Scottish Publisher of the Year Award
23 August 2013
Saraband has won the inaugural Saltire Society Scottish
Publisher of the Year Award
The award, given to the company with the most exciting and
progressive developmental story to tell over the previous year, was
announced by Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary
for Culture and External Affairs, on Friday 23
August at Publishing Scotland's packed reception at the Edinburgh
International Book Festival. Publishing Scotland's Chief Executive
Marion Sinclair welcomed guests and introduced the
Society's Executive Director Jim Tough who
spoke about the reasons for setting up the award. Literary agent
and judge Jenny Brown gave a brief introduction to
the shortlisted publishers before Fiona Hyslop
announced the commended and winning publishers.
Clockwise from top left: Fiona Hyslop presents the
winner's award to Sara Hunt of Saraband; Marion Sinclair welcomes
everyone to the Publishing Scotland EIBF reception and introduces
the award; Fiona Hyslop presents Katy Lockwood-Holmes with the
commendation awarded to Floris Books; and Jenny Brown, one of the
judges, and Jim Tough, Executive Director of the Saltire Society,
with the winner. Picture credits: Graham Clark and the Saltire
Saraband, led by Sara Hunt,
was said to have taken "huge steps" in changing the focus on its
publishing list and formats in response to industry changes, and to
have continued during 2012/2013 to move Scottish authors to the
heart of its business. Saraband was selected to represent
Scotland's creative industries at the Scotland House showcase
during the Olympics.
A surprised and delighted Sara Hunt of Saraband accepted the
award and emphasised that collaboration was one of the main keys to
Floris Books meanwhile received a commendation.
Floris, which features an extensive list of Scottish fiction for
children, and in 2012 launched a new range of Kelpies Classics,
"revitalising classic Scottish children's novels and authors for a
Above: Katy Lockwood-Holmes and the team at Floris
Books. Picture credit: Graham Clark and the Saltire Society.
See more pictures on our Saltire Society
of the Year events page.
Also shortlisted were:
- BackPage Press
- Barrington Stoke
- Edinburgh University Press
- Freight Books.
Jim Tough, executive director of the Saltire
Society, said the society had been "encouraged" by the number,
range and quality of applications for the award. Creative Scotland
chief executive Janet Archer said: "Saraband and
the other shortlisted publishers represent a Scottish publishing
industry in very good health."
The judges were:
- Jenny Brown (literary agent),
- Rosamund de la Hey (Main Street Trading
- Claire Malcolm (New Writing North)
- Marion Sinclair (Publishing Scotland's Chief
- Professor Claire Squires (University of
- Aly Barr (Creative Scotland).
The award is supported by Creative Scotland and Publishing
About the Award
The shortlist for the award, which was launched
this year to celebrate excellence and innovation in Scottish
publishing, sees small and large publishers in the running for the
award and £4500 prize money.
This first shortlist exemplifies the dynamic and
ground breaking work being done by Scottish publishers to engage
new readers and take on new challenges, making sure Scottish
publishing stand out both nationally and internationally.
The mixture of SMEs and larger more established
enterprises show how Scottish publishers are making bold and
imaginative work in a changing world of publishing, irrespective of
their size, age or the pressure to continue on with established
The inaugural Saltire Society Scottish Publisher
of the Year Award is dedicated to Dr Gavin Wallace in recognition
of his enormous contribution and commitment to Scottish
The full 2013 Scottish Publisher of the Year Award shortlist
with comments on their submission from the expert panel of judges
is as follows:
The panel recognised in BackPage a company that had made strong
progress working in a focused way to reach an elusive reading
market of sports fans without compromising the quality of the
content and the production values. They noted a year of strong
commercial growth and the sense of a company willing to listen,
learn and innovate.
After fifteen strong years Barrington Stoke is a company
responding positively to new circumstances and finding new ways to
be original. The panel recognised the clarity of their mission and
commitment to it, growing in the context of a flat market, and all
the time remaining true to their commitment to make quality authors
available to dyslexic and less experienced leaders.
Edinburgh University Press
The clear commitment to investing in their own change for a long
standing and important publisher in Scotland impressed the panel.
Their changes have been bold and strategically astute as they
entered new markets, maintaining an impressive level of growth in
digital and book sales as well as producing books of real quality
such as the Saltire Award winning 'The Military History of
Among many impressive attributes the panel noted the way
that-arguably-the company had revolutionised Scottish picture books
producing work of exceptional quality in the process of
re-inventing themselves. They have a strong and visible presence in
the literature and educational sectors and an impressive record of
supporting writers and illustrators.
At a time when support for literary fiction is a real challenge,
Freight has been brave and bold in their commitment. Their presence
on this shortlist notes their support and nurturing of writers and
their open and innovative approach to all of their work after only
a short time in publishing.
This is a company that has shown shrewd and strategic business
thinking in a shifting context. They are collaborative, innovative
and are distinguished by fresh thinking in their use of digital
technology. Their move to new approaches still has the interest of
authors at its heart. Typically of many SMEs in the industry, they
punch impressively above their weight.