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

Saltire Literary Awards shortlist announced

Saltire Society have announced their Saltire Literary Award Shortlists for 2018.

Multi-award winning writers and household names Irvine Welsh, Sally Magnusson and Jackie Kay feature alongside emerging talents Mick Kitson and Christina Neuwirth in the shortlists for the 2018 Saltire Literary awards, unveiled on Monday 22 October 2018.

The shortlists for six literary awards and two publishing awards were officially announced at an event hosted at the West End branch of Waterstones in Edinburgh.

The shortlists are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of Saltire Society.

October 23, 2018

2018 Outstanding Women of Scotland

Ten Scottish women from the fields of the arts, culture, politics, activism and science have been honoured and inducted into the esteemed Saltire Society ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ community at a special event in Glasgow.

Back row L-R Sarah Wanless, Jenny Brown, Karyn McCluskey, Louise Beattie, Beth Morrison
Front Row, L_R Talat Yaqoob, Janice Parker, Rosemary Ward, Isabel McCue

This year’s ten inductees include the UK’s youngest MP Mhairi Black, distinguished scientist Sarah Wanless and actor Maureen Beattie, who is president of the actors’ union Equity and a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Histories Ensemble. Also featured in this year’s list of inductees are Chief Executive of Community Justice Scotland Karen McCluskey and pioneering campaigners Talat Yaqoob, Beth Morrison and Isabel McCue, alongside choreographer Janice Parker and literary agent Jenny Brown. Completing the list of 2018 inductees is Rosemary Ward, a notable figure in the fields of Gaelic education and literature (and a Trustee of LAS).

Since it began in 2015, the ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ campaign has recognised and celebrated Scottish women from all walks of life and the inspiration their achievements set for the next generation. Each year, the campaign invites members of the public to nominate living contemporary examples of Scottish women who have made a significant contribution to Scottish culture and society for induction into the Outstanding Women of Scotland community. Past inductees have included singer-songwriter and activist Annie Lennox, bestselling author J.K. Rowling and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Taking place at Glasgow Women’s Library, the special ceremony saw each inductee presented with a limited edition print.

 

Full details of this year’s ten inductees are as follows:

  • Maureen Beattie – prominent stage and screen actor and President of Equity.
  • Jenny Brown – leading literary agent, former Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, founder Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Chair of Bloody Scotland crime writing festival.
  • Mhairi Black – Member of Parliament for Paisley & Renfrewshire South and the youngest member in the House of Commons.
  • Karyn McCluskey – Chief Executive of Community Justice Scotland, notably championed a public health approach to violence reduction and is a world-leading expert in this field.
  • Isabel McCue MBE – mental health campaigner and founder of Theatre Nemo.
  • Beth Morrison – award-winning campaigner for the care, wellbeing and rights of children with special and complex needs.
  • Janice Parker – award-winning independent choreographer and dance-maker.
  • Professor Sarah Wanless – highly regarded scientist with international recognition whose work has been essential to the conservation of marine ecosystems, a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Honorary professor at the University of Aberdeen.
  • Rosemary Ward – Director of Programmes at the Scottish Book Trust, former Director of the Gaelic Book Council and notable figure in the fields of Gaelic education, literature and culture.
  • Talat Yaqoob – Director of Equate Scotland and campaigner for gender, race and religious equality in Scotland.

 

Glasgow Women’s Library Enterprise Development Manager, Sue John, said:
“Glasgow Women’s Library is thrilled to be working with the Saltire Society once again. Each year, another cohort of incredible women is inducted as Outstanding Women of Scotland. Through their extraordinary contributions to Scotland and the wider world they are role models for us all, and I am pleased have celebrated their achievements with them on this special occasion.”

Saltire Society President, Sally Mapstone, said:
“Across the arts, politics, science, and vital areas such as justice, special needs and mental health, Scotland generates outstanding women, whom the Saltire Society is proud to celebrate. Women’s leadership, creativity, and companionship, done on their own terms and to enhance the lives of others, characterise this year’s inspiring inductees.”

Saltire Society Programme Director, Sarah Mason, said:
“It is a great privilege to once again honour truly inspiring women who contribute to both Scotland and internationally, who change the world we live in. The Saltire Society exists to promote and celebrate Scottish culture and heritage and we are proud to work with Glasgow Women’s Library on the Outstanding Women of Scotland. Over the years, the contribution of Scotland’s women to the cultural life of this country has been truly remarkable but sadly too often underestimated or overlooked. By building the Outstanding Women of Scotland community year by year, I hope we can begin to address that shortcoming and bring women to the forefront.”

October 22, 2018

Saltire Society seeks Events Assistant

The Saltire Society is offering a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to gain experience in event programming and management. They are looking for a dynamic individual who can work well in a team as well as on their own initiative.

The Saltire Society is a small influential cultural charity with an energetic and engaging approach to managing and delivering our marketing and communications. This is strongly linked to their programme of awards and the associated ceremonies.

The successful candidate will benefit from hands-on experience in a small charity of organising, delivering and evaluating our Saltire Awards.

The person appointed will work closely with our Programme Director, Event Officer, Board, Volunteers and Partners to develop and run a range of events for the Society’s 2018 programme.

For full details of the position, visit Saltire Society website

Closing date: Noon on Mon 20 Aug 2018

Interview date: Tues 4 Sept

August 1, 2018

CS Open Project Funding for Literature: June 2018

Nearly £1million of National Lottery Funding has been awarded through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding in June 2018.

£903,556 of National Lottery Funding has been awarded through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding to 42 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

Congratulations to the following organisations and individuals receiving funding in June 2018 for Literature:

The Saltire Society received funding towards the 2018 Saltire Literary Awards. This year is the 30th anniversary of the Scottish First Book of the Year. The Award has seen winners such as Ali Smith, AL Kennedy, Michel Faber and Louise Welsh going on to be central players in the Scottish international literary landscape.

Award-winning poet/performer Jenny Lindsay of Flint & Pitch receives funding towards This Script – a new stage show, poetry collection and spoken word project. This Script tackles sex, gender, feminism and the online culture wars with Lindsay’s trademark humour, openness and lyrical dexterity.

Annual crime writing festival Bute Noir in Rothesay received funding toward their 2018 programme (3-5 Aug). This year’s programme includes acclaimed authors Chris Brookmyre, Helen FitzGerald and Graeme Macrae Burnet.

Portobello Book Festival received funding towards Postcards from Portobello – a publication marking their 10th anniversary. The collection contains original writing from approximately 25 authors with a strong connection to Portobello.

For funding information on the other cultural sectors, read the announcement on Creative Scotland’s website.

July 31, 2018

Saltire Literary Awards announced!

Congratulations to the winners – and all shortlistees – of the 2017 Saltire Literary and Publishing Awards, announced on St Andrew’s Day, Thursday 30 November 2017, at Central Hall in Edinburgh.

Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, looking at the borderlines that exist between countries, cultures and people was announced as the Scottish Book of the Year by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP at the Saltire Literary Awards 2017. 

Describing the book, the judges noted: ‘If ever there was a book for our times, it is Border: A journey to the Edge of Europe, delves into the stories of when the lines that separate countries on the map harden once more after their Cold War thaw. It is at once timely and timeless, with Kassabova – the poet and travel writer by trade – blending skills to spin something truly magical, and sadly, entirely necessary.’

Now firmly established as Scotland’s most prestigious annual book awards, the Saltire Society Literary Awards are supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and celebrate and support literary and academic excellence across six distinct 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 £3,000.

Announced at the Saltire Literary awards ceremony was the winner of the 2017 Saltire Publisher of the Year Award, which went to Birlinn, who  over its 25 years of publishing, Birlinn has consistently produced interesting, important and quality books with high production values.

Only in its second year, the winner of the Saltire Emerging Publisher of the Year Award was also announced as being presented jointly to founders of indie publisher 404Ink, Laura Jones and Heather McDaid, whose dedication and innovation are changing the face of modern Scottish publishing.

Information courtesy of Saltire Society. 

December 1, 2017