The Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award £5000 and Salitire Society/ Royal Scottish Mail Scottish First Book of the Year Award £1500 (by an author who has not previously published a book) may be given for any book by an author or authors of Scottish descent or living in Scotland, or for any book which deals with the work or life of a Scot or with a Scottish question, event or situation. The book might be poetry, a novel, a play or other work of imaginative literature, or biography, literary criticism or a study of any Scottish issue. Books of multiple authorship would not normally qualify.

2009 Winner Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award

Dec 1- A biography of Robert Burns, The Bard by Robert Crawford, has won the £10,000 book of the year prize at the 2009 Saltire Society Literary Awards. He was up against stiff competition from authors AL Kennedy and Janice Galloway.

Other awards went to a history of Scottish philosophy, a biography of John Muir and the Historical Thesaurus of the English dictionary.

Literay Awards No writer is more charismatic than Robert Burns. Wonderfully readable, The Bard catches Burns's energy, brilliance, and radicalism as never before. To his international admirers he was a genius, a hero, a warm-hearted friend; yet to the mother of one of his lovers he was a wastrel, to a fellow poet he was 'sprung . from raking of dung', and to his political enemies a 'traitor'. Drawing on a surprising variety of untapped sources - from rediscovered poetry by Burns to manuscript journals, correspondence, interviews and oratory by his contemporaries - this new biography presents the remarkable life, loves, and struggles of the great poet. Inspired by the American and French Revolutions and moulded by the Scottish Enlightenment, Burns was in several senses the first of the great Romantics. With a poet's insight and a shrewd sense of human drama, Robert Crawford outlines how Burns combined a childhood steeped in the peasant song-culture of rural Scotland with a consummate linguistic artistry to become not only the world's most popular love poet but also the controversial master poet of modern democracy.Written with accessible 'lan and nuanced attention to Burns's poems and letters, The Bard is the story of an extraordinary man fighting to maintain a sly sense of integrity in the face of overwhelming pressures. This incisive biography startlingly demonstrates why the life and work of Scotland's greatest poet still compel the attention of the world a quarter of a millennium after his birth.


The Tin Kin by Eleanor Thorn

Literay Awards
When her aunt Shirley dies, Dawn finds herself back in her claustrophobic home town in Northern Scotland for the first time in years. She spends her days caring for her small daughter, listening to tapes of old country songs and cleaning Shirley s flat, until one day she comes across the key to a cupboard that she was forbidden to open as a child. Inside she finds an album of photographs, curling with age. A young couple pose on a beach, arms wrapped around each other; little girls in hand-me-down kilts reveal toothless smiles; an old woman rests her hands on her hips, her head thrown back in blurry laughter. But why has her aunt treasured these pictures secretly for so long? Dawn's need for answers leads her to a group of Travellers on the outskirts of Elgin. There she learns of a young man left to die on the floor of a cell, and realises that the story of her family is about to be rewritten... Weaving between narratives and decades, 'The Tin Kin' is a beautiful moving novel about love, hardship and the lies and legends that pass between generations. It is a striking, unforgettable debut.


A Passion for Nature by John Muir
Literay Awards
"I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer," John Muir wrote. "Civilization and fever and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me has not dimmed my glacial eye, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. My own special self is nothing." In Donald Worster's magisterial biography, John Muir's "special self" is fully explored as is his extraordinary ability, then and now, to get others to see the sacred beauty of the natural world. A Passion for Nature is the most complete account of the great conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club ever written. It is the first to be based on Muir's full private correspondence and to meet modern scholarly standards. Yet it is also full of rich detail and personal anecdote, uncovering the complex inner life behind the legend of the solitary mountain man. It traces Muir from his boyhood in Scotland and frontier Wisconsin to his adult life in California right after the Civil War up to his death on the eve of World War I. It explores his marriage and family life, his relationship with his abusive father, his many friendships with the humble and famous (including Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson), and his role in founding the modern American conservation movement. Inspired by Muir's passion for the wilderness, Americans created a long and stunning list of national parks and wilderness areas, Yosemite most prominent among them. Yet the book also describes a Muir who was a successful fruit-grower, a talented scientist and world-traveler, a doting father and husband, a self-made man of wealth and political influence. A man for whom mountaineering was "a pathway to revelation and worship." For anyone wishing to more fully understand America's first great environmentalist, and the enormous influence he still exerts today, Donald Worster's biography offers a wealth of insight into the passionate nature of a man whose passion for nature remains unsurpassed.



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2008 Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Winner

29th November 2008, The author James Kelman, Scotland's only Booker Prize winner, has won the £5,000 Book of the Year Prize for his novel Kieron Smith, Boy.

Ian Duncan won the National Library of Scotland research prize for Scott's Shadow. The history award went to Alex Woolf for From Pictland to Alba.

The Royal Mail First Book prize went to Andrew Nicoll for The Good Mayor. He dedicated his award to a reviewer who had attacked the book's "banal stereotypes" and "burden of cliché"..

In welcome news the prize, which was in danger of going under due to a lack of a sponsor for 2009, has been rescued by the Government. Linda Fabiani, the culture minister, announced the Scottish Government backing as part of the Homecoming Year 2009 celebrations of Robert Burns's 250th anniversary. Catherine Lockerbie, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, welcomed the "interesting and unusual move". The judging system of a secret ballot would ensure the prize's independence, she said.

The four category winners in the running are Kieron Smith, Boy , Boy by James Kelman (Hamish Hamilton) in the fiction section; This is Not About Me by Janice Galloway (Granta) in non-fiction; Dear Alice: Narratives of Madness (Salt Modern Poets) by Tom Pow (Salt Publishing) in poetry; and Moonshine in the Morning by Andrea McNicoll (Alma Books) in the first book category.

2008 Shortlists


Meaghan Delahunt The Red Book Granta Books
Mick Imlah The Lost Leader Faber and faber
James Kelman Kieron Smith, Boy Hamish Hamilton books
Martainn Mac an T-Saoir An Latha as Fhaide CLÀR
James Meek We Are Now Beginning Our Descent Canongate
Andrew O'Hagan The Atlantic Ocean Faber and faber
Ali Smith Girl meets boy Canongate


D C Jackson The Wall faber and faber
Simon Kövesi James Kelman Manchester University Press
Shona MacLean The Redemption of Alexander Seaton Quercus
Andrea McNicoll Moonshine in the Morning Alma Books
Andrew Nicoll The Good Mayor Black and White Publishing Ltd.
Elaine di Rollo The Peachgrowers' Almanac Chatto & Windus

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Scottish Book of the Year - A L Kennedy's Day published by Jonathan Cape

Scottish First Book of the Year - Mark McNay's Fresh A Novel published by Cannongate

SCOTTISH BOOK OF THE YEAR 2007 Shortlist - supported by The Faculty of Advocates.

Meg Bateman Soirbheas - Fair Wind, Polygon

Robert Crawford Scotland's Books The Penguin History of Scottish Literature, Penguin

William Dalrymple The Last Mughal, The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857, Bloomsbury

A L Kennedy Day, Jonathan Cape

Marista Leishman My Father: Reith of the BBC, Saint Andrew Press

Andrew Marr A History of Modern Britain(BBC), MacMillan

Iain Moireach Snìomh Nan Dual 6 Cluichean, Acair

Don Paterson Orpheus, Faber and Faber

Trevor Royle The Flowers of the Forest, Scotland and the First World War, Birlinn

SCOTTISH FIRST BOOK OF THE YEAR 2007 Shortlist - supported by The Royal Mail Group.

Angus Dunn Writing in the Sand, Luath Press

Mark McNay Fresh A Novel, Canongate

Stef Penney The Tenderness of Wolves, Quercus

Remzije Sherifi Shadow Behind the Sun, Sandstone Press

Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year 1982- 2007

1982 - Lanark by Alasdair Gray[
1984 - Intimate Voices by Tom Leonard
1986 - A Question of Loyalties by Allan Massie
1987 - The Stories of Muriel Spark by Muriel Spark
1994 - Burns by James A. Mackay
1995 - So I am Glad by A. L. Kennedy
1996 - The Kiln by William McIlvanney
1997 - Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty
1998 - The Sopranos by Alan Warner
1999 - Pursuits by George Bruce
2000 - The Lantern Bearers by Ronald Frame
2001 - Medea by Liz Lochhead
2002 - Clara by Janice Galloway (based on the life of Clara Schumann)
2003 - Joseph Knight by James Robertson
2004 - In Another Light by Andrew Greig
2005 - Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
2006 - A Lie About My Father by John Burnside
2007 - Day by A. L. Kennedy

Royal Mail/Scottish Best First Book of the Year 1991- 2007

1991 - Night Geometry And The Garscadden Trains by A. L. Kennedy
1992 - Adoption Papers by Jackie Kay
1995 - Free Love and other stories by Ali Smith
1996 - Slattern by Kate Clanchy
1997 - A Painted Field by Robin Robertson
1998 - The Pied Piper’s Poison by Christopher Wallace and Two Clocks Ticking by Dennis O'Donnell
1999 - Some Rain Must Fall by Michael Faber
2000 - The Rising Sun by Douglas Galbraith
2001 - In the Blue House by Meaghan Delahunt
2002 - Burns the Radical by Liam McIlvanney and The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh
2003 - Ath - Aithne by Martainn Mac an t-Saoir
2004 - Stargazing by Peter Hill
2005 - Amande's Bed by John Aberdein
2006 - George Mackay Brown The Life by Maggie Fergusson
2007 - Fresh - A novel by Mark McNay

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