The 2017 Saltire Literary Awards shortlists were unveiled yesterday. The lists feature multi-award winning writers and household names such as James Kelman, Bernard MacLaverty and Denise Mina alongside emerging talents such as Ever Dundas and Kate Hunter.
The shortlists for the seven awards that make up the 2017 Saltire Literary Awards were officially announced at an event hosted at the Edinburgh West End branch of Waterstones and featured readings from last year’s winner of the Scottish Book of the Year Award, Kathleen Jamie.
Widely regarded as Scotland’s most prestigious book awards, the Saltire Literary Awards are organised by the Saltire Society, a non-political independent charity founded in 1936 which aims to celebrate the Scottish imagination.
Established writer John Burnside, one of only two poets to have won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Poetry Prize for the same book, features in both the Poetry and Fiction Book Awards shortlists. He is up against new voices Em Strang and Jason Donald for the coveted prizes.
There is a rich line-up in the Research and Non- Fiction book of the Year Awards with a collection of some of the most beautiful and historically significant maps from the National Library of Scotland’s archive, competing against an exploration of the development of Muslim communities in Scotland, and a collection of over 500 years of transgressive Gaelic poetry with new English translations.
The Fiction Book of the Year shortlist features a number of acclaimed authors, including the latest novels from previous Saltire Literary Award winners James Kelman, Bernard MacLaverty and John Burnside. Also featured is Denise Mina, the first woman to win the McIllvanney prize for her shortlisted novel, The Long Drop.
The First Book of the Year shortlist is particularly varied, with beguiling historical tale Goblin by Ever Dundas, the interweaving of crime and taxidermy in Sandra Ireland’s Beneath the Skin alongside the candid life-memoir of an Italian Scot, Anne Pia.
2013 saw the Saltire Literary Awards expanded to see Publishers as well as writers celebrated for their work. This year sees awards for both Publishing companies and individuals at the beginning of their career in the industry. Established publishers such as Canongate and Birlinn are shortlisted alongside new comers 404Ink who have had phenomenal success with their first publication Nasty Women, and niche publishers Handspring, while emerging talents, such as Kirstin Lamb of Barington Stoke and Laura Waddell of Harper Collins, have been shortlisted for the Emerging Publisher of the Year Award for their commitment, innovation and adaptability within the industry. Laura Waddell was one of participants in the Scottish Review of Books Emerging Critics programme 2016.
The winning book from each of the book awards will go on to compete for the coveted Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award and an accompanying £3,000 cash prize.
The winners of all the Saltire Literary Awards, along with the Ross Roy Medal for the best PhD thesis on a subject relating to Scottish literature, will be formally announced at a special ceremony in Edinburgh on St Andrew’s Day (30 November).
Saltire Society Programme Director, Sarah Mason commented:
“As always with the Saltire Literary Awards, the sheer scale, diversity and excellence within the shortlists exemplify the best in Scotland’s literary sphere.
The Saltire Society Literary Awards have a proud history of celebrating and bringing wider attention to excellence in all literary forms and I would like to offer my congratulations to all our shortlisted writers and publishers.”
2017 Saltire Literary Awards Shortlists
Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland
- Ashland and Vine by John Burnside, published by Jonathan Cape
- Memory and Straw by Angus Peter Campbell, published by Luath
- Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty, published by Jonathan Cape
- Dalila by Jason Donald, published by Jonathan Cape
- The Long Drop by Denise Mina, published by Harvill Secker
- That was a Shiver and Other Stories by James Kelman, published by Canongate
Saltire Society Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award
- Al Britannia, My Country: A Journey Through Muslim Britain by James Ferguson, published by Transworld Publishers
- Scotland: Mapping the Islands edited by Christopher Fleet, Charles W.J. Withers, and Margaret Wilkes published by Birlinn
- Love of Country by Madeleine Bunting published by Granta Books
- Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova, published by Granta Books
- Waypoints: Seascapes and Stories of Scotland’s West Coast by ian Stephen, published by Bloomsbury
- The Passion of Harry Bingo: Further Dispatches from Unreported Scotland by Peter Ross published by Sandstone Press Ltd
Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year Award, sponsored by the National Library of Scotland
- The Campbells of the Ark: Men of Argyll in 1745 (Vol I and II) by Ronald Black published by John Donald (Birlinn Ltd)
- Muslims in Scotland: The Making of Community in a Post-9/11 World by Stefano Bonino published by Edinburgh University Press
- History as Theatrical Metaphor by Ian Brown published by Palgrave Macmillan
- The Light Blue Book: 500 Years of Gaelic Love and Transgressive Verse Edited by Peter Mackay & Iain MacPherson, published by Luath
- Immortal Memory: Burns and the Scottish People by Christopher Whatley, published by John Donald (Birlinn Ltd)
Saltire Society Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award
- Still Life With Feeding Snake by John Burnside, published by Jonathan Cape
- Farm by the Shore by Thomas A. Clark, published by Carcanet
- Bird-Woman by Em Strang, published by Shearsman
- Twist by Pippa Little, published by Arc
- In Search of Dustie-Fute by David Kinloch, published by Carcanet Press
- Moon for Sale by Richard Price, published by Carcanet
Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award
- Goblin by Ever Dundas, published by Freight Books
- The Case Room by Kate Hunter, published by Fledgling Press Ltd
- Beneath the Skin by Sandra Ireland, published by Polygon
- Language of my Choosing: A Creative Scots- Italian Memoir by Luath
- Mary’s the Name by Ross Sayer, published by Cranachan Publishing
- Fallow by Daniel Shand, published by Sandstone Press Ltd
Saltire Publisher of the Year Award
- 404 Ink
- BHP Comics
- Vagabond Voices
Saltire Emerging Publisher of the Year Award
- Heather McDaid, 404 Ink
- Kirstin Lamb, Barrington Stoke
- Laura Jones, 404 Ink
- Laura Waddell, Harper Collins