Scottish Book Trust announces recipients of New Writers Awards 2022

Published: 24 Jan 2022

Image shows portraits of the 10 recipients of Scottish Book Trusts New Writers Award 2022

The recipients of the Scottish Book Trust New Writer Awards 2022. From left to right, top line shows Agata Maslowska (credit Alicja Dybowska), Armarna Forbes,  Dougie Strang, Eimear Bush and Firas Ibrahim. Bottom line shows  Helena Fornel, Lindsay Hirst, Rae Cowie,  Roshni Gallagher and Shelagh Campbell. Images courtesy of Scottish Book Trust.

Scottish Book Trust has announced the 10 recipients of the New Writers Awards 2022, which provide a selection of talented writers who have not yet published a full-length book or collection with professional guidance to help them move towards publication, as well as financial support. Funded by Creative Scotland and run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, the awards have supported over 140 creative individuals since 2009.

The judging panel included: Jenny Colgan, Sheena Kalayil and Viccy Adams for fiction; Jen Campbell, Sean Wai Keung and Laura Fyfe for poetry; Akemi Dawn Bowman and Ross Sayers for Children’s and Young Adult fiction, alongside Scottish Book Trust staff. The Gaelic Books Council selects the Gaelic New Writer Awardee.

Former New Writers awardees include: Bridget Khursheed, whose poetry collection The Last Days of Petrol was recently published by Shearsman Books; Sarah Smith, whose debut novel Hear No Evil will be published by Hachette; and Catherine Simpson, whose memoir One Body will be published by Saraband, both in February.

The 2022 awardees are:


  • Agata Maslowska
  • Helena Fornells Nadal
  • Roshni Gallagher

Children's and Young Adult

  • Armarna Forbes
  • Lindsay Hirst

Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction

  • Dougie Strang
  • Eimear Bush
  • Firas Ibrahim
  • Rae Cowie


  • Shelagh Campbell

Each of the 10 recipients will receive a £2,000 cash award and support tailored to their needs including mentoring from writers and industry professionals, training opportunities, and the platform to showcase their work to publishers and agents.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Announcing our New Writer Awardees is a fantastic way to start 2022. Some of this year’s cohort have interacted with other Scottish Book Trust programmes, and we are delighted they have reached this stage of their journey. We wish all the awardees best of luck and look forward to seeing their publications in the future.”

Alan Bett, Head of Literature and Publishing, Creative Scotland said: “Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers awards recognise the wealth of talent in the ranks of Scotland’s developing writers and takes these individuals to the next level through tailored mentoring and training. It’s exciting to think that the names on this list have the potential to sit across book spines in the near future, on published collections of poetry, novels or works of non-fiction. Creative Scotland wishes the best of luck to each of them.”

Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, said:  “We are delighted be partnering with Scottish Book Trust once again to support an emerging Gaelic writer. We will be following Shelagh Campbell’s progress with interest as she works on her new crime novel, and we very much look forward to seeing this and other work in print in due course.”

The New Writers Showcase, a celebration of work by last year’s awardees, will be held online through Scottish Book Trust’s social media accounts on Wednesday 6 April. Information about tickets will be available on Scottish Book Trust’s website.

Media contact

Contact Scottish Book Trust PR & Marketing Manager Keara Donnachie


Tel: 07956 773749


Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children’s learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health & well-being. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (The Gaelic Books Council) is the lead organisation with responsibility for Gaelic writing and publishing, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic books in Scotland and internationally. Established in 1968, Comhairle nan Leabhraichean is a registered charity and receives funding from Creative Scotland and from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to support its programme of grants, professional training and events.