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18 June 2019

Saltire Literary Awards shortlists 2018

22 October 2018

The shortlists for the six Saltire literary awards were officially announced at an event hosted at the West End branch of Waterstones in Edinburgh on Monday 22 October 2018.

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 celebrates the Scottish imagination, and are supported by Creative Scotland. 

Congratulations to our members with titles on the lists: Canongate (3), Edinburgh University Press (2)and Luath Press. Edinburgh-based Birlinn also have 3 books on the shortlists. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh on 30 November 2018.

The shortlists in full are:

Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year Award

  • Elsewhere, Home - Leila Aboulela (Saqi Books)
  • The Great Chain of Unbeing - Andrew Crumey (Dedalus Limited)
  • The Sealwoman's Gift - Sally Magnusson (Two Roads)
  • A Treachery of Spies - Manda Scott (Transworld Publishers)
  • The Growing Season - Helen Sedgwick (Harvill Secker)
  • Dead Men's Trousers - Irvine Welsh (Jonathan Cape)

Saltire Society Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award

  • Appointment in Arezzo - Alan Taylor (Polygon)
  • All That Remains: A Life in Death - Professor Sue Black (Transworld Publishers)
  • Moscow Calling - Angus Roxburgh (Birlinn Ltd)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa - Joseph Farrell (MacLehose Press)
  • The Story of Looking - Mark Cousins (Canongate Books)
  • Waiting for the Last Bus - Richard Holloway (Canongate Books)

Saltire Society Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award

  • Who is Mary Sue? - Sophie Collins (Faber and Faber)
  • Bantam - Jackie Kay (Picador)
  • So Glad I'm Me - Roddy Lumsden (Bloodaxe Books)
  • The Long Take - Robin Robertson (Picador)
  • Wristwatch - Jay Whittaker (Cinnamon Press)

Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year Award, supported by the National Library of Scotland

  • Early Cinema in Scotland - John Caughie, Trevor Griffiths and María A. Vélez-Serna (Edinburgh University Press)
  • What the Victorians Made of Romanticism: Material Artifacts, Cultural Practices, and Reception History - Tom Mole (Princeton University Press)
  • Tea and empire: James Taylor in Victorian Ceylon - Angela McCarthy and Sir Tom Devine (Manchester University Press)
  • Literature and Union: Scottish Texts, British Contexts - Gerard Carruthers and Colin Kidd (Oxford University Press)

Saltire Society Scottish History Book of the year Award, supported by the Scottish Historical Review Trust

  • Scotland's Populations from the 1850s to Today - Michael Anderson (Oxford University Press)
  • Sir David Nairne: The Life of a Scottish Jacobite at the Court of the Exiled Stuarts - Edward Corp (Peter Lang Ltd)
  • The Wealth of the Nation: Scotland, Culture and Independence - Cairns Craig (Edinburgh University Press)
  • Scots & Catalans - JH Elliott (Yale University Press)
  • Scottish Presbyterianism and Settler Colonial Politics: Empire of Dissent - Valerie Wallace (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • The Drowned and the Saved - Les Wilson (Birlinn Ltd)

Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award

  • St Kilda: The Silent Islands - Alex Boyd (Luath Press)
  • Sal - Mick Kitson (Canongate Books
  • Amphibian - Christina Neuwirth (Speculative Books)
  • A' Togail an t-Srùbain - Calum L. MacLeòid (CLÀR)


As well as the books of the year, there is a special award for most inspiring First Book Award.

Most Inspiring Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award Winner

  • Kate Clanchy - winner of the First Book Award in 1996 for Slattern
  • Michel Faber - winner of the First Book Award in 1999 for Some Rain Must Fall
  • Jackie Kay - winner of the First Book Award in 1992 for The Adoption Papers
  • A. L. Kennedy - winner of the First Book Award in 1991 for Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains
  • Ali Smith - winner of the First Book Award in 1995 for Free Love and Other Stories
  • Louise Welsh- winner of the First Book Award in 2002 for The Cutting Room