At simultaneous ceremonies in Edinburgh and London celebrating excellence in Scottish literature, the Saltire Literary Awards 2015 Shortlists were announced.


2015 Saltire Literary Awards Shortlists


Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year Award:

Clubbing Together: Ethnicity, Civility and Formal
Sociability in the Scottish Diaspora to 1930
Dr. Tanja Bueltman
(Liverpool University Press)

Microbes and the Fetlar Man: The Life of Sir William Watson Cheyne
Jane Coutts
(Humming Earth)



The Voice of the People: Hamish Henderson and Scottish Cultural Politics
Corey Gibson
(Edinburgh University


The Native Woodlands of Scotland
Scott Wilson
(Edinburgh University





 Saltire Society Scottish History Book of the Year Award:




A Chasm in Time:
Scottish War Art
and Artists in the Twentieth Century

Patricia R. Andrew


A History of Drinking; The Scottish Pub
since 1700

Anthony Cooke
(Edinburgh University Press)


John Knox
Jane Dawson
(Yale University Press)



The Going Down of the Sun:
The Great War and a rural Lewis community

 Donald A Morrison



 Saltire Society Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award:

Jim Carruth
 Cream of the Well
Valerie Gillies
(Luath Press)
Not All Honey
Roddy Lumsden
(Bloodaxe Books)
The Good Dark
Ryan Van Winkle
(Penned in the Margins)


 Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award:

The People's Referendum
Peter Geoghegan
(Luath Press)
Audrey Henderson
(Homebound Publications)
On the Edges of Vision
Helen McClory
(Queen's Ferry Press)


The Liepzig Affair
Fiona Rintoul
(Aurora Metro
Books Ltd)
Lie of the Land
Michael F. Russell

Sixty Degrees North
Malachy Tallack


Saltire Society Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award:


 Young Eliot
Robert Crawford
(Jonathan Cape)


Adventures in
Human Being
Gavin Francis
(Profile Books)

Gill Fyffe


This is Scotland
Daniel  Gray & Alan McCredie
(Luath Press)


 Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year Award:


 God in Ruins
Kate Atkinson
(Transworld Publishers)

The Book of
Strange New Things
Michel Faber

Janice Galloway
(Freight Books) 






An Dosan
Norma Nicleoid
The Illuminations
Andrew O'Hagan

 A Decent Ride
Irvine Welsh
(Jonathan Cape)


Download the full Press Release HERE

The 2015 Awards ceremony will be held on 26th November 2015 in Edinburgh.

Book your tickets quick for the hotest ticket in town HERE!.




There are now six categories included within the annual Saltire Society Literary Awards including First Book of the Year, History Book of the Year, Research Book of the Year and Poetry Book of the Year. What's more, 2015 sees the expansion of our Literary Book of the Year Award which will be separated into two categories for Fiction and Non-Fiction books. The winner of each category will receive £2,000 and become the shortlist for the Saltire Society Book of the Year Award, with a prize of £6,000.

 More Information and download the  Literary Awards entry form HERE.

 More Information and download the  Publisher of the Year Award entry form HERE.

Nominations for the six book categories must reach the
Saltire Society by Friday, 1st May




The Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award supported by Creative Scotland


The Saltire Scottish Research Book of the Year Award
supported by the National Library of Scotland  


The Scottish Town in the Age of Enlightenment 1740-1820 
[Edinburgh University Press]
Bob Harris & Charles McKean

Other writers shortlisted for the prestigious award this year included well-known broadcasters Sally Magnusson and Kirsty Wark as well as new writing talents such as Niall Campbell and Kirsty Logan and established Scottish writers and past winners including A L Kennedy and Martin MacIntyre.

Now firmly established as Scotland’s most prestigious annual book awards, the Saltire Literary Awards have been supported this year by an expanded list of partners and sponsors including Creative Scotland, the Scottish Poetry Library, the Scottish Historical Review Trust and Tamdhu Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

The awards celebrate and support literary and academic excellence across six distinct categories with the winner of each of the five individual book categories going forward to be considered for the Saltire Book of the Year award.

Alongside the overall winner, a further five category winners were announced. Each individual book category winner received a £2,000 cash prize while the winner of the Publisher of the Year award received a £4,000 cash prize to support the ongoing development of their business:

The Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year Award
supported by Tamdhu Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky


[Bloodaxe Books] 
Niall Campbell
A collection of verse from Edinburgh-based Niall Campbell and strongly influenced by his upbringing on the Western Isles


The Saltire Scottish History Book of the Year Award
supported by the Scottish Historical Review Trust


 Scottish Gods, Religion in the Modern Scotland 1900-2012
[Edinburgh University Press]
Steve Bruce
By leading social historian Steve Bruce, exploring how religion in Scotland has become more varied over time


The Saltire Scottish Literary Book of the Year Award
(new for 2014)

supported by the Saltire Society








How to be Both
[Hamish Hamilton]
Ali Smith
A set of two novels which interpenetrate each other despite being set centuries apart, by Inverness-born writer and 1995 Saltire First Book of the Year award winner Ali Smith. The book was also shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.


The Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award
(new for 2014)

supported by the Scottish Poetry Library & Creative Scotland


  Bones and Breath
Alexander Hutchison
A collection that savours the music and heft of language, including and especially Scots, written by Buckie-born and raised poet Alexander Hutchison


The Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year Award
supported by Creative Scotland


Sandstone Press
A small enterprise based in Dingwall, Sandstone Press has quickly established a reputation for quality and innovation.


The Awards ceremony also included an announcement of the winner of the Saltire Society’s 2014 Ross Roy Medal. Established in 2009, this award commemorates the outstanding contribution to Scottish literature by Professor G Ross Roy of the University of South Carolina. Supporting the next generation of academics, the medal is awarded to the best PhD thesis on a subject relating to Scottish literature. This year’s winner was Barbara Leonardi from Stirling University for her thesis, ‘An Exploration of Gender Stereotypes in the Work of James Hogg’.

Winner of the 2015 Saltire Society Literary Travel Bursary, supported by the British Council was also announced. Lenore Bell, from St Andrews University, intends to use the £1,500 cash prize towards research for a novel set in Edwardian Brooklyn in the USA.

Commenting on winning his Award, Professor Bob Harris said:

“To win this award in a country with such a rich tradition of writing, making and reading books is a huge honour, and also a wonderful way to mark the major contribution made by my co-author, Charles McKean, to understanding Scotland's very distinctive urban and architectural history.”

Executive Director of the Saltire Society Jim Tough said:

“The Saltire Literary Awards have a proud history of celebrating and bringing wider attention to excellence in all literary forms. This year exemplifies that commitment. Scotland’s most prestigious literary awards became wider in scope and greater in impact through generous support from new sponsors Tamdhu Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Historical Review Trust.

“The judging panels were deeply impressed by the quality and range of books that made it onto the 2014 shortlist. From poetry and plays to novels and non-fiction, extending the length and breadth of the country and far beyond, this year’s shortlist is a testament to the outstanding calibre of modern Scottish literature in all its varied forms.”