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Press release: 2021 Scottish Teenage Book Prize shortlist announced

Young people encouraged to join biggest teen book club

Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, has revealed today the shortlist for the 2021 Scottish Teenage Book Prize. The three titles chosen by the panel include Evernight by Ross MacKenzie, The Gifted, The Talented and Me by William Sutcliffe and White Eagles by Elizabeth Wein.

Scottish Book Trust encourages teenagers of all ages to join the biggest book club in the country: by reading the three shortlisted books and voting as part of their class, book group or individually by Friday 5 March 2021.Those who participate in voting will also receive Young Scot points.

The Scottish Teenage Book Prize, now in its fifth year, was set up to celebrate the most popular teen books by authors in Scotland. It is run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland. Shortlisted authors receive £500 and the winner receives £3,000.

To find out more about the shortlisted titles, readers can use Bookzilla, a free app for early secondary school students in Scotland. Young people can receive tailored book recommendations, see what is popular among their classmates and challenge themselves to try something new with a reading dare. The app promotes different featured collections every month and is available to download on the app store or Google Play.

The panel for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize included Shelagh Toonen, librarian at Elgin Academy, Moray and Stephen Shiels, librarian at The Royal High School, Edinburgh, along with staff from Scottish Book Trust.

The winning title will be announced on Wednesday 31 March 2021, in an exclusive video available to classes who are registered to vote. Young people can register to vote online via Scottish Book Trust’s website: scottishbooktrust.com/stbp.

The Scottish Teenage Book Prize shortlist is:

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Many congratulations to all the authors on the Scottish Teenage Book Prize shortlist. We look forward to seeing teenagers and schools getting involved with the prize as they do every year. This is the first year young people can vote individually, so we hope many will take the opportunity to vote for their favourite shortlisted book.”

Alan Bett, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said:

“Congratulations to the three authors shortlisted for the 2021 Scottish Teenage Book Prize. As well as recognising talented young writers and bringing their work to new readers, the spirit in which these awards are made through peer voting, is so important. We're delighted to support an award that is a positive step for both authors and the reading public.”

Evernight by Ross MacKenzie

Ross MacKenzie lives in Renfrew, where he grew up. He is multi award-winning author of books for children, including The Nowhere Emporium, which won both the Blue Peter Book Award and Scottish Children's Book Award.

Ross regularly visits primary schools, libraries and literary festivals where he discusses the power of stories and imagination, and holds Q&A sessions and writing workshops.

Ross MacKenzie said:

“I’m equal parts surprised and thrilled that Evernight is on the shortlist for this year’s Scottish Teenage Book Prize! It’s wonderful to know that readers all over the country will soon be venturing into the dangerous dark places of the Silver Kingdom. I wish you all a good journey.”

The Gifted, The Talented and Me by William Sutcliffe

William Sutcliffe is based in Edinburgh and has published 12 novels, including five for young adults. Over the years he has done many events, including talks, readings and workshops for all ages. His novel The Wall was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal) and Concentr8 was shortlisted for the YA book prize.

William Sutcliffe said:

“I am thrilled to be on the shortlist for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize again. My visits to schools around Scotland are an endless source of inspiration for me as a writer. Meeting the teenage readers of this country and talking about politics and fiction is always fascinating, and I never fail to travel home with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm for my job. I’m delighted to be part of this prize, and am looking forward to meeting some of the new readers it will bring to my books.”

White Eagles by Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth Wein was born in New York, and grew up in England, Jamaica and Pennsylvania. She now lives in Perth, Scotland. Elizabeth is a member of the Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots. She was awarded the Scottish Aero Club's Watson Cup for best student pilot in 2003 and it was her love of flying that partly inspired the idea for Code Name Verity.

Elizabeth Wein said:

“I'm grateful, honoured, and delighted to have White Eagles represent Barrington Stoke on the Scottish Teenage Book Prize shortlist! In this time of uncertainty and isolation, it means the world to me to be able to share this story of solidarity and flight with young readers across Scotland.”

Notes to editors

For all media enquiries including photos of the launch or the authors, please contact Keara Donnachie on keara.donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) or 07956 773 749.

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 through programmes and outreach work that 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.

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.