Scotland's Publishers are Picking up the Prizes
19 June 2020
Wins, shortlistings and longlistings across major
- Edinburgh-based publisher Barrington Stoke win
the CILIP Carnegie Medal with Anthony McGowan's Lark - the
first time a Scottish publisher has won the prize
- Saraband's Donald S Murray wins the Society of
Authors' Paul Torday Memorial Prize for his Lewis set novel As
The Women Lay Dreaming
- Polygon poet, Roseanne Watt wins two Society
of Authors' prizes - The Eric Gregory Award and the Somerset
- Scottish publishers Canongate,
Charco, Sandstone and
Birlinn are on the shortlists and longlists for
other major literary prizes
The literary awards season is underway and Scotland's
independent publishers are sweeping the boards, winning major
literary awards across a wide range of categories.
The Carnegie Medal - the premiere literary
prize in the UK for children's books - was announced on BBC Radio
4's Front Row programme on Wednesday night, with the prize awarded
to Anthony McGowan's Lark, published by the
Edinburgh-based, specialist dyslexia-friendly Barrington Stoke.
It's the first time a Scottish publisher has won the prestigious
award in its 84-year history, and the publisher sees the win as a
validation of their mission to bring the joy of reading to
struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers across the country.
Ailsa Bathgate, Barrington Stoke's Editorial Director said: 'The
Carnegie Medal is the most prestigious award in children's
literature and we could not be more proud to have published this
year's winner, Lark, by Anthony McGowan, a tender and
heart-rending portrayal of brotherly love. It is an outstanding
piece of literature on any terms, but the triumph of this hugely
impactful short novella is particularly important to us as it marks
recognition of Barrington Stoke's mission to make books accessible
to all children, including struggling, reluctant and dyslexic
readers. We believe that every child can be a reader and also that
children from every part of society should be able to find
themselves in the books that they read. Lark and the three
books that preceded it in this series explore the reality for
children growing up in hardship and poverty, stories that are
important to tell.'
The Society of Authors also announced their awards this week,
with more success for Scottish publishing. Donald S Murray won the
Paul Torday Memorial Prize for his debut novel,
As the Women Lay Dreaming, published by Saraband, while
Shetlandic poet, Roseanne Watt, won two awards - The Eric
Gregory Award and the Somerset Maugham
Award - for her debut collection, Moder Dy,
published by Polygon.
The accolades don't stop there. Sports publisher, Polaris
Publishing, find themselves on the shortlist for Rugby Book
of the Year in the Telegraph Sports Book Awards for Ross
Harries' Behind the Dragon, having already won the
Wisden Book of the Year with Cricket 2.0
by Tim Wigmore and Freddie Wilde. And at the end of the month, on
the 29th of June, the key book industry awards, the
Nibbies, will be announced at a virtual ceremony where
Edinburgh-based agent, Jenny Brown, is shortlisted for the
Agent of the Year Award, and Inverness publisher,
Sandstone Press, are shortlisted for Independent Publisher
of the Year. Sandstone Press are used to big prize wins,
being the current holder of the International Booker Prize for
their book Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi. That prize
may well stay in Scotland as this year's shortlist includes Charco
Press's The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezon
Camara. The winner of the International Booker
Prize will be announced on the 26th of August 2020.
Canongate, no stranger to literary prizes, are hopeful they can
add to their trophy cabinet with longlistings in both the
Gordon Burn Prize, for My Name is Why by
Lemn Sissay, and the Wainwright Prize for Nature
Writing, for Rootbound by Alice Vincent, which
also sees a longlisting for Birlinn Ltd and Patrick Laurie for
Native: Life in a Vanishing Landscape. Edinburgh's
Fledgling Press are optimistic they can solidify Scotland's
reputation for exceptional crime writing with Andrew James Greig's
Whirligig longlisted in the Crime Writer's Association's
John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award.
This all points to a (pre-Covid) strong independent publishing
sector in Scotland and a boost as the industry comes to terms with
the consequences of the outbreak. The publishers have been hit hard
by the crisis with over three quarters reporting a drop in sales of
between 50-70% and others being left with almost no sales at all.
With bookshops still closed in Scotland and recently opened in
England, publishers, booksellers and writers fear they will
struggle to come out of this time.
Publishing Scotland's Chief Executive, Marion
Sinclair says: 'We are delighted for the publishers
and the writers for their strong showing in UK prizes this year and
congratulate them all. We have a struggle ahead to maintain that
strength in the sector now that there has been such a steep decline
in sales, and are looking at ways in which we can rebuild and
recover from this period. Publishing and bookselling are low margin
businesses and the current situation is leaving the book trade
vulnerable. We remain very concerned.'
ABOUT PUBLISHING SCOTLAND
Publishing Scotland is the network, trade and development body
for the book publishing sector in Scotland. It represents a wide
range of publishers and suppliers - both print and digital.
Publishing Scotland acts as the voice and network for publishing,
to develop and promote the work of Scotland's publishers both
nationally and internationally, to provide support and advice, and
to co-ordinate joint initiatives to develop and strengthen the
publishing sector in Scotland.
For further details, please contact Vikki
Reilly at email@example.com
You can also download this Publishing Scotland Press Release of 19 June 2020 (PDF).