It’s really exciting to be shortlisted for one of Scotland's National Book Awards 2021. My book Native was published two weeks into the first national lockdown, and that had a huge impact on my ability to get out and meet readers. Like lots of writers, I've been feeling particularly isolated over the last eighteen months, so I see this shortlisting as a real boost to my confidence - and a hopeful beam of progress on the road back to normality!  " Patrick Laurie 

An engrossing book makes the reader want to learn more about a previously unfamiliar topic – Native: Life in A Vanishing Landscape did just that. Laurie’s account of life in rural Galloway offers an engaging blend of personal experiences, memorable characters and activities on the farm. Native brings into focus an overlooked aspect of life in Scotland, and does so in a way that conveys a strong sense of place that will appeal to many readers. 


It’s great news to hear that Patrick  Laurie’s Native has been shortlisted for a Saltire award. It’s a remarkably rich book by a talented author who has successfully woven many strands together. Not just his own personal story of farming life over the course of a year, Native also a wonderful evocation of place and a poignant and thought-provoking meditation  on  our changing relationship with the land.  We are all incredibly proud to have published such a powerful piece of nature writing."     Andrew Simmons, Editor 

This haunted but ultimately celebratory book is about seemingly abandoned places where humans no longer live: islands, towns, cities, exclusion zones. It is a lyrically written investigation full of philosophical insights, ecological developments, and environmental recoveries which combine to answer the fundamental question of what happens when civilisation takes a step back and nature resumes its dominance. Is it too late for the planet or can redemption be found? 

I am absolutely delighted that ‘Ruxton’ has been shortlisted for The Saltires National Book Awards. When I discovered the long hidden papers relating to this famous case, I knew there was an important new story to tell. My only doubt was my ability to do justice to this remarkable tale and it’s cast of extraordinary characters. The shortlisting of ‘Ruxton The First Modern Murder’ for this prestigious award, gives me great comfort. ” Tom Wood 

Fascinating and unforgettable, this book exposes a darkly sinister tale to the light, offering novel insights into not only the criminal case but how its investigation acted as a catalyst for the transformation of modern policing and forensics. Ruxton benefits from a rigorous and resourceful research process, without ever compromising on pace or readability. A decisive moment in criminal history is examined with intelligence, clarity and originality.  


Ringwood Publishing are delighted that Tom Wood’s book, Ruxton the first modern murder is getting the attention it deserves with its short-leeting for the Saltire Society Non Fiction Book of the Year.  Ruxton tells the important story of Scotland’s massive contribution to modern forensic science in a mature and responsible way, but also, in the words of Val McDermid who should know these things, “Tells his story with the clarity and urgency of a thriller.” And as she rightly concluded, 'It is a damn good read'."   Ringwood Publishing 

As a native Yugoslavian, my father made his home in Scotland in the early 1950s and I don’t think a day passed without him commenting on the beauty of its landscapes and the kindness of its people. With this in mind therefore, being nominated by Scotland's National Book Awards for a book that encompasses his life and the joy and inspiration he took from living in the Scottish Borders, touches me in a way no other award could do."  Shelley Klein 

A wonderful biography, the story of growing up in a work of cutting-edge design that was also a loving family home. Looking back on the time she shared with her father in the ’See-Through-House’, Klein captures the sense of loss when a parent passes beautifully. Yet the memory of a life filled with love, shared with an utterly singular artist, shines through   

What a pleasure it is to see this book selected as one of the best non-fiction titles -- as well as a beautiful tribute to a father, it is also the portrait of a house built into the Scottish landscape, and a celebration of colour, texture and light."  Chatto & Windus 

I am very happy and grateful to have been shortlisted for the Non-Fiction Award, alongside such excellent writers. I put my heart and soul into writing A Tomb With A View, and so for the book to be recognised in this way means a lot to me." Peter Ross

A book about death that is never morbid or mawkish; a celebration of the frequently strange and often beautiful world of the graveyard, from the grandeur of Highgate to long-forgotten corners in passed-over places. Ross shines a light on the dark recesses we often want to ignore and discovers a world teeming with memory, wisdom and hope. An unforgettable journey.  

I knew from the moment I began A Tomb With a View when it arrived on submission that Peter had written something special. It is a book that has connected powerfully with everyone who has read it, and as one of the kindest and most hardworking authors I've ever worked with, I'm delighted that Peter has been shortlisted for this award."  Richard Roper, Headline Publishing Group 

To be shortlisted for the Non-Fiction Award in Scotland's National Book Awards is an absolute honour and a privilege. Writing and video games are two of my biggest passions, and I wrote Checkpoint as a means of sharing my mental health story as it relates to gaming and, hopefully, striking a chord with others who might be struggling in similar situations. For Checkpoint to be recognised here is truly wonderful, and I hope its message can continue reaching those who need it most."  Joe Donnelly  

Checkpoint makes a compelling case for the potential of video games to support and improve mental health. The narrative skilfully interweaves an exploration of video games which represent, or have been inspired by, mental illness with the author’s reflections on his own mental health journey, as well as sharing the stories of several video game enthusiasts in their own words. The result is a book which is accessible, poignant and inspirational.  

We're completely thrilled that Checkpoint has been shortlisted - it's a book that deserves to be read far and wide as gaming and mental health touches every person whether they realise it or not. Joe writes with such authority and vulnerability so as to make Checkpoint a unique book that is educational and moving in equal measure. We're so proud to be Joe's publisher and for his work to be recognised by Scotland's National Book Awards." Laura Jones, 404Ink 

Special Mention

We’d like to give a Special Mention to In Case of Any News by the late Kenneth Roy for the exceptional courage shown in its creation. We felt it was a boldly honest testament to great determination and to the transformative power of words as witnessed throughout a lifetime, and we also admired the timely tribute it offered to Scotland’s NHS. 
Non-Fiction Judges