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Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Awards 2006

The 2006 Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Awards were held at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 19 August.

Pile of books; Photo: Rebecca Moyce The ceremony was hosted by Richard Holloway, Chairman of the Scottish Arts Council, and each of the runners up received a cheque for £2,000. First prize was a cheque for £10,000.

First prize was won by James Meek, for his novel The People's Act of Love. He received a cheque for £10,000 at the ceremony, which was being held at the Book Festival for the first time and was a sell-out event.

Runners up were Kathleen Jamie, for her book Findings, a collection of prose essays, which merges travel and nature writing, and Ali Smith, for her novel, The Accidental. There was strong competition from all three runners up - James Meek has previously won the Ondaatje Award, while Kathleen Jamie won first prize in the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Awards in 2005, and Ali Smith won last year's Whitbread Prize.

The judging panel for this year's awards was made up of Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, Robyn Marsack, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library, and author Meaghan Delahunt, whose short story, The Mani was featured on the Scottish Arts Council website last year. Meaghan is also a past winner of a Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award.

Publishers had been sending books in for consideration for the past year, and the judging process has been taking place since the spring.

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