Scotland’s National Book Awards rely on our panels of expert judges to recognise and help us celebrate the best of literature in Scotland from debut works to poetry.   


We are looking for individuals who have a passion for books and experience as authors, editors, readers, librarians, critics, booksellers, or other members of the literary community to form part of our panels of independent and impartial judges for the Fiction, First Book, Non-Fiction and Poetry Awards. 

Being part of Scotland’s National Book Awards is a great way to share your knowledge and experience and, at the same time, promote and support Scotland’s literary landscape. As a judge you will be invited to all Book Award events, receive membership of the Society and an honorarium of £250 and reasonable expenses for your time and expertise. 


As a judge your will be expected to 

  • read all the books designated to you in the Award you are judging. Please note that some Award categories receive more nominations than others, requiring a larger commitment of time 
  • commit to being impartial in your judging 
  • attend equality, diversity and inclusivity training 
  • attend up to four judging meetings via Zoom or (if allowed be government guidelines at the time) at Saltire Headquarters in Edinburgh 
  • where appropriate/possible take part in/join us at the events announcing the Award shortlists and recipients 
  • make known any conflicts of interest you may have with nominated works. 


  • deadline for public judge applications - 25 May 2021 at noon 
  • 31 May is the deadline for submissions by publishers 
  • week beginning 31 May public judges will be announced 
  • 4 June deadline for all book submissions from publishers (books will be distributed both digitally and physically dependent on judges preference and availability) 
  • meetings held in July, August, September and October/November 
  • September – shortlists announced 
  • late November – recipients announced at the Awards Ceremony. 

Other information 

A judge may only judge an Award for which they are not nominated. 

A judge may not judge an Award in which books by a person they have, or have had, a close personal relationship with is nominated. 

Applying to be a judge 

Please email with a short biography (no more than 500 words) and your CV by noon on 25 May 2021.