Scottish Book Trust Announces Recipients of New Writers Awards 2019

New Writers Awardees
Category: Press Releases

Scottish Book Trust today announces the 10 recipients of the New Writers Award, which is supported by Creative Scotland. Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has supported over 100 creative individuals through the New Writers Awards, and 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the prize.

The New Writers Awards provide a selection of talented writers who have not yet published a full length book or collection with financial support, to enable them to concentrate on developing their work, as well as professional guidance to help them move towards publication. Former awardees include P.M. Freestone, whose young adult novel Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom (Scholastic) will be published in February 2019, and Nadine Aisha Jassat, whose poetry collection Let Me Tell You This (404 Ink) will be released in March 2019.

Each of the 10 recipients will receive a £2,000 cash award and support tailored to their needs including mentoring from writers and industry professionals, training opportunities, and the platform to showcase their work to publishers and agents. The awards also include the offer of a week-long writing retreat at Moniack Mhor. The retreat provides time, space and the freedom to create new work in idyllic surroundings.

Five writers from Edinburgh were selected for a New Writers’ Award, including: Alice Turback, Bobby Finn, Angela Drinnan, Ross McCleary and Rachel Rankin. Three writers from Glasgow were also selected: Henry Bell, Heather Palmer and Sarah Smith. Sheila M Averbuch from East Lothian and Nick Summers from Stirling were also awarded.

The panel, who read over 450 submissions, included Scots Scriever Michael Dempster and award-winning authors Leila Aboulela and David Kennan. Poet Bill Herbert and Hannah Lavery, Learning & Engagement Co-ordinator at the Scottish Poetry Library, judged the poetry submissions. Award-winning authors Cathy Forde and Debi Gliori sat on the Children and Young Adult panel.

The Gaelic Books Council provides two additional places on the programme which will support two New Gaelic Writers each year. These awards will be announced shortly.


The full list of the 2019 New Writers Awardees is as follows.


Alice Turback

Henry Bell

Rachel Rankin


Children’s and Young Adult

Bobby Finn

Sheila M Averbuch


Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction

Angela Drinnan

Heather Palmer

Nick Summers

Ross McCleary

Sarah Smith


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Congratulations to our ten New Writers Awardees, who join the likes of Graeme Macrae Burnet, Helen Sedgwick and Kirsty Logan. We’re delighted to see the applications increase year on year, and it’s wonderful to be celebrating a milestone ten years of the New Writers Awards. All of us at Scottish Book Trust wish the new awardees the best of luck with their projects.”


Alan Bett, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said:

“Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards are always a reason for readers to celebrate, due to their role in delivering now-established authors such as Claire Askew and Malachy Tallack into print. Writer development opportunities can never be underestimated. The tailored approach here, alongside the public platform, helps build skills, confidence and visibility, ensuring Scotland’s most exciting talent in poetry and prose reach our nation’s bookshelves.”


Alice Turback, New Writers Awardee 2019 from Stockbridge, said:

“I am delighted and grateful to have been awarded a New Writers Award. I have always admired the work of previous winners, and I am excited to be given the time and resources to focus on my poetry.”


The New Writers Showcase, a celebration of work by the New Writers Awardees of 2018, will be held on 24 January at The Jam House in Edinburgh. The event is an opportunity to hear some of the most exciting new talent in Scotland perform their work, as last year’s awardees mark the end of their year. More details and ticket information can be found here.


Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries, please contact Press Officer Keara Donnachie: or 0131 524 0184.


About Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure though programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of Books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.
  • @scottishbktrust


Gaelic Books Council

The Gaelic Books Council is the lead organisation with responsibility for supporting Scottish Gaelic authors and publishers, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic books in Scotland and internationally.


Creative Scotland

In addition to general fundraising, Scottish Book Trust receives Creative Scotland support through Regular Funding.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. It enables people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. It distributes funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit and follow @creativescots and @CreativeScotland