2014 Saltire Literary Awards Shortlists

Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year Award:


  • Moontide [Bloodaxe Books], a collection of verse from Edinburgh-based Niall Campbell and strongly influenced by his upbringing on the Western Isles;
  • The Monster’s Wife [Barbican Press] by Kate Horsley, an imagined after-story to the much-travelled Frankenstein story, set in the distant North of Scotland;
  • The Rental Heart [Salt], a collection of short stories that boomerang around the world and our understanding of what the heart can be and can do, written by Kirsty Logan;
  • Any Other Mouth [Freight Books], also a short story collection that mingles autobiography and invention by writer, performer and teacher Anneliese Mackintosh;
  • The Last Pair of Ears [Gadfly Editions], a collection of poetry and prose from Glasgow-based writer Mary F McDonough, loosely bound together by bafflement at the human condition;
  • The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle [Two Roads], the first novel of broadcaster Kirsty Wark, set on the island of Arran and ranging widely through the decades of the 20th century.


Saltire Scottish History Book of the Year Award:


  • Scottish Gods, Religion in the Modern Scotland 1900-2012 [Edinburgh University Press] by leading social historian Steve Bruce, exploring how religion in Scotland has become more varied over time;
  • Painting the Town, Scottish Urban History in Art [Society of Antiquaries Scotland] by E.P. Dennison, S. Eydmann, A. Lyell, M. Lynch and S. Stronach, which gathers together a visual record of Scotland’s towns and townspeople before the advent of photography;
  • A New Race of Men [Birlinn] by political historian and regular Scottish newspaper columnist Michael Fry, a modern history of Scotland that uses the experience of individual Scots men and women to provide a very human perspective of a dynamic period of change and progress;
  • Governing Gaeldom: The Scottish Highlands and the Restoration State, 1600-1688 [BRILL, Leiden] by Alan Kennedy, a research associate of the University of Manchester;
  • Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland’s Past [Ashgate Publishing], providing an insight into the importance of Innes’ work in the context of wider Scottish, British and European Scenarios and written by Dr Richard A Marsden of Cardiff University.


Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year Award:


  • The Eagle’s Way [Saraband], written by leading nature writer Jim Crumley and using years of experience in observing eagles to explain how they interact with each other and the Scottish landscape;
  • The Scottish Town in the Age of Enlightenment 1740-1820 [Edinburgh University Press] by Scottish academics Robert Harris and Charles McKean (McKean having died in September 2013), examining how Scotland’s burghs improved themselves during the eighteenth century;
  • Lexical Change and Attrition in the Scottish Fishing Communities [Edinburgh University Press] by Robert McColl Millar, William Barras and Lisa Maria Bonnici of the Aberdeen University School of Language and Literature, examining the impact of societal changes on traditional dialects in the north east of Scotland’s fishing communities;
  • The K2 Man (and his Molluscs) [Neil Wilson Publishing], an account of the life of nineteenth century mountaineer Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen by Nairn-born teacher, writer and mountaineer Catherine Moorehead;
  • Material Culture and Sedition 1688 – 1760 [Palgrave Macmillan] by Scottish cultural historian and Bradley Professor of Literature at the University of Glasgow Murray Pittock, an exploration of the ways in which material culture was used to avoid prosecution for Jacobite treason in the eighteenth century;
  • Landscapes and Protest in the Scottish Highlands after 1914 [Ashgate Publishing], exploring the history of land protest in the region through the prisms of popular memory and land disturbance, written by Iain J. M. Robertson, Course Leader in History at the University of Gloucestershire.


Saltire Scottish Fiction Book of the Year Award:


  • All the Rage [Jonathan Cape], a new collection of short stories by 2007 Saltire Book of the Year award winner A. L. Kennedy;
  • Gone are the Leaves [Canongate], a historical novel tinged with fantasy and myth, written by Glaswegian author Anne Donovan;
  • Where Memories Go [Two Roads], a first-hand account of dementia and memory loss in the family from writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson;
  • Cala Bendita ‘S a Bheannachdan Acair [Acair], a book centred on family life and told in their own languages, written by 2003 Saltire First Book of the Year award winner Martin MacIntyre;
  • The James Plays [Nick Hern Books], a trilogy of plays following the fortunes of James I, II and III, dramatised as part of the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival and written by award winning playwright and screenwriter Rona Munro;
  • How to be Both [Hamish Hamilton], 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.


Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award:


  • All One Breath [Jonathan Cape], a collection reflecting on family history, personal terrors, mortality, memory and the natural world from Dunfermline-born John Burnside, Professor in Creative Writing at St. Andrews University;
  • Byssus [Picador], a collection by English poet Jen Hadfield reflecting her engagement with the language and culture of Shetland, where she currently resides;
  • Bones and Breath [Salt], a collection that savours the music and heft of language, including and especially Scots, written by Buckie-born and raised poet Alexander Hutchison;
  • The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion [Carcanet], an exploration of the ultimately universal tensions between folk experience and the vested interests of power by Jamaican poet and former Glasgow University PhD graduate Kei Miller;
  • At Maldon [CB Editions], a visceral re-telling of the Old English poem ‘The Battle of Maldon’ by Scottish Borders resident poet J. O. Morgan;
  • Locust and Marlin [Shearsman Books], presenting an otherworldly perspective on how the world presents itself to us using dream-like imagery, a collection of poems by New Jersey-born, Edinburgh-resident poet J. L. Williams.