New Writers Award Category: Scots Fiction and Poetry

Please apply for the category that most closely defines your writing, using the definition below as a guideline to help you.

Scots writing is defined as poetry, prose, short stories and narrative non-fiction (including biography, memoir and travel writing) in which the narrative is written predominantly in Scots. Writers who only use Scots in dialogue should apply to the fiction awards. We will accept applications in any of the dialects in the Scots language. Please find below some useful resources on Scots:


Your application should include:

A sample of no more than 3,500 words (approximately 15 pages) of prose (this can include short stories or an extract from a longer piece of work) or poetry (no more than 10 poems). If your sample is an extract of a longer piece of work, please include a short synopsis. This synopsis should be in addition to the 15 pages of prose and should be no more than 500 words (approximately 1 page).


The Judging Panel


Alan Bissett

‘I'll be looking for a vivid use of the Scots language. By that, I don't mean someone just copying the style of an established writer, but a writer who is really making it their own, rooting it in a particular place and culture. The writing should flow and feel stylish, while still authentic and rooted. Of course, a strong story and characters also help!’

Alan Bissett is the author of the novels Boyracers, The Incredible Adam Spark, Death of a Ladies’ Man and Pack Men, the sequel to Boyracers. He is also the editor of Damage Land, a collection of Scottish Gothic fiction.

Liz Lochhead

Liz Lochhead lives in Glasgow. She was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Edinburgh in 2000. In 2005, she was made Poet Laureate of Glasgow, and in 2011, became Scots Makar. Her books include A Choosing: The Selected Poetry of Liz Lochhead, published in 2011.