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Scottish Arts Council Book Awards 2005

The winners of the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award and the Children's Book of the Year Award were announced at an awards ceremony at Dynamic Earth on 9 June 2005. Patricia Ferguson, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, presented the awards and each of the runners up received an award of £2,000, presented by the Junior Judges.

The Book of the Year shortlist was made up of

  • The Tree House by Kathleen Jamie
  • You Have to be Careful in the Land of the Free by James Kelman
  • The Places in Between by Rory Stewart

The Children's Book of the Year shortlist consisted of

  • Space Pirates and the Treasures of Salmagundy by Scoular Anderson
  • Skarrs by Catherine Ford
  • Sleepwalking by Nicola Morgan.

The purpose of the awards is to recognise and reward the outstanding literary talent of Scotland. The awards have the highest monetary value of any literary award in Scotland, but their value to the writers and publishers cannot be measured by the financial worth of the prize alone. The shortlisted writers will see a growth in sales and enjoy the knowledge that their work has won the endorsement of their literary peers.

The ceremony and the winners

The ceremony began with each of the judges speaking about one of the books, followed by two actors reading an extract from each entry. Each of the shortlisted authors was presented with a book award of £2,000 and the winners were then announced - Kathleen Jamie as winner of the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award, and Nicola Morgan as winner of the Children's Book of the Year Award.

Nicola Morgan (left), Patricia Ferguson (centre) and Kathleen Jamie (right)

Kathleen Jamie has already won several prestigious awards for her poetry, including a Somerset Maugham Award, a Forward Prize (Best Single Poem), a Paul Hamlyn Award, and a Creative Scotland Award. As well as winning the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award, The Tree House also won the 2004 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year). Kathleen also writes for radio and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews.

  
Nicola Morgan has had around 70 books published, including teenage novels and non-fiction, younger fiction, Thomas the Tank Engine books and home learning books. Her novel, Fleshmarket, has been named by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books for Young Adults 2004. Nicola's most recently published book is Chicken Friend which is aimed at 8-11 year olds, and was published in May this year.

The judges and the judging process

For the past year, publishers have been submitting books for the Book Awards. To enter, authors had to either be Scottish by birth or live in Scotland. The entries were narrowed down to two longlists, one for the Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year Award and one for the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award. After several meetings and hours of reading, the judges then compiled a shortlist for each category before meeting again to decide on the winners, who were announced at the Awards ceremony.

This year, the judging panel for the Book of the Year Awards consisted of:

  • Duncan McLean, novelist, award-winning short-story writer and non-fiction writer and founder of Clocktower Press (Chair)
  • Janice Galloway, award-winning novelist and
  • Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature, Scottish Arts Council

Secondary school aged readers from across Scotland played a part in the judging process for the children's books on the shortlist. Four junior judges from Aberdeen, Stirling and Glasgow, selected by Youth Librarians, took part in the judging to select their favourite book of the year. Other judges for the Children's Book of the Year were John Burnside, novelist, poet and lecturer in Creative Writing (Chair); Elizabeth Laird, children's novelist and winner of the 2004 Children's Book of the Year Award, and Jenny Attala, Literature Officer, Scottish Arts Council.

The shortlisted books

The Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award 2005 shortlist consisted of:

The Tree House by Kathleen Jamie (Picador)
You Have to be Careful in the Land of the Free by James Kelman (Hamish Hamilton)
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart (Picador)

The Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year Award 2005 shortlist consisted of:

Space Pirates and The Treasures of Salmagundy by Scoular Anderson (Frances Lincoln)
Skarrs by Catherine Forde (Egmont)
Sleepwalking by Nicola Morgan (Hodder Headline)

Supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council

* Nicola Morgan
* Kathleen Jamie
* Literature homepage
 
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