There was a big build-up to the Saltire Society Literary Awards for me, not only because I was on the non-fiction shadow panel but also because Fledgling Press, where I’ve interned for the past year, had a book in the running for First Book Award! I’d gotten to read and evaluate the nonfiction category books, and discuss them with a group of my peers as if we were the judging panel. It was quite intimidating, approaching the books in this way, but it was still very hard to choose a winner!
The event itself was held at Central Halls, which was perfect since there were round tables for everyone to sit at during the ceremony. There was an atmosphere of optimism, excitement, and general anticipation from authors, publishers, and guests alike. My table were making their guesses about who might win each category, and for some we were spot on! One of these was the joint award of emerging publisher of the year for the founders of 404 Ink. Chitra Ramaswamy read from her book, Expecting, which won Book of the Year in 2016. I was quite thrilled that the winner of the nonfiction category, Kapka Kassabova with her book, Border, won Book of the Year as well. A quite deserved win! After the ceremony finished we drifted back to the wine table and had some delicious canapes. Overall, the process and the event were well-run, exciting, and fulfilling. It was a great honor to be among both the well-established and the up-and-coming in publishing in Scotland, and the whole process demonstrated that the future of Scottish publishing is very bright.