Director.

o Time commitment: The Board meets 4-5 times annually, usually on a Saturday, alternating between St Andrews and Edinburgh. The meetings last around 2 hours, and papers are sent out electronically a week before the meeting. At present the meetings are held virtually. Trustees are expected to attend at least one day of the annual StAnza festival, which takes place in St Andrews in the first half of March. They may be asked to act as chairs of events or to help with the festival in some other voluntary capacity.

o Code of conduct: Trustees are required to agree to abide by the Trustees’ Code of Conduct and to declare as appropriate their business interests.

Key relationships

o Chair (currently Dr Robyn Marsack)

o Other Trustees

o Festival Director (Dr Lucy Burnett)

o Other stakeholders and partners


How to apply

To express interest in the role please submit a supporting statement (on no more than two sides of A4) that addresses the criteria in the role description and outlines your motivation in applying. Please indicate clearly in your statement  the trustee areas of expertise /specific posts that match with your interest and experience. Please also include a current CV with contact details for two referees. Referees will only be contacted in the event of your being offered the role.

Please indicate your availability on the dates provided in the recruitment timeline below.

Please also ensure you have completed the Equal Opportunities Monitoring form and submit it to

Completed expressions of interest should be submitted to Dr Robyn Marsack, Chair of Trustees via

If you have any queries about any aspects of the appointment process or wish to have an informal and confidential conversation about the role, please contact the Chair.


Recruitment timeline


26 March 2021

Recruitment opens

26 April 2021

Closing date for applications

Mid-May 2021

Opportunity for shortlisted candidates to meet Chair, Festival Director and two Board members via video link

Late May 2021

Final appointments agreed


Equal Opportunities

StAnza is fully committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity in our workforce and employment practices, in the work we undertake, and in the provision of all our services. We therefore expect all Trustees, staff, freelance and sessional workers to be willing and able to make a positive contribution to the promotion and implementation of StAnza’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

To support our commitment, we would be grateful if you would complete our equal opportunities monitoring form which starts on the next page. This monitoring form is voluntary but the information it collects is very useful to us and our funders. The information you supply will be kept confidentially, reported anonymously, not sent to the recruitment panel and will have no part in the shortlisting process.