Scots Language Awards 2021 winners celebrate live in Dundee

Published: 27 Sep 2021

Scots celebrities, artists and speakers gathered in Dundee at Broughty Ferry’s Gardyne Theatre to celebrate culture and language for the Scots Language Awards 2021 on Saturday, September 25 September.

The Awards recognise the heroic efforts and work of the people and organisations who all champion Scots’ unique culture, music and words. Scots Language has long been used by authors, spoken in our top films, and is experiencing a contemporary year on year resurgence via social media as communities connect led by the public, influencers, and media alike.

The audience, many of whom were gathering from across the Scots community for the first time since before lockdown, were treated to interviews with the Winners of 13 Awards, and Writer & Broadcaster Alistair Heather hosted the inspiring evening with poet and social media star Len Pennie, introducing live performances from Victoria McNulty, Anna Stewart, Cameron Nixon, Alison Miller, and Ellie Beaton. Public voting on the nominees was open Monday 6th to Sunday 19th September at, with a record number of votes.

Cabinet Secretary for Scotland’s Languages Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “These awards demonstrate that Scots is a vital part of this country’s cultural identity, and it is crucial we encourage and nurture the creativity of those who speak the language.

“The Scottish Government is proud to sponsor these awards and my warmest congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”

Winners, detailed in full below, included The Scots Champion Award presented to John Hodgart, and the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award sponsored by Creative Scotland, which this year went to Derrick McClure.  

Karen Dick, Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities at Creative Scotland said: “Scots Language is an important part of our history and culture with rich oral traditions still very much alive in song, drama and storytelling. It’s terrific to see these awards celebrating and showcasing the creativity and excellence of those championing the Scots Language today. Huge congratulations Derrick McClure, the winner of the Janet Paisley Lifetime Achievement Award which we are pleased to support in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the language.”

Building on the success since launching in 2019 of the high-profile Awards, social media campaigns, regular Blether wi’ Heather podcasts, and the annual Wee Gaitherin’ which takes place around the Ceremony Event founder Simon Thoumire of organisers Hands Up For Trad said: “I’m thrilled by the growth of our ongoing campaign for Scots Language, to be holding our first live event in Dundee with everybody, and at the calibre of this year’s brilliant winners for the 2021’s Scots Language Awards.”

Bruce Eunson of Education Scotland added: “Anither year o brilliant projects, organisations, individuals an mair! Lovely ta hae the chance ta git aabody an aa the important wark thegither in wan room fir a right good fun! Wi sae mony interestin pieces o wark happenin it maks wis at Education Scotland aafil blyde ta be involved an ta sponsor the Young Scriever o the Year agayn.”

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Award categories

The Award Categories are:

  1. Scots Project o the Year sponsored by Scots Hoose

    Scots Dictionary for Schools app

  2. Scots Bairns Book o the Year sponsored by Scottish Government

    The Glasgow Gruffalo’s Wean, by Elaine C. Smith

  3. Scots Speaker o the Year sponsored by Scots Language Centre

    Iona Fyfe

  4. Scots Performer o’ the Year sponsored by Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland (TRACS)

    Len Pennie

  5. Scots Teacher o the Year sponsored by Scottish QualificationsAuthority (SQA)

    Kerry Fraser, Perth High School

  6. Scots Book o the Year sponsored by Scottish Book Trust

    The Young Team by Graeme Armstrong (Picador)

  7. Scots Champion Award

    John Hodgart

  8. Scots Business o the Year sponsored by Scots Language Society


  9. Scots Schuil o the Year sponsored by Itchy Coo/Black & White Publishing

    Troqueer Primary School, Dumfries

  10. Janet Paisley Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland

    Derrick McClure

  11. Young Scots Writer o’ the Year sponsored by Education Scotland

    Hope and Lucy Freeman

  12. Scots Media Person o the Year sponsored by Dictionaries of the Scots Language

    Littlest Chicken

  13. Scots Writer o the Year sponsored by National Library of Scotland

Victoria McNulty