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Scotland’s National Book Awards 2022 winners

The Saltire Society announced the winners of Scotland’s National Book Awards 2022 at a ceremony at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh on Thursday 8 December.  Alexander McCall Smith won the Saltire Society Lifetime Achievement Award 2022.

Publishing Scotland members were well represented among the industry and book award winners.

In the Industry Awards, 404 Ink won Publisher of the Year and Charco Press was highly commended; Harley Griffiths (HarperCollins) and Robert Lovell (Scottish Mountaineering Press) were joint winners of Emerging Publisher of the Year; and the Book Cover Design of the Year was won by designer Robert Dalrymple for Alison Watt: A Portrait without Likeness (National Galleries of Scotland).

In the  Book awards, books published by Edinburgh University Press, Canongate Books, and Studies in Photography, won the Book of the Year (and History Book of the Year), Non-fiction Book of the Year, and Research Book of the Year respectively.

The winners in all categories are:

Industry Awards

The Saltire Society Publisher of the Year

404 Ink is the 2022 winner. The Judges said: ‘404 Ink are brave and honest publishers, working to ensure under-represented writers and works are published.’ 

Charco Press and Birlinn Ltd were highly commended by the judging panel.

Photo of Heather McDaid (left) and Laura Jones of 404 Ink with their Publisher of the Year 2022 award. Photo by Graham Clark for the Saltire Society.
The Saltire Society Emerging Publisher of the Year awarded in Partnership with Publishing Scotland

Harley Griffiths, Senior Commissioning Editor, Times Books at HarperCollins Publishers, and Robert Lovell, General Manager at Scottish Mountaineering Press, were the joint winners.

The Saltire Society Book Cover Design of the Year

The winner was designer Robert Dalrymple for Alison Watt: A Portrait without Likeness (National Galleries of Scotland).  

Book Awards

The Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year (and History Book of the Year)

Slaves and Highlanders: Silenced Histories of Scotland and the Caribbean by David Alston (Edinburgh University Press), won the Saltire Society History Book of the Year before going on to claim the overall Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year prize. It was described by the judges as ‘The best book to date on Scottish involvement in chattel slavery and the impact of the gains from this on Highland Scotland. From his local, Cromarty, base the author engages forcefully with major historiographical debates relating to Scottish participation in the slave economy and challenges presentations of this in tourist literature and major heritage institutions. An informative book based solidly in research but immensely accessible.’

The Saltire Society Non-Fiction Book of the Year

Homelands: The History of a Friendship by Chitra Ramaswamy (Canongate Books). 

The Saltire Society Research Book of the Year Award

Surveying the Anthropocene: Environment and Photography Now, edited by Patricia Macdonald (Studies in Photography in partnership with Edinburgh University Press). 

The Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year

Blood & Gold: A Journey of Shadows by Mara Menzies (Birlinn Ltd)

The Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award

IN by Will McPhail (Sceptre).

The Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year

How to Burn a Woman by  Claire Askew (Bloodaxe Books)

The Ross Roy Medal

The winner of the Ross Roy Medal was Kate Wilson of the University of Strathclyde for her PhD thesis Current Living Places and Future Utopias: Community Writing in Glasgow 1997–1990.

About Scotland’s National Book Awards

Scotland’s National Book Awards have been awarded by the Saltire Society since 1937.  All entrants must be born in Scotland, live in Scotland, or their books must be about Scotland.  The winner of each category receives a bespoke Award created by Inverness-based artist Simon Baker of Evergreen Studios and the winners of the Literary Awards each receive a cash prize of £2,000 with the winner of the Saltire Society Book of the Year receiving a further £4,000.  Full details of all the award-winning books and publishers, together with the judges’ citations, can be found on the Saltire Society website.