The team here at The Scottish Review of Books offer hearty congratulations to Birlinn Ltd on winning the Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year Award last night. Hugh Andrew, Founder and Managing Director, received the award on behalf of those who work for and with the company and who have helped to build it to what it is over the years — writers, editors, illustrators and designers, all the staff and freelancers, agents, publicists, printers and booksellers, the in-house production, finance, sales, marketing and online teams and the sales reps out on the road. ‘Together the members of Birlinn family have achieved many great things. To receive this award in our 25th anniversary year is very gratifying. I am incredibly proud of the team and offer my own thanks to them for the work that goes in, often unseen, to make publishing of this standard a possibility.’
‘Nobody could deserve this honour more than Birlinn. This team of energetic and highly creative people has achieved wonders over the last few years, proving that Scottish publishing, once the envy of the world, can do it again. Not only are their books fascinating and useful — they are beautifully designed and printed. I am delighted with their success.’ — Alexander McCall Smith
Birlinn Limited was established in 1992 and celebrated 25 years of publishing in Scotland earlier this year. The name comes from the old Norse word ‘birlinn’, meaning a long boat or small galley used especially in the Hebrides and West Highlands of Scotland in the Middle Ages. The first book published by the company back in 1992 was a reissue of Neil Munro’s Para Handy and it has been in print ever since. The small team behind the publishing output is based in Newington in Edinburgh and the staff work incredibly hard to build and maintain the reputation of Publishing house, both in the UK and around the world.
The full company is comprised of a number of imprints:
Birlinn — Scottish and general UK interest books, biography, history, military history, mapping, cookery and Scottish Gaelic.
BC Books — a children’s imprint, launched in 2015 and now providing writing and illustration of the highest quality for young readers across the UK. The editors, writers and illustrators behind this list are dedicated to nurturing young readers and helping them discover a passion for reading that will last a lifetime.
Polygon — literary fiction and poetry, both classic and modern, from writers such as Robin Jenkins, George Mackay Brown and the author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith, to music and film titles including Stuart Cosgrove’s Young Soul Rebels. International writers including Jan-Philipp Sendker are also published under this imprint.
Arena Sport — a sport imprint. The sport books published to date range from football and rugby, to golf, running and cycling. These books have an international as well as national appeal.
John Donald — publishes academic books of great renown across the world.