About the Awards 
The Saltire Society Literary Awards are widely regarded as Scotland’s most prestigious literary awards. They represent the Society’s commitment to celebrate and support literary achievement. They highlight fantastic talent while raising the profile of writers and publishers.  Over the last seven years the Society itself has made substantial progress on a number of fronts. Our profile has increased and shifted, the range and diversity of our programme extended, our HQ building modernised and our governance refreshed. Meanwhile, we have maintained and refined our role as an independent celebrant and supporter of the best of Scotland’s cultural achievements and created a platform for further development. 


Since 2012, the Society has strived to develop the promotion, celebration and impact of its series of literary awards year on year.  The literary awards have continued to go from strength to strength with an increase in audience, print media and online profile.  We have successfully launched the Poetry Book of the Year Award, the Publisher of the Year Award, the Emerging Publisher of the Year Award and separated the ‘literary’ award in to the Fiction and Non-Fiction Awards.   



The 2022 Award categories 

  • Fiction 
    The Fiction Book of the Year celebrates the best fiction from and about Scotland. Open to all fiction, including Scots and Gaelic fiction.
  • Non Fiction 
    There has always been a great tradition of non-fiction writing in Scotland and it is an area of Scottish literature that continues to thrive. The winning title can be written by a Scottish author or on a Scottish issue or theme. 
  • History  
    This Award recognises the significance of Scotland’s history and heritage and sees books of Scottish cultural significance celebrated for their excellence. It is open to non-fiction historical publication which adds to the knowledge and understanding of Scotland and the Scots.
  • Research 
    The winning book represents a significant body of research that offers new insight or adds a new dimension to its subject. Eligible books are written by a living author of Scottish descent, or deal with the work or life of a Scot, or a Scottish question, event or situation. 
  • First 
    Celebrating emerging talent and fresh ideas since 1988, the First Book of the Year Award is dedicated to first-time authors who have not previously been published. Nominations are open to fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.
  • Poetry 
    Our Poetry Award highlights collections of new poetry and recognises the significant contribution poetry makes to Scottish cultural life, reflecting a great Scottish literary tradition. 
  • Book of the Year
    All the winning titles of the above categories go forward for the Saltire Scottish Book of Year.
  • Publisher of the Year 
    For a publishing company, this Award celebrates and supports the continued achievements and ambitions of Scottish publishers. These will be launched in Late Summer/Early Autumn.
  • Emerging Publisher of the Year 
    This Award aims to recognise and encourage the work of an individual in the early stages (first five years) of their publishing career, as they develop their skills and experience in the industry. These will be launched in Late Summer/Early Autumn
  • Book Cover Design Award 
    Our new Award for Cover Design celebrates the enormous talent Scotland has in book production and design. This Award and its recipient will exemplify creativity and the relationship between the designer, the publisher and the author.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award 
    Scotland’s literary prowess is world renowned. Scottish writers have changed the literary landscape, not just in Scotland but internationally. The inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award honours an individual whose contribution stretches so much further than on the page. 

 A book may only be entered into one Award category, excluding Book Cover Award.  A book entered into the Book Cover Award may also be entered into ONE of the literary Awards.

Who Can Enter 

All nominations must come from the book’s publisher.   

Eligible publishers include: 

Publishers, imprints (e.g. from major publishing houses) and independent publishers. Please note that there is a limit of two (2) books per imprint per Award category.  However, a list of further titles for consideration can be added to an entry form.

Books in English, Scots and Gaelic are accepted. 

What and how to submit 

Eligible books must adhere to one of the following:

  • Be written by a writer born or currently living in Scotland. 
  • Deal with the work or life of a Scot, a Scottish question, event or situation. 

Books must be published between the 1 March 2021 - 30 June 2022

In order to enter, the publisher must complete the Award categories corresponding entry form and send the requested number of  hard copies of each title to the Saltire Society’s headquarters.  

Publishers can request to be on the Award database to receive an email as soon as the Awards are launched each year by contacting [email protected]

The Saltire Society wants to ensure Scotland’s National Book Awards meet the aims and commitments set out in its Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion policy. This includes building an accurate picture of the make-up of the Awards, encouraging equality and diversity. The Society would appreciate your help and co-operation to enable it to do this by completing the Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Form.

The deadline for nominations to the Book awards was Wednesday 27 July 2022.

The deadline for nominations to the Lifetime Achievement Award is Monday 15 August 2022.

What the judges are looking for 

The judges will be looking at a number of aspects, including: 

  • Literary quality and excellence 
  • Appeal
  • Character establishment and development and maintenance 
  • Use of language
  • Accessibility  

You can find out more about the judging process HERE

Find out about previous awards HERE