Media Release: 18 authors shortlisted for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards, 2013

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards, 2013

Shortlist announced

Finalists to be announced: Thur 5 Sep

Winner to be announced at Lennoxlove Book Festival: Sat 2 Nov

EIGHTEEN authors have been shortlisted for this year’s Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards. Four finalists will be announced on Thursday 5 September and following a public vote, the winner will be announced on Saturday 2 November at the Lennoxlove Book Festival.

Commenting of the variety of shortlisted work, Aly Barr, chair of the judging panel and Creative Scotland spokesperson, commented: “This year’s entries range from lonely months in the Antarctic to the lost paths of Britain; from the brutality of a young offender’s institution to the bleak winter in Chicago.

“There are lost parents, found children, broken hearts and hilarious asides. There are, in short, all the emotions, talent, skill and storytelling one would expect from Scotland’s best books of the year.”

The shortlist is:


  • The Missing Shade of Blue – Jennie Erdal (Abacus)
  • The Heart Broke In – James Meek (Canongate)
  • Close Your Eyes – Ewan Morrison (Vintage)
  • Artful – Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)


  • Empire Antarctica – Gavin Francis (Chatto & Windus)
  • Sightlines – Kathleen Jamie (Sort of Books)
  • The Old Ways – Robert Macfarlane (Penguin)
  • Gossip from the Forest – Sara Maitland (Granta)


  • Notes from Lighting a Fire – Gerry Cambridge (HappenStance)
  • The Overhaul – Kathleen Jamie (Picador)
  • Rooster – Gerry McGrath (Carcanet)
  • Small World – Richard Price (Carcanet)

First book:

  • So It Is – Liam Murray Bell (Myriad Editions)
  • The Panopticon – Jenni Fagan (Windmill Books)
  • Tony Hogan Bough Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma – Kerry Hudson (Chatto & Windus)
  • The Weight of a Human Heart – Ryan O’Neill (Old Street Publishing)
  • Ramshackle – Elizabeth Reeder (Freight Books)
  • Snake Ropes – Jess Richards (Sceptre)

The shortlisted authors have been selected from a total of 117 titles across four categories – Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and First Book – submitted by publishers from the UK.

The Awards selection panel includes Clare English, BBC Radio presenter; David McCormack of Waterstones Fort Kinnaird; Peggy Hughes, programme director at Dundee Literary Festival; Kirsty Logan, books editor at The List; and Aly Barr, development officer at Creative Scotland.

On the process of shortlisting, Aly said:  “After one of the toughest shortlisting processes in years, we feel the list of books announced today represent a fantastic cross section through Scottish literature in the 21st century.

“The phrase, ‘an embarrassment of riches’, is too often trotted out on these occasions, but is especially apposite in the case of the First Book list, which has been specially extended by the panel due to the number of incredibly strong debut authors submitting work.”

Following further deliberation by the selection panel, one author from each category will be chosen as finalists. Each of these four finalists will receive £5,000 and will be announced on Thursday, 5 September.

Book-lovers will also have their say in which title is selected the overall winner.  Public voting will take place throughout October and details on how to vote will be made available shortly.

The winner of what is Scotland’s largest literary prize (£30,000) will be announced on Saturday 2 November at the Lennoxlove Book Festival.

The Scottish Book Awards, sponsored by Scottish Mortgage in partnership with Creative Scotland, has been celebrating Scotland’s exceptional writing talent for over 40 years.

Recognising and rewarding the literary talent of authors from Scotland, who reside in Scotland, or those whose book is of particular Scottish interest.

Awards have previously been made to Janice Galloway for her memoir All Made Up (2012); Jackie Kay for her autobiography Red Dust Road (2011); Donald Worster for his biography A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir (2010); James Kelman for his novel Kieron Smith, Boy (2009); and Edwin Morgan for his poetry collection A Book of Lives (2008)


Notes to editors:

  • Creative Scotland is the national organisation that funds and supports the development of Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries. Creative Scotland has four objectives: to develop and sustain a thriving environment for the arts, screen and creative industries; to support excellence in artistic and creative practice; to improve access to and participation in, arts and creative activity; and to deliver our services efficiently and effectively.  In 2013/14, we will distribute over £100m in funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information on Creative Scotland, please visit
    Twitter: @creativescots
  • Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust is one of the oldest and largest investment trusts listed on the London Stock Exchange. Since its launch as The Straits Mortgage and Trust Company Limited in 1909 the trust has been managed by Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh based investment manager. Baillie Gifford is one of the UK’s leading independently owned investment management firms with £93bn* of funds under management and has been managing investment trusts since 1909. Scottish Mortgage invests on a global basis and looks to reward its investors by searching out strong companies which offer above average returns to their shareholders.. Scottish Mortgage is proud to sponsor the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards and you can find out more information about Scottish Mortgage on Baillie Gifford’s website at Baillie Gifford is a major sponsor of various literary festivals throughout the UK, including Cheltenham Literature Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. More details of this sponsorship can be found at Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC is listed on the stock market. As a result, the value of the shares can be affected by changing stock market conditions and by currency exchange rates. The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise, and investors may not get back the amount they invested.   * as at 31 June 2013
  • The Lennoxlove Book Festival runs from 1 – 3 November, 2013.
    Twitter: @LennoxloveBF
  • The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards
    Twitter: @ScotBookAwards

Media contact:

Helen Sim
Media Relations & PR Assistant
Creative Scotland
T: 0131 523 0019

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Creative Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Helen Sim