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Scottish Arts Council book of the Year Award 2003: Announcement of shortleet


Six writers from across Scotland will be celebrating today as the shortleet for the Scottish Arts Council Book Awards is announced.

The final awards ceremony and announcement of the winner will be held in the Biosphere at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on Thursday 5 June 2003 at 12 noon.

Each of those on the shortlist will receive a book award of £2,000. On 5 June the following final awards will be presented to two writers from the shortlist:

Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year
and the
Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award,

The value of the Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year is a total of £5,000, and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award, is worth a total of £10,000.

The purpose of these awards is to give recognition to the outstanding literary talent of Scotland. The awards have the highest monetary value of all literary awards in Scotland but their value to the writers and publishers cannot be measured by financial worth alone. Each of the shortlisted writers for last years award enjoyed a five-fold growth in sales and the knowledge that they had been recognised by contemporary writers and literary critics. The press and media exposure enjoyed by the winners ensured an ongoing heightened public profile.

The Scottish Arts Council Books of the Year Award 2003 shortleet is:

White Mughals - by William Dalrymple (Harper Collins)

Clara - by Janice Galloway (Vintage)

Why Don¹t You Stop Talking- by Jackie Kay (Picador)

Pure Dead Wicked -by Debi Gliori (Doubleday)*

Warehouse - by Keith Gray (Red Fox)*

Little Rabbit Lost - by Harry Horse (Viking)*

* denotes children's title

Longlisted writers have been taking part in a hugely successful series of readers' event around Scotland over the last month culminating in a readers' afternoon at the Word Festival in Aberdeen.

The 2003 judging panel is chaired by Richard Holloway. His fellow judges are Rosemary Goring, Literary Editor of The Herald, Alison Prince, author and winner of last year's Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year, David Robinson, Literary Editor of The Scotsman, and Ali Smith, author and winner of last year's Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year.

Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, commented today on the shortlist:
"We launched our expanded Book Awards a year ago to match the unprecedented richness and maturity of contemporary writing in Scotland, and the longlist for 2003 was almost a self-fulfilling prophecy: a roll-call of the greatest writing Scotland currently offers, every title a worthy winner. Reducing these riches to a shortlist of six was the unenviable task of the judges, but they have presented half a dozen literary jewels, from acclaimed novels and short stories to beautiful illustrated books for young children. These are world-class books that reflect a bold and brilliant Scottish culture, and they all deserve to be treasured."

Notes to editors

  1. These awards form an important part of the Scottish Arts Council¹s new Literature Strategy as a way of raising the prestige of Scotland¹s literature nationally and internationally, and of celebrating the achievements of writers.
  2. The Scottish Arts Council champions and sustains the arts for Scotland, investing £60 million from Scottish Executive and National Lottery funding to support and develop artistic excellence and creativity throughout Scotland..
  3. Biographical Notes
  • William Dalrymple
    William Dalrymple was born is Scotland and brought up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. He wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller 'In Xanadu' when he was just twenty-two. In 1989 he moved to Delhi where he lived for six years researching his second book, 'City of Djinns'.
    William is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Asiatic Society, and in 2002 was awardeed the Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his outstanding contribution to travel literature. He is married to the artist Olivia Fraser and they have three children. They now divide their time between London and Delhi.
  • Janice Galloway
    Janice Galloway was born in Ardrossan in 1956 and educated at the University of Glasgow. Her first novel, "The Trick Is To Keep Breathing" was published in1990 and won the MIND Book Of The Year. It was also shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award. "Foreign Parts" followed in 1994 and won the McVitie's Prize for the Scottish Writer of the Year. In 1994 she also won the EM Forster Award, presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. 'Clara' is her third published novel but collections of her short stories, poetry and musical collaborations have also been published / performed. ³Clara²l won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award at the end of 2002.
  • Debi Gliori
    Debi is the author/illustrator of more than forty picture books for children. She is best known for her Mr Bear series which has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. She trained at Edinburgh College of Art, at the end of which she received a travelling scholarship and went to Milan to soak up Italian design. Since then Debi has freelanced as an illustrator, initially in advertising, and for the last 12 years working exclusively in publishing. Debi¹s debut novel, Pure Dead magic is a gothic romp of a novel. Two further titles, Pure Dead Wicked and Pure Dead Brilliant are also now available.
  • Keith Gray
    28 years old, born in Grimsby. First novel Creepers was shortlisted for Guardian Fiction Award in 1996. He has published 4 teen novels and 3 younger fiction titles. The Runner won the Smarties Silver Award. Warehouse was shortlisted for the Guardian Award in 2002. He recently gave up his job as a lecturer in Creative Writing to become a full-time writer, and now lives in Edinburgh.
  • Harry Horse
    Harry was born in Coventry but has lived near Edinburgh for many years. He has written and illustrated several children's books including the much loved Ogopogo. He is well-known as a political cartoonist for The New Yorker, The Guardian, Scotland on Sunday and The Scotsman.
  • Jackie Kay
    Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh in 1961 and grew up in Glasgow. She has published three collections of poetry, the first of which The Adoption Papers (Bloodaxe 1991) won the Saltire and Forward Prizes. The second, Other Lovers (Bloodaxe 1993) won the Somerset Maugham Award. Trumpet, her first novel won the Authors Club First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize. She also writes for children. She lives in Manchester.

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Issued by: Scottish Arts Council

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