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Press release: Scottish Book Trust announces recipients of New Writers Awards 2021

Scottish Book Trust today announces the 11 recipients of the New Writers Awards 2021, which provide a selection of talented writers who have not yet published a full-length book or collection with professional guidance to help them move towards publication, as well as financial support. Funded by Creative Scotland and run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, the awards have supported over 100 creative individuals since 2009.

The prestigious judging panel included Scots Makar Jackie Kay, Niall Campbell and Colin Waters for poetry; Tendai Huchu, Janice Galloway, Denise Mina and Alan Bett judging fiction; and Dean Atta, Lari Don and Hannah Sycamore (Scottish Book Trust) judging Children’s and YA entries. The Gaelic Books Council selects the two Gaelic New Writer Awardees.

Former New Writers awardees include Nicola White, whose novel The Rosary Garden (Profile) was re-released in January; Helen Sedgwick’s third novel Where the Missing Gather (Oneworld) will be published in May 2021 and Man Booker Prize shortlistee Graeme Macrae Burnet will release Case Study (Saraband) in October 2021.

The 2021 awardees are:


Nasim Rebecca Asl

Thomas Stewart

Tim Craven

Children’s and Young Adult

Hazel Knox

Sally Costelloe

Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction

Deborah Chu

Gillian Shearer

Hannah Nicholson

Samantha Dooey-Miles


Beth Frieden

Roddy Neithercut

Each of the 11 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.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

"In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to celebrate and discover new writers in Scotland. Working within COVID restrictions, Scottish Book Trust will support the awardees through online training, workshops and mentoring. As always, the standard of the applications were very high and we look forward to future publications from this group."

Alan Bett, Interim Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland said:

"The list of past winners speaks for itself and gives us all reason to expect that the names on this year’s list will be on bookshelves across the country in future. It was a pleasure to sit on the fiction panel and the wealth of talent, while hugely encouraging, made decision making a near impossible process."

Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, said:

"The Gaelic Book Council’s on-going partnership with Scottish Book Trust allows us to give Gaelic writers this valuable opportunity early in their careers to work with experienced mentors and develop their craft, and we are excited to be working with new writers of Beth and Roddy’s calibre this year as they work towards their first publications."

The New Writers Showcase, a celebration of work by last year’s awardees, will be held online through Scottish Book Trust’s social media accounts on Wednesday 31 March. Information about tickets will be available on Scottish Book Trust’s website(this will open in a new window) soon.


Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries, please contact PR & Marketing Manager Keara Donnachie: Keara.Donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com or 07956 773749.

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children’s learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health & well-being. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.

Our programmes and outreach work include:

In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.

www.scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) @scottishbktrust www.facebook.com/scottishbktrust(this will open in a new window)

Creative Scotland

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. We enable 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. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

Follow Creative Scotland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CreativeScots(this will open in a new window)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland(this will open in a new window)

Instagram: www.instagram.com/creativescots(this will open in a new window)

The Gaelic Books Council

Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (The Gaelic Books Council) is the lead organisation with responsibility for Gaelic writing and publishing, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic books in Scotland and internationally. Established in 1968, Comhairle nan Leabhraichean is a registered charity and receives funding from Creative Scotland and from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to support its programme of grants, professional training and events.

www.gaelicbooks.org(this will open in a new window) @LeughLeabhar and www.facebook.com/ComhairlenanLeabhraichean(this will open in a new window)