A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Saltire Literary Awards Announced

Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology Dame Sue Black has won the coveted 2018 Saltire Book of the Year award for a non-fiction book that explores the many faces of death as experienced through her more than three decades’ career in forensic science – a career which has taken her from investigating the scene of horrific war crimes committed in Kosovo to identifying victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Thailand.

All That Remains: A Life in Death, which also won the Non-Fiction Book of the Year, is a gripping account of Black’s many encounters with mortal remains, whether in the laboratory, at burial sites, at murder scenes or when investigating mass fatalities due to war or natural disaster. She describes the book as being “as much about life as about death” and argues that, rather than being something to fear, death is something we should accept “as an integral and fundamentally necessary part of life’s process.”

Making their selection, the judges described the book as “curiously uplifting and life-affirming” and commented that “like all good memoirs”, it “reveals as much about the reader as the writer”.

Now firmly established as Scotland’s most prestigious annual book awards, the Saltire Literary Awards are supported by Creative Scotland and celebrate literary and academic excellence across six distinct Award categories. The winner of each individual book award wins a £2,000 cash prize and goes forward to be considered for the Saltire Book of the Year award and an accompanying cash prize of £6,000.

Dame Sue Black collected both awards at a special ceremony at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Friday evening (30 November 2018).

The winners of the five other book Awards announced as part of this year’s awards ceremony include Aberdeen-based Leila Aboulela’s short story collection and Fiction Book of the Year Elsewhere, Home which, through the experience of immigrants living abroad, examines the search for home in a fast-changing modern world.

Charting the writer’s personal experience of cancer treatment and recovery, becoming a widow at the age of 44 and taking on the social care system on behalf of elderly relatives, Jay Whittaker’s Wristwatch was named Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year.

The award for Research Book of the Year went to Professor of English Literature and Book History at the University of Edinburgh Tom Mole for What the Victorians made of Romanticism, which considers how the popular media of the Victorian era sustained and transformed the reputations of Romantic writers.

2018 History Book of the Year is Islay-based writer and documentary maker Les Wilson’s The Drowned and the Saved, an extensively researched account of the sinking of US troopships Tuscania and Otranto off the coast of Islay in 1918, a tribute to those who died and an exploration of the huge impact of the disaster on survivors, rescuers and the local community.

Sal, the debut novel by Fife-based writer Mick Kitson and winner of the 2018 Saltire First Book Award, tells the story of 13-year-old Sal and her 10-year-old sister Peppa who seek to escape the abuse of their alcoholic mother’s boyfriend by running away into the Scottish wilderness.

Also announced at the awards ceremony was the winner of the 2018 Saltire Publisher of the Year Award with an accompanying cash prize of £1,000, which went to Edinburgh-based Canongate Books. Over the last 12 months, Canongate’s growth has seen them further develop an already strong international publishing brand. The Saltire Emerging Publisher of the Year Award went to Edinburgh-based Carolina Orloff of Charco Press in recognition of her development into an important part of publishing in Scotland in a relatively short time.

Marking 30 years since the Saltire Literary Awards’ First Book Award category was established in 1988, this year’s ceremony also included the presentation of a special award for “Most Inspiring Saltire First Book Award winner”. Chosen through a public vote from a shortlist also featuring Kate Clanchy, Jackie Kay, Michel Faber, A.L. Kennedy and Ali Smith, this special award went to Glasgow-based writer Louise Welsh. Louise Welsh won the Saltire First Book Award in 2002 for her debut crime novel The Cutting Room, which subsequently went on to win the 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction. Since then, she has written seven further novels, three plays and two short story collections as well as libretto for a number of touring opera productions.

Saltire Society Programme Director Sarah Mason commented: From poetry to publishing, fiction to academic studies, extending the length and breadth of the country and far beyond, this year’s Saltire Literary Awards are a testament to the outstanding calibre of modern Scottish literature in all its varied forms.  Every one of the individual awards was hotly contested, making the judges’ decisions particularly challenging.

My congratulations to all of the winners and my thanks to the judging panels, to all of our partners and supporters who have helped to make the 2018 Saltire Literary Awards such a resounding success.

Mairi Kidd, Interim Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing at Creative Scotland, said:Creative Scotland is delighted once again to be able to support the 2018 Saltire Literary Awards. These awards occupy a unique place in the Scottish literary landscape, recognising as they do Scottish literature and publishing in all its many and varied forms. Particular congratulations to Dame Sue Black on winning Saltire Book of the Year, to Louise Welsh on her special honour marking the 30th anniversary of the First Book Award and to all of the other individual category winners in what was another very competitive year. It is great to be able to celebrate and showcase the work of everyone shortlisted and, in so doing, hopefully to promote it to a new and wider audience.

The Saltire Literary Awards are made possible through the support of Creative Scotland, Literature Alliance Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, Publishing Scotland and the Scottish Historical Review Trust.

We were delighted to partner with Saltire Society on the networking element of the evening. See the full shortlist for each award category on the Saltire Society website.

 

December 3, 2018

PS/EIBF: Scottish Books International Manager

Books, writing, publishing and festivals

Publishing Scotland (PS) in partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) is seeking an exceptional Manager who can drive forward an innovative programme, developing the international ambition and impact of the books and literature sector in Scotland. The new role will be for a fixed-term contract of eighteen months with the potential to extend.

The successful applicant will be an excellent and persuasive communicator with significant experience of strategic development and partnership working. The Manager will join passionate and dynamic teams across the literature and books sector, committed to bringing the best of literature, writing, publishing and events to an international audience.

This role will include scoping and developing a strategic plan for international activity, identifying and developing opportunities for increased visibility, co-ordinating marketing work from the sector, identifying and implementing potential income sources, preparing funding applications, and building relationships with key partners here and overseas.

Job Title: Scottish Books International Manager

Reports to: Publishing Scotland CEO and steering group

Fee: £21,000 per annum (equivalent to £35,000 per annum, pro-rata to 3 days per week)

Working hours: 24 hours per week

Terms: Freelance 18 months’ fixed-term contract, with potential to extend

Location: Central Edinburgh at the offices of PS

Main purpose of role: Developing, co-ordinating and communicating a new joint service on behalf of the books and literature sector

 

Background

Following a Review of the Literature and Publishing sector undertaken by consultants on behalf of Creative Scotland, which recommended that “Creative Scotland and leading literature institutions and publishers convene a summit for laying the groundwork for a strategic and co-ordinated international presence”, a number of bodies in the sector, working closely with Literature Alliance Scotland, have decided to set up a post dedicated to the international promotion of books, writers, festivals and organisations. PS and EIBF have brought together a steering group, who will advise and oversee the service.

About the organisations

Publishing Scotland is the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland. Formed in 1974, it is a membership body with over 100 members, in two categories, publisher and network. It aims to support publishers and the wider sector on a national and international level.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival, a non-profit making organisation, is a distinctive international showcase celebrating the written word, literature and ideas. It brings around 950 leading and emerging international, British and Scottish authors and thinkers together each August to inspire each other and audiences in an extensive programme of over 900 public events for people of all ages.

 

Key duties and responsibilities

Work with partners on the development and delivery of a co-ordinated, international presence for Scottish writing, publishing, festivals and organisations, and more specifically –

  1. Develop a strategy for the Scottish book sector’s international profile, working closely with senior management of both host organisations and the steering group
  2. Research and develop new income streams and identify overseas partners opportunities
  3. Work with a range of partners, organisations and bodies in Scotland and overseas to enhance the current work being done in the sector
  4. Event delivery, including attendance and participation at national and international events
  5. Communicate, using a variety of methods, to raise the international profile of the sector
  6. Work closely with the teams of PS and EIBF to help ensure successful delivery of an overall programme
  7. Maintain records and produce reports indicating work in progress, planned work and reporting on the financial status of projects

Person specification

Successful candidates will possess the following:

  1. Considerable experience of strategic planning and development
  2. Demonstrable knowledge and passion for the literature or arts sector, including the Scottish literature and publishing scene
  3. Experience developing and maximizing international partnerships
  4. Significant experience of managing relationships with diverse stakeholders
  5. Experience of developing and delivering marketing activity
  6. Event management experience
  7. Experience of project/programme evaluation and reporting to stakeholders

 

Additional qualities will include:
  1. Influencing and negotiation skills
  2. Clear, confident and persuasive oral communication skills, including public presentation, and the ability to adapt to the needs of different audiences
  3. Clear, concise and persuasive written communication skills, able to adapt to needs of different stakeholders
  4. Commercial acumen
  5. Strong organizational skills

 

Terms and conditions

The post will have access to a desk at the central Edinburgh office of Publishing Scotland and the possibility of hot desking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival offices during the autumn and winter months. The role is offered as a freelance contract and the post holder will be fully responsible for their own tax including any National Insurance contributions.

Publishing Scotland and Edinburgh International Book Festival are committed to being as accessible as possible to customers, participants and staff. If you have any specific access requirements or concerns, please let us know and we will do our best to meet your needs.

Edinburgh International Book Festival and Publishing Scotland are equal opportunities employers and Edinburgh International Book Festival is an Investor in People.

This job description is also available as a PDF document to download.

 

How to apply

Please send a copy of your CV and an application letter outlining your suitability for the post to marion.sinclair@publishingscotland.org. You may include any other information to support your application.

 

Closing date for applications: Thursday 12th July 2018

Interviews: Monday 30th July 2018

This post is supported by funding from Creative Scotland. 

June 26, 2018

Publishing Scotland International Fellowship programme 2018

Senior publishing figures from the US, Korea and Europe are set to visit Scotland in a trade mission that puts Scotland firmly on the international literary map.

The fourth International Fellowship Programme from Publishing Scotland facilitates international exchange and comprises nine invited Fellows from Germany, France, Italy, Finland, US, and includes – for the first time – a delegate from South Korea.

The group will spend a week in Scotland at the end of August meeting Scotland-based publishers, agents and writers in a varied programme of events planned across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

The purpose of the visit is to help develop relationships between the international publishing community and the Scottish sector, facilitate rights selling and bring Scottish books to an international audience.

The Fellows will experience the Edinburgh International Book Festival and – in another first for the scheme – attend a showcase of Scottish writing hosted at University of Glasgow by best-selling author Louise Welsh who is the university’s Professor of Creative Writing.

The 2018 Fellows are:

  • Regina Kammerer, Publisher, btb Verlag, Germany
  • Raphaëlle Liebaert, Editorial Director Foreign Fiction, Editions Stock (Hachette Group), France
  • Gregory Limpens, Rights Manager, Open Books, Korea
  • Beatrice Masini, Founder/Publisher, Bompiani-Giunti Editore, Italy
  • Andrea Morstabilini, Acquisitions Editor and Rights Director, Il Saggiatore, Italy
  • Patrick Nolan, VP, Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Penguin Books, USA
  • Päivi Paappanen, Publishing Director, Like Publishing, Finland
  • Melanie Tortoroli, senior editor, WW Norton and Co, USA
  • Eva Wallbaum, Editor, Harper Collins, Germany 

The first Fellow from Korea to take part in the Programme is Gregory Limpens, the Rights Manager at Open Books, a publishing house based in Paju Book City near Seoul, which specialises in literature in translation. Originally hailing from Belgium, Mr Limpens has lived and worked in South Korea since 2005. He said:

“I’ve always wanted to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival and am eager to learn about the Scottish publishing industry and book market. Works by Scottish authors are translated into Korean as a result of the author’s visibility on the international literary scene so Korean readers have enjoyed translations of books by Jenni Fagan, Irvine Welsh, A.J. Cronin and George MacDonald, and one of Korea’s largest publishers has recently published the first translation of Muriel Spark’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Scotland to be inspired to add a few more Scottish authors to our own list, which already includes Iain Banks, Ali Smith and Graeme Macrae Burnet.”

Scotland-based Andrea Joyce, Rights Director of Canongate, who has been involved with the Fellowship since it was established in 2014, said: “The Fellowship enables us to punch well above our weight on the international stage. It’s been hugely beneficial to Canongate by establishing and strengthening relationships with international publishers, and we have wrapped up several major deals with Fellows over the years. A great example of the reach of the connections created through the scheme is when publisher Elena Ramirez at Planeta bought the Spanish rights to ‘The Last Night Out’ by Catherine O’Connell. Elena then recommended the book to her colleagues at Planeta Italy, Portugal and Brazil who subsequently bought the Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian rights.” 

Marion Sinclair, Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, said: “Now more than ever, it’s vital that we maintain our international connections and ambition. The book world is fuelled by relationships that we make through bookfairs, selling rights and licensing, and the Fellowship scheme allows us to develop and deepen those relationships between the Scottish publishing industry and the rest of the world.

“In four years, we have invited 36 senior international publishers to Scotland and given our publishers, agents, and writers the chance to get to know them in a more relaxed setting. It’s all part of a wider internationalisation strand within our work and is a key way of getting more visibility for the sector here.”

The award-winning Programme from the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland is supported by funding from Creative Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s XpoNorth Programme.

Alan Bett, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said: “By inviting these nine publishers to Scotland for their International Fellowship Programme, Publishing Scotland helps connect Scottish literature to the world. The fellowship ensures that the work of our writers will be available in different languages and sit on bookshop shelves across Europe and further afield in the US and Korea. This is only one side of a cross-pollination process though, with the other encouraging Scottish publishers to build strong commercial relationships with the Fellows and enhance their lists with international titles, therefore providing our readers access to new literary voices and stories from diverse cultures.”

Please see the Publishing Scotland website for biographies of the 2018 Fellows.

 

 

May 11, 2018

Event – FUTURE PROOF: How does the author fit into today’s publishing landscape?

Authors: join Creative Scotland and a host of publishing professionals for an afternoon of panels, talks and discussions, designed to inform and provoke debate around the opportunities and challenges currently facing writers at all stages of their career – including alternative routes to publication and the potential offered through new distribution models and digital channels.

  • Update yourself on both the traditional and new models of book distribution
  • Learn more about self-publishing models
  • Understand the viability of e-book publishing

Featured speakers will include Marion Sinclair of Publishing Scotland, Davinder Bedi of Booksource, Laura Jones of 404 Ink, self-published author Margaret Skea and Peter Urpeth of Emergents.

DATE: Monday 12 March 2018

TIME: 12.45-4.30pm

VENUE: Grassmarket Community Project, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA

FREE but ticketed: Book via Eventbrite

 

Afternoon Agenda

12:45 – Welcome, registration & coffee

13:00 – PANEL: Something Old, Something New: Approaches to Book Distribution

With Marion Sinclair (Publishing Scotland), Davinder Bedi (Booksource), Laura Jones (404 Ink)

14:30 – Comfort Break

15:00 – TALKS:

  • The Road Less Travelled with Peter Urpeth, Emergents
  • Hybrid/Self-publishing and E-books, Margaret Skea, author

Q&A

16:30 – Event close

February 23, 2018

ICYMI: Watch the #ThisIsIt2017 videos

If you didn’t make it to the Literary Cabaret 2017 on 23 November, or to watch the speakers again, here are the videos.

Please share your comments with us @LitScotland using #ThisIsIt2017.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scotland’s Culture Secretary opens the show.

“Words matter, writers matter…Scotland is a country of the word. You are guardians and nurturers of that word. You are creators of that word. Thank you.”

 

Francis Bickmore, Publishing Director of Canongate, on publishing:

“Novels are literally a crash-course in empathy…Books can not only make us care but they can also give us hope.”

 

Adrian Turpin, Artistic Director of Wigtown Book Festival on book festivals:

 

Pamela Tulloch, CEO of Scottish Library and Information Council on public and school libraries:

 

Award-winning poet William Letford on writers:

 

Best-selling author Louise Welsh on international perspective:

December 4, 2017

This is it! Scotland’s literary talent in the spotlight at cabaret event

Author Louise Welsh, poet William Letford (l) and Francis Bickmore of Canongate Books.

Best-selling author Louise Welsh and award-winning poet William Letford are set to headline an inaugural literary cabaret taking place this month, which shines a light on the nation’s literary scene in 2017.

The fast-paced, 90-minute show – called This Is It! –  will highlight the year’s literary happenings across five strands – publishing, book festivals, school and public libraries, writers, and the international perspective.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs will open this first public event from Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) – the nation’s largest network of literature and languages organisations – on Wednesday 23 November from 7pm at Central Hall, Edinburgh.

Speakers include, respectively, Canongate Books’ Publishing Director Francis Bickmore, Adrian Turpin, Artistic Director of Wigtown Book Festival, and Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of Scottish Libraries Information Council (SLIC).

Poet William Letford, who hails from Stirling, will cover writer development and perform a reading of his poem This Is It from which the event takes its name.

Closing the show will be Glasgow-based author, Louise Welsh, who will speak about Scotland’s books and literature on the international stage as well as the importance of literary exchange between nations.

In addition, attendees will be able to browse and buy books from Scotland’s writers and publishers courtesy of Blackwell’s Bookshop, Edinburgh while librarians from South Lanarkshire’s digital library programme ‘ACTIVEe’ will be on hand to demonstrate 3D printers which are now available in all of Scotland’s public libraries.

Peggy Hughes, Chair of LAS said:

“With over 40 book festivals a year, ambitious new publishing houses such as 404ink emerging, stalwarts such as Birlinn celebrating 25 years, another Man Booker shortlisting for Ali Smith, Muriel Spark’s centenary on the horizon, not to mention the many, many Scottish books and authors that are going into the world every day and taking our stories and voices with them, it seemed high time that we take a moment to celebrate the wealth of our literature sector and shout about its cultural and social value.”

“At a time when Scotland’s Culture Strategy is being developed, it’s vital that we champion our sector and all the talented people working within and for it. Our literary cabaret is a chance for everyone with an interest in Scotland’s literature and book community to gather together and say, ‘This is it, this is a snapshot of what’s been happening this year’. It’s about carving out a space to celebrate the wonderful success, highlight the exciting potential and address the challenges. That’s why we’re so delighted that Fiona Hyslop is officially opening the event and giving this rich and vibrant sector the recognition it deserves.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“Scotland’s distinguished literary culture is a notable part of our national identity. It also attracts visitors to Scotland and raises our cultural profile around the world.

“I am pleased that the Literature Alliance Scotland is extending its reach beyond its membership of key individuals and agencies which promote writers and publishers to engage with the public.

“We are doing all we can to support the literary sector to ensure this rich legacy is maintained and strengthened in future years. We do this through for example our support for Creative Scotland, literacy, libraries, festivals, Book Week Scotland, the First Minister’s Reading Challenge and the post of Makar.”

Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland, said:

“We have a unique, distinctive and rich cultural asset in literature that not only makes an enormous impact to people’s lives in Scotland but also enhances our reputation internationally.  From poets to storytellers, screenwriters and playwrights the quantity and quality of writing being published here is truly inspiring. This is It! and Literature Alliance Scotland creates an important opportunity to bring together authors, publishers, libraries, festivals and literary organisations, and champion the work being done to make literature more visible to a greater number of people. We look forward to continuing this work with Scottish Government, partner agencies and individuals to create the best conditions to support a thriving literature and publishing sector in Scotland and internationally.”

This Is It! is hosted by Siân Bevan and tickets are £7 /£6 – https://this-is-it-literary-cabaret-2017.eventbrite.com/

-Ends-

Issued by JK Consultancy on behalf of Literature Alliance Scotland. For further information, please contact LAS Communications Officer Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 / jenny@jkconsultancy.com

Notes to Editor

Literature Alliance Scotland, a membership organisation, represents the principal literature and languages organisations in Scotland, and is committed to advancing their interests at home and abroad. We exist to provide a strong, trusted collective voice on their behalf. Formed in Spring 2015, LAS is a successor to the Literature Forum for Scotland. For further information visit www.literaturealliancescotland.co.uk or follow us on Twitter: @LitScotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland, please visit www.creativescotland.com Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

November 6, 2017
This is it! Scotland’s literary talent in the spotlight at cabaret event

The Bookseller wants your Scottish stories

The Bookseller has announced its very first dedicated Country Focus on Scotland, to run in the 19th January 2018 edition to celebrate Scotland’s publishers and publishing industry.

It will be a specific and dedicated edition on Scotland with news stories, features, charts, analysis, and a preview feature of books released throughout next year.

They are currently holding an open call to publishers, authors, buyers, agents and publisher services throughout Scotland to take part.

It’s a great opportunity to showcase yourselves, as well as new titles, to book buyers, bookshop owners, ecommerce outlets and major publishers throughout Europe and beyond.

Over the next few months, The Bookseller will be calling for the following information:

  • News stories/press releases/trends in Scottish publishing
  • AIs for top titles released between January 2018 and January 2019
  • Bookings for advertising/promotional slots in the edition.

Please email Emma Hare, Senior Account Manager

You can view the Wales Focus here, and the Ireland Focus here.

Information courtesy of Asif Khan of Scottish Poetry Library & The Bookseller

 

October 9, 2017