Skip to main content

The network for trade,
training and development 

02 March 2021

Gaelic Literature Awards 2020 open for submissions

6 March 2020

The Gaelic Books Council has announced the launch of The Gaelic Literature Awards 2020.

Publishers and writers are invited to submit Scottish Gaelic books published between 1st May 2019 and 30th April 2020 for consideration in four categories - fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children's books - as well as manuscripts for children's or adult books as yet unpublished at the competition closing date.

Following ten years of the Donald Meek Award, established in 2010 with financial assistance from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig to encourage and support new and established Gaelic writers and original Gaelic writing, the categories in the freshly launched Gaelic Literature Awards reflect the evolution of Gaelic publishing during that period, and aim to reward excellence in Gaelic writing and publishing across a range of genres.

The Donald Meek Award will now be presented to the best non-fiction title published in the past year. Among the other prizes on offer will be an award in memory of Derick Thomson, first Chair of the Gaelic Books Council, for the best poetry publication. There will also be an opportunity for the author of the best unpublished original children's manuscript to secure a publishing contract with Acair Books.

Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, said:

"With Derick Thomson's centenary approaching, we felt it would be appropriate to establish a new award in his memory for a poetry publication. We are delighted that Donald Meek, who has always been a friend and supporter of the Gaelic Books Council, is willing to have the award in his name included among the new array of prizes, and we are also grateful to Acair Books for agreeing to work with the author of the best children's manuscript. We hope that by offering awards for both published and unpublished literature we will be able to not only celebrate the best Gaelic books of the past year, but also encourage original writing, particularly in underrepresented genres, and that this new approach will attract significant interest from publishers, writers and readers."

The 2019 Donald Meek Award was presented to John Urquhart for his poetry collection, Turas, with the second prize going to Myles Campbell for Gràs, and the third prize to Morag Ann MacNeil for Artair sa Chaisteal. The winners of the 2020 Gaelic Literature Awards will be announced on 17th September at Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow, for the following categories:

Published books:

Fiction, Non-fiction (Donald Meek Award), Poetry (Derick Thomson Award), Books for children or young people

Unpublished manuscripts:

Books for children or young people, Books for adults

Before sending submissions, applicants should consult the full competition guidelines. The shortlists will be announced in August 2020.

Further information about the Gaelic Literature Awards 2020 is available on the Gaelic Books Council website or contact Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books Council Entries must be received by 5.00pm on Friday 1st May 2020.