Media Release: Creative Scotland to support expanded 2014 Saltire Literary Prizes

CREATIVE Scotland is to support the main prize in an enhanced suite of literary prizes run by the Saltire Society. The Saltire Scottish Book of the Year supported by Creative Scotland will award the winning author the accolade of Scotland’s best book of 2014 and prize money totalling £10,000.

The Saltire Society has announced an expanded line-up of award categories and a series of new sponsors as it launches the 2014 Saltire Literary Awards. Widely regarded as Scotland’s most prestigious book awards, the Saltire Literary Awards represent a long-standing commitment from the Saltire Society to celebrate and support literary achievement and are run entirely on the basis of the voluntary commitment of a panel of expert judges.

The 2014 Awards shortlists will be announced at the Wigtown Book Festival in October. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in November.

Two new award categories have been introduced for this year’s Awards, each accompanied by a £2,000 cash prize.

Recognising Scotland’s rich poetic traditions, the Saltire Poetry Award has been made possible through the support of Creative Scotland and the Scottish Poetry Library, which will contribute its own expertise to the judging panel. Meanwhile, the Saltire Literary Book of the Year is supported by the Saltire Society and is open to works of fiction as well as biographies.

Winners from both categories will go forward to be considered for the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year (supported by Creative Scotland), which carries a further prize of £8,000 (a total prize of £10,000).

Other award categories, each accompanied by a £2,000 cash prize, are:

  • The Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year, an award presented to a living author/authors who have not previously been published.
  • The Saltire History Book of the Year, which honours the memory of Saltire Society member, historian and writer Agnes Mure McKenzie, and is supported this year by new partners the Scottish Historical Review Trust.
  • The Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year, which recognises outstanding academic achievement.

Jenny Niven, Creative Scotland’s portfolio manager for Literature, Publishing and Languages, said:

“We’re delighted to be able to work in partnership with the Saltire Society. The Society’s awards have been instrumental in highlighting brilliant Scottish talent over the years, and following the conclusion of Creative Scotland’s literary Awards, we have a unique opportunity to offer our support to the Saltire awards.

“The suite of awards now available not only helps to recognise the range of forms our writers work in, but also offers an additional juicy challenge to judges!  We look forward to seeing more great Scottish books receiving the profile they deserve, and hopefully finding many more readers as a result.”

Jim Tough, executive director of the Saltire Society, said:

“This year, Scotland’s most prestigious literary awards are being taken to a new level, with new sponsors and new award categories, all benefitting from the generous support of Scotland’s major cultural bodies. Our authors enliven Scotland’s culture.

“Through these awards, the contribution and talent of all Scotland’s writers is properly recognised and celebrated, from the emergent to the established.

“We are enormously grateful to Creative Scotland, the Scottish Poetry Library and the Scottish Historical Review Trust as new sponsors of the Awards and to our other partners at the National Library of Scotland and the British Council Scotland for their ongoing commitment.

“The support of our new and long standing partners has allowed us to increase the prize monies and to make more of an occasion of the awards ceremony itself. It will be an essential date in the calendar for anyone interested in Scottish literature, past, present and future.”

Following a successful five year partnership with the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust (SMIT) Book Awards will close in their present format. The SMIT Book Awards website has been closed and we will no longer accept submissions.

It is likely that any book eligible for the SMIT Book awards will be eligible for the Saltire Literary Awards. Details of how to submit books for the Saltire Prizes can be found on their website.

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust has enjoyed a collaborative partnership with Creative Scotland over the past six years working on the Scottish Book Awards as part of a five-year sponsorship commitment. Both organisations remain committed to supporting literature in Scotland and have been exploring ways to broaden their reach.

Although the partnership in managing the Awards has come to an end, Scottish Mortgage will continue to support literature in Scotland by sponsoring literary events taking place throughout the country including Edinburgh International Book Festival, Lennoxlove Book Festival and Abbotsford House.

Creative Scotland’s support of the Saltire Literary Prizes will build upon the work of the SMIT Book Awards, highlighting the best Scottish books being published in tandem with our support for other literary awards such as the Saltire Scottish Publisher of the Year Award, the Scottish Children’s Book Awards (run by Scottish Book Trust) and the Dundee International Book Prize (run by Cargo Publishing). We will also continue to support writers, publishers and literature through our open funds.


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 Follow us @creativescots and

About the Saltire Society

The Saltire Society seeks to encourage everything that might improve the quality of life in Scotland. It works to preserve all that is best in Scottish traditions and to encourage new developments which can strengthen and enrich the country’s cultural life. It acts as a catalyst, celebrant and commentator through an annual programme of awards, lectures, debates and projects. Founded in 1936 is a non-political independent charity with membership branches throughout Scotland.

Background to the awards

The Saltire Literary Awards have long been regarded as the country’s most prestigious accolade for authors. We are proud to celebrate and support literary and academic excellence. And now, with a range of new partners and a refreshed style, this suite of awards truly reflects the commitment of civic Scotland to literature in all its forms.

Press contacts:

Helen Sim
Creative Scotland
T: 0131 523 0019  M: 07916 137 632
Switchboard: 0330 333 2000

Alex Bruce
Orbit Communications
T: 0131 603 8996

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Contact: Helen Sim
Phone: 01315230019