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The Saltire Society 2018 Literary Awards: 30th Anniversary of the First Book of the Year Award

Published: 09 Jul 2018

Widely recognised as Scotland’s most prestigious book awards, the Saltire Literary Awards represent a long-standing commitment from the Saltire Society to celebrate and support Scottish literary achievement and are run with the support of Creative Scotland.

Submissions across the eight award categories are now being accepted for literature published between 1 Sept 2017 – 31 Aug 2018, entries close on Monday 6 August 2018. This year also sees a call for individuals who have a passion for literature and experience in the literary community to form part of the Award panel for the First Book, Non-Fiction and Fiction Book of the Year Awards. Apply at saltiresociety.org.uk/news.

Recognising work across six literary categories including Non-Fiction Book of the Year, Fiction Book of the Year, First Book of the Year, Research Book of the Year, History Book of the Year and Poetry Book of the Year and two Publishing Categories including Publisher of the Year and Emerging Publisher, the awards see the winner of each book category receive a cash prize of £2,000 and go on to be considered for the top prize of £6,000, awarded to the Saltire Society Book of the Year.

Previous winner of the First Book of the Year, Helen McClory, said: “Winning the Saltire First Book of the Year Award made a huge difference to my career and opened a lot of doors. I was especially grateful the book was chosen given it was published by a small company.”

2018 also sees the 30th anniversary of the First Book of the Year Award. This is an award which has celebrated the likes of Ali Smith, AL Kennedy and Michel Faber for their first works and has seen recipients go on to be central players in the international literary landscape.

The Saltire Society Literary Awards rely on expert panels of judges, helping to celebrate a wide range of works. This year sees a call for individuals who have a passion for literature and experience in the literary community to form part of our panels of independent, impartial judges for the First Book, Non-Fiction and Fiction Book Awards. If you would like to apply to be a judge on the Awards panels for one these categories please find application procedure at saltiresociety.org.uk/news.

Sarah Mason, Programme Director of the Saltire Society, said: “The Saltire Literary Awards allow us to recognise the immense contribution and talent of Scotland’s writers, from the emerging to the established. We are extremely proud of all our Awards for celebrating the astounding talent in Scotland’s literary world and we are excited to be opening up the judging experience to a diverse audience. We are hugely grateful to all of our partners including Creative Scotland, the Scottish Poetry Library, the Scottish Historical Review Trust and the National Library of Scotland. Without their longstanding and invaluable support, these Awards simply would not take place.”

Alan Bett, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said: “The Saltire Society Literary Awards act as a platform for the best in Scottish literature; the first to highlight fresh talent and to show the overall strength and breadth of our writers. This year’s open call for judging panel members offers the opportunity for you to contribute to the important role these awards play, going well beyond celebration and ceremony. I’m personally looking forward to returning to my panel role in 2018, another year that will leave me surrounded by stacks of Scotland’s finest literary works, and looking, in this 30th year, for something to match past First Book of the Year winners Helen McClory, Michel Faber or Ali Smith.”

Information on how to enter the Awards and apply to become a judge can be found at saltiresociety.org.uk/news. For further information please contact the Saltire Society on 0131 556 1836 or saltire@saltiresociety.org.uk.

About the Awards

The Saltire Literary Awards have long been regarded as the country’s most prestigious accolade for authors. We are proud to celebrate and support literary and academic excellence. And now, with a range of new partners and a refreshed style, this suite of awards truly reflects the commitment of civic Scotland to literature in all its forms. Further information as well as entry forms can be found at thesaltiresociety.submittable.com.

Saltire Scottish Book of the Year (£6,000) will be chosen from amongst the winners of the other award categories.

The categories include:

  • Saltire Scottish Fiction Book of the Year supported by the Saltire Society (£2,000). Open to all fiction books.  
  • History Book of the Year supported by the Scottish Historical Review Trust (£2,000). Established in 1965, this award honours Saltire member Agnes Mure McKenzie and welcomes support from our partners, the Scottish Historical Review Trust. Nominations are invited from professors of Scottish History and editors of historical review publications.  
  • First Book of the Year (£2,000). In 1988 the Literary Awards were extended to include the Scottish First Book of the Year Award.  
  • Non-Fiction Book of the Year (£2,000). Open to all non-fiction books, such as autobiography, biography, travel and journalism. A second new category replacing the Literary Book of the Year award, first introduced in 2014.  
  • Poetry Book of the Year in partnership with the Scottish Poetry Library (£2,000). To bring proper attention and recognition to the best in this important literary form. Open to collections of new poetry that have not been previously published.  
  • Scottish Research Book of the Year supported by the National Library of Scotland (£2,000). Recognising outstanding academic achievement.  

The Two Publishing Categories include:

  • Publisher of the Year in partnership with Publishing Scotland (£1000). Dedicated to encouraging and supporting publishing companies headquartered in Scotland and to celebrating their continued achievements and ambitions.
  • Emerging Publisher of the Year (£500) This award aims to recogniseand encourage the work of an individual in the early stages of their publishing career, as they develop their skills and experience in the industry.

About the Saltire Society

Saltire Society seeks to encourage everything that might improve the quality of life in Scotland. It works to preserve all that is best in Scottish traditions and to encourage new developments which can strengthen and enrich the country’s cultural life. It acts as a catalyst, celebrant and commentator through an annual programme of awards, lectures, debates and projects. Founded in 1936, it is a non-political independent charity with membership branches throughout Scotland. Membership of the Saltire Society is open to all individuals and organisations that support the aims of the Society. For further information about the Saltire Society please visit saltiresociety.org.uk or follow them @Saltire_Society.