The Saltire Society Literary Awards rely on expert panels of judges, helping us recognise a range of works from first published books to poetry.


Literary Awards Judging Panels 2018




Mark Wringe

Mark Wringe is a Senior Lecturer at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, University of the Highlands and Islands, and is the Programme Leader for BA/BA Hons Gaelic Language and Culture. Lecturing in Gaelic Language and Literature, Irish Language, Dialects


Hamish Whyte

Hamish Whyte has had several collections of poetry published, and edited many anthologies of Scottish literature, the most recent being Scottish Cats (Birlinn 2013). He runs Mariscat Press. He is a member of Shore Poets, and plays percussion with the band The Whole Shebang.


Rosemary Ward

Rosemary Ward is the current director of programmes at the Scottish Book Trust. She was formerly the director of the Gaelic Books Council.


Ali Bowden

Ali Bowden is the Director of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Prior to joining the trust in 2006 she spent 10 years working in Book publishing in Scotland, such as a commissioning editor at Polygon, and right manager at Edinburgh University Press. She has also worked variously in journalism, and several Scottish arts and culture committees as a speaker, chairing events and as a advisor.


Ken Cockburn

Ken Cockburn is a published poet, freelance writer, translator, editor and writing tutor.  His first collection of poems Souvenirs and homelands was shortlisted for a Saltire Award in 1998. He also now runs Edinburgh Poetry Tours.


Shirley Whiteside

Shirley Whiteside is a freelance arts journalist with a focus on reviewing books, television and film. She has contributed to various publications including the Independent on Sunday, The Herald, Scotland on Sunday, The List, and many more.



First Book


Laura E Waddell

Laura E Waddell is the Publishing Manager at Harper Collins, and a public speaker. She is also a published Writer, a columnist for The Guardian, The Independent, and The Times Literary Supplement among many others. You will find her work in Nasty Women, Know your Place, and The Digital Critic.


Alan Bett

Alan Bett is a Literature Officer with Creative Scotland. Who has extensive experience working in the publishing sector and in arts journalism, previously holding the position of Books Editor at The Skinny Magazine.


Louise Welsh

Louise Welsh is an author of short stories and psychological thrillers. She has also written three plays, edited volumes of prose and poetry, and contributed to various journals and anthologies. Author of eight novels including The Cutting Room, A Lovely Way to Burn and Death is a Welcome Guest.


Anna Day

Anna Day is the Manager for Dundee’s successful bid for the 2017 UNESCO City of Design for Dundee, who is now part of the core team taking the designation forward, managing key projects. She is also a publisher, and journalist.






Chris Whatley

Chris Whatley is a Professor of Scottish History at the University of Dundee.  His specialist field is Scotland history from the seventeenth century. The book that he considers to best represents him is his award winning book The Scots and the Union released in the run up to the Independence referendum in 2014.


Catriona MacDonald

Dr Catriona MacDonald is a history lecturer at the University of Glasgow. She heads the module Reader in Late Modern Scottish History. Her research interests include the socio-political and cultural history of Scotland from 1832.


Richard Oram

Professor Richard Oram is a Dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Stirling. In 2008 he was appointed a member of the Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland.


Annie Tindley

Dr Annie Tindley is a senior lecturer in Modern British History at Newcastle University.  She specialises in rural and aristocratic elites in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.



Non Fiction


Andrew Hook

Andrew Hook FBA, FRSE, is Emeritus Bradley Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow. He also became a fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000 


Meaghan Delahunt

Meaghan Delahunt is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Her works include In the Blue house, The Red Book, To the Island, The Artist and Nationality, Greta Garbo’s Feet & Other Stories.


John Herdman

John Herdman is a novelist, short story writer and literary critic. He is the author of 17 books which includes five novels and various works of shorter fiction, a play, two critical studies and a memoir.


Donna Heddle


Prof. Donna Heddle is Director of the University of the Highlands and Islands Centre for Nordic Studies which focusses on interdisciplinary Northern and Nordic studies and is based in both Kirkwall and Scalloway.  Donna has been based at UHI as Head of the Department of Cultural Studies since June 1999. She was programme leader for the Times Higher Education Supplement Award winning BA (Hons) Scottish Cultural Studies until March 2006.  She is now programme leader for the MLitts Highland and Islands Literature; Highlands and Islands Culture; Orkney and Shetland Studies, and Viking Studies. She has been involved in a number of Northern Periphery Programme cultural projects involving technology and education.  Her research interests are the creation of new paradigms in Scottish and Northern isles studies, Scottish and Northern isles cultural history, small island studies, language, and literature and Old Norse. She has published widely in these areas.

She is currently leading several national and international research projects involving Northern studies, including an AHRC Skills Training programme for PhD students and ECRs in the field of Old Norse-Icelandic and Viking Studies. Donna led the very successful Research Excellence Framework submission in Area Studies, placed first in Scotland for research impact (particularly in tourism) and 5th equal with the University of Oxford for research environment for the whole UK. Donna was awarded a Personal Chair by UHI in June 2013.


Poetry Judges


Rory Watson

Now a Professor Emeritus, Roderick Watson has lectured and published widely on modern Scottish literature, and has published two collections of poetry.


Ryan Van Winkle

Ryan Van Winkle is a poet, live artist, podcaster and critic. His second collection, The Good Dark, won the Saltire Society’s 2015 Poetry Book of the Year award. His work can be found in New Writing Scotland, The Prairie Schooner, The American Poetry Review, AGNI and Best Scottish Poems 2015.


Asif Khan

Asif Khan is the current Director of the Scottish Poetry Library. He is notable for leading the national Cultural policy for the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade commemorative programme in 2007.


Christine De Luca

Christine De Luca is a poet and writer from Shetland who writes in both English and Shetlandic. She was appointed Edinburgh’s Makar, or poet laureate from 2014 to 2017. She has published six full collections of poetry, translated into many languages.


Rhian Williams

Dr Rhian Williams is a lecturer of English Literature at The University of Glasgow, with a focus on poetry. Her research interests include the politics of poetry reading.  Her book The Poetry Toolkit: The Essential Guide to Studying Poetry is mainstay in most English Literature student’s bookshelves.


Miriam Gamble

Miriam Gamble is a Creative Writing lecturer at The University of Edinburgh with a focus on poetry. Her research interests are mainly considering modern and contemporary poetry.



Research Judges Bios


Daniel Cook

Dr Daniel Cook is a English Literature lecturer at the University of Dundee. Specialising in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature, book history, authorship and appropriation studies, the history of the novel, and Scottish and Irish writing more broadly.


Cate Newton

Cate Newton is a PhD student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at University of Dundee. She is also an Artist


Robin Smith

Robin Smith is the Head of Collections and Research at National Library of Scotland Based at Edinburgh and Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.