Friday 15 November 2013

Scottish Book of the Year Winner Announced!

The Saltire Society is delighted to announce the winners of the 2013 Saltire Literary Awards including Saltire Book of the Year, First Book of the Year, History Book of the Year, Research Book of the Year and support for the next generation of writers and academics in the new International Student Travel Bursary and the Ross Roy Medal.

This unique and distinguished array of awards has quality to the fore and is founded on the expertise and integrity of our panels who give generously and freely of their time and knowledge.

Magnus Linklater, President of the Saltire Society said;

‘The Saltire Society has a long standing commitment to recognising exceptional writing talent in Scotland. Our literary heritage is internationally renowned and the future is in similarly fine fettle with the quality of work evident in these awards.’

Jim Tough, Executive Director of Saltire Society said:

‘The power of the Saltire Literary Awards lays in their scope, their commitment to excellence and the integrity of a judging process grounded in the voluntary commitment of real experts. Look across the full range of these awards and the shortlists and we see academic excellence, literary imagination in full flow, innovation, ambition and a confident, multi lingual nation in good voice.’


This year’s winners are;



John Burnside excels amongst an exceptional shortlist for his collection of stories ‘Something Like Happy’ 

John Burnside


Something Like Happy

By John Burnside, Published by Jonathan Cape


Professor Ian Campbell, Convener of the Book of the Year and First Book Panel said:

‘The Saltire Literary Awards of 2013 were ample proof of the health of Scottish writing and publishing.  From very strong short lists the panels, with difficulty, managed to elect winners which show the variety of good writing in prose and poetry, in Gaelic and Scots and English.  From first writers to established names, the quality was exceptional with John Burnside’s collection of beautifully crafted, lyrical and moving stories to the fore.’



 This year’s shortlist was exceptional, to the extent that the panel felt that it only right to make two awards this year. The joint winners capture the range and diversity of Scottish literary talent, with an innovative science fiction novel in Gaelic sitting shoulder to shoulder with a collection of poems in Scots and English.

Tim Armstrong


 Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach

By Tim Armstrong, Published by Clar


The panel commented;

‘Tim Armstrong has brought the counter-culture of his native Seattle to shape the first genuine sci-fi novel in Gaelic.’


 Eunice Buchanan


As Far As I Can See

By Eunice Buchanan, Published by Kettillonia


The panel commented;

‘The poems in Scots are outstanding in their use of language. The reader can only hope there are more stories and poems to come’




in association with the National Library of Scotland

Robin Lloyd-Jones


The Sunlit Summit: The Life of W. H. Murray

By Robin Lloyd-Jones, Published by Sandstone Press


Professor Tom Bryce, Convener of the Research Book of the Year said:

 ‘This year’s entries for the Research Book of the Year Award were strong and varied.  The committee short-listed four very different books and unanimously agreed on the winner. W.H. Murray was one of Scotland’s most distinguished climbers. This is not only a triumph of fine writing and interest, but a worthy accolade for this great man.’




Robin Emerson

An Enlightened Duke: The Life of Archibald Campbell (1682-1761), Earl of Ilay, 3rd Duke of Argyll

By Roger L. Emerson, Published by Humming Earth


Professor Chris Whatley, Convener of the History Book of the Year said:

‘This is not only the biography of a man, albeit the most important man in the country; it is also the biography of a nation as Scotland was integrated – with Argyll at the forefront – into the new United Kingdom’






The Saltire International Student Travel Bursary is a new partnership with British Council Scotland offering the opportunity for a young creative writing graduate to pursue an international research project related to their practice.

 This year’s award goes to Katherine Lockton a graduate for the MSc in Creative Writing at Edinburgh University, she plans to use the opportunity to develop her poetry through a research visit to Bolivia exploring her own heritage and family background form her childhood in that country.


The Ross Roy Medal commemorates the outstanding contribution to Scottish literature made by Professor G. Ross Roy of the University of South Carolina. It is awarded to the best PhD thesis submitted to a participating university on a subject relating to Scottish literature. The winner this year is Michael Morris, University of Glasgow for his study ‘Atlantic Archipelagos: A Cultural History of Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic World c. 174—1833’




The Saltire Society's long tradition of celebrating the best of Scottish endeavours in many fields culminates in the announcement of our literary awards to coincide with the celebrations for our National Day. The judge’s task has been stimulating and rewarding. There is little doubt that once again the high quality of imagination, research, scholarship and literary excellence displayed by our authors has been confirmed.



Awarded annually since 1982, The Book of the Year Award is given to either a book by a living author/s of Scottish descent or residing in Scotland or the book subject must be the work or life of a Scot or engage with a Scottish issue.  Nominations may be a novel, a play, poetry or other work of imaginative literature, biography, literary criticism or a study of any Scottish issue.

Adjudication Panel:

Professor Ian Campbell (Convener), Allan Boyd, Dr. Ann Matheson, Joyce McMillan, Dr. David Robb, Professor Claire Squires, Mark Wringe 



In 1988 the Literary Awards were extended to include the Scottish First Book of the Year Award. The Award is given to a book by a living author/authors, who has not previously been published, of Scottish descent or residing in Scotland or the book subject must be the work or life of a Scot or with a Scottish question, event or situation. Nominations may be a novel, a play, poetry or other work of imaginative literature, biography, literary criticism or a study of any Scottish issue.   Books of multiple authorship would not normally qualify.

Adjudication Panel: As for Scottish Book of the Year


In memory of Agnes Mure Mackenzie  
Established in 1965, the Award is for a work of Scottish Historical Research.   Editions of texts are not eligible.   Nominations are invited from professors of Scottish History and editors of historical review publications.

Adjudication Panel: Professor Chris Whatley, Dr Catriona MacDonald, Professor Richard Oram, Dr Fiona Watson, Dr David Caldwell



Established in 1998, the Award is made jointly with The National Library of Scotland.   Overall, the awarded book will add to the knowledge and understanding of Scotland and the Scots. The Award may be given to any book by an author or authors of Scottish descent or living in Scotland.  It may also be given for any book which deals with the work or life of a Scot – or with a Scottish question, event or situation.   Books being entered should represent a significant body of research and offer new insight or dimension to the subject.

Adjudication Panel: ProfessorTom Bryce (Convener), Robin Smith, Cate Newton 


25 March 2019

Inspiring Scotland Bursary Announcement

We are thrilled to announce the two recipients of the Inspiring Scotland Bursaries 2019.

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30 November 2018

Saltire Literary Awards Announced!

We are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2018 Saltire Literary Awards.

Presented on the 30 November at Dynamic Earth.

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24 October 2018

Saltire Infrastrucutre Awards 2018 Winners Announced

The Forth Replacement Crossing project, with the dramatic Queensferry Crossing as its centrepiece, has won the Greatest Contribution to Scotland award at this year’s Saltire Infrastructure Awards with Glasgow’s Shieldhall Tunnel picking up the much-prized Infrastructure award.

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