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Scots Language Publication Grant Awardees 2023

The Scots Language Publication Grant supports Scots publishers and encourages Scots writers.

We are delighted to announce the new titles to be supported by the Scots Language Publication Grant. The Scots Language Publication Grant provides assistance for publishing new work (including translated texts), reprinting existing historical or culturally significant work, and also effective marketing and promotion of existing and new work.

Born in Kyle Burnawn Books

By Billy Kay

In Born in Kyle, Billy Kay goes back to his own linguistic and cultural roots and celebrates a sense of place and belonging in his native Galston, in Ayrshire's Irvine Valley. Looking back, Kay realises that his was the last of the pre-television generations, and life was lived in a strong Scots-speaking environment which would be eroded when television in English was beamed into every household from the ealy 1960s onwards. In a vivid, gutsy and realistic Scots prose shot through with humour, Kay brings to life the characters he grew up with, some in personally recalled memoirs, others in short stories which bring out a history and a literary history inherited by generations of local folk.

'Billy Kay captures a way of life on the cusp of change in this important work, so we are delighted to welcome this grant in support of its publication.' – Burnawn Books.

'It gies me muckle pleisure tae receive this grant in acknowledgment o ma wark in the guid Scots tongue, that's aye been at the core o ma fowk's culture an identity.' – Billy Kay

Burds, Baists and Bugs

By Claire Hubbard and Tom Hubbard

Burds, Baists and Bugs is a collection of thirty-one illustrations, poems and facts that celebrate the unique character of the Scots language and Scotland's native animal species. Within the collection is an array of creatures, from 'A Sloogin Selkie': a common seal who describes her rather enviable habitat and lifestyle; to 'An Eydent Bumbee': a hard-working bumblebee whose important pollination duties benefit us all. This project reflects the importance of variety to healthy ecosystems: it cherishes one of our rarest and most beautiful species in 'A Bonnie Wullcat', alongside a somewhat less lovable Scottish icon in 'A Scunnersome Midgie'.

'We are absolutely delighted and very grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for their support of this project. The grant will enable us to take what started off as a casual illustration exercise and produce a physical collection that we hope will appeal to Scots readers and wildlife enthusiasts alike!' – Claire Hubbard and Tom Hubbard

DWAMS Tapsalteerie

By Shane Strachan

Exploring issues such as the transition away from the oil and gas industry or the impacts of Brexit on increased racism and xenophobia in the North East, DWAMS is the debut full-length collection of poetry from Shane Strachan, the current Scots Scriever. The collection brings together original poems often told from a queer perspective and primarily in North East Scots, marking the emergence of a significant voice in contemporary Scots language poetry.

'We're fair trickit aboot this award – it's a richt boost for Tapsalteerie, gein us the chance tae rax oot an tak Shane Strachan's DWAMS farrer an wider than otherwise we could hae. Muckle thanks till the Scots Language Publication Grant for their support!' – Duncan Lockerbie, Tapsalteerie

'I’m affa pleased that Tapsalteerie are takin care o this first full-length collection o ma poyetry and spoken-word that I've been gaitherin ower years and that's come oot o different projects for page and stage, reflectin on the North East o Scotland in sindry wyes. Thanks tae the Scots Language Publication Grant, noo fan I perform at an event and somebody asks 'Where can I buy the book with that poem?', I’ll finally be able tae pynt them in the direction o DWAMS.' – Shane Strachan

Guid Morning! Guid Nicht! Tippermuir Books

By Lawrence Schimel, translated by Matthew Mackie

Guid Mornin! The bairn is up an aboot afore aabody else in the hoose. . . or juist aboot aabody. Using Lawrence Schimel's highly-regarded Rainbow Books, Tippermuir is producing a Scots translation. There are few (if any) LGBTQ+ inclusive books for children in Scots and Tippermuir is thus responding to a significant need by producing Guid Mornin! and Guid Nicht! The original books are written by Lawrence Schimel, an author, writing in both Spanish and English, who has published over one hundred books in a wide range of genres.

'In a letter to C M Grieve (Hugh MacDiarmid), in 1931, Scottish Renaissance poet, William Soutar, wrote, 'if the Doric is to come back alive, it will come on a cock-horse', a reference to the importance of writing in Scots for bairns. If Soutar was alive today, he might well add that the revival of Scots literature owes much to the Scots Language Publication Grant – he would surely be correct.' – Tippermuir Books

'The revival of Scots language publishing and the variety of books for bairns in particular has been wonderful to see and a pleasure to contribute to. Guid Mornin! and Guid Nicht! add diversity to the range of Scots language books for bairns in terms of representation.' – Matthew Mackie

The Dunfermline Story Maximized Comics

By Colin Maxwell

The Dunfermline Story is a comic book in Scots language celebrating Dunfermline's new status as a City (2022) and commemorating the 400th anniversary of the great fire of Dunfermline (2024). Featuring the artwork of many artists, the book will start at the time of King Malcom III and Queen Margaret, and cover significant people and events in the city, including the linen industry, Andrew Carnegie, Robert the Bruce, Dunfermline Athletic Football Club, the Great Fire of 1624, and modern day celebrities such as Barbara Dickson, Ncuti Gatwa and Big Country.

'Maximized Comics has been an independent publisher of comics since 2014, creating comics in multiple genres, but specialising in historical stories and characters. The grant will help us work with a range of artists to visualise the history of Dunfermline and tell it in the Scots tongue.' Maximized Comics

'I've written some short stories in Scots, but this grant will give me an opportunity get to grips with the language and tell some of the stories of my home town in my mither tongue.' Colin Maxwell

The Fusslin Thrang: Collected Poems in Scots Blue Diode Press

By Alexander Hutchison, edited by A.B. Jackson

The Fusslin Thrang: Collected Poems in Scots brings together the Scots poems of Alexander Hutchison (born in Buckie,1943; died in Glasgow, 2015). Edited by Scottish poet A.B. Jackson, and with an introduction by J. Derrick McClure, the full range of Hutchison's work in his distinct North-East Scots can now be appreciated by readers and researchers alike. Poems from Bones & Breath (winner of the Saltire Award for Scottish Poetry Book of the Year 2014) are also included here but the majority of poems in The Fusslin Thrang are previously uncollected or unpublished, and, significantly for Scots language studies, include full glossaries by Hutchison himself.

'This award enables an independent publisher such as Blue Diode Press to ensure high quality production, design and publicity for the book and is a massive boost in terms of visibility.' Blue Diode Press

'Over the course of seven years since his death, my research journey has included the Hutchison archives at the University of Victoria, B.C. and the National Library of Scotland: a joy from beginning to end as a labour for my friend. I hope this collection will earn him new admirers at home and abroad, and I am grateful for the support.' A.B. Jackson

The Songs of Jock Duncan Rymour Books

By Jock Duncan, edited by Peter Shepheard

The Songs of Jock Duncan is a collection of songs from a noted source singer from the North-east. For scholars, it offers a fine example of repertoire in the folk tradition. For singers, it offers a range of songs with tunes for performance and dissemination.

'Rymour Books has championed the Scottish folk Tradition and the Scots language, especially the Doric Scots of the North-east. Although vitally important to the Scottish cultural tradition, collections such as these usually require sound financial support and we are very grateful for the grant that enables us to produce this book.' Rymour Books

'I'm delighted. . . This will be a lasting document of the Scottish folk tradition, a record of the extensive song and ballad repertoire of one of Scotland's finest traditional singers and, with tunes included, will be a great resource for young singers.' Peter Shepheard

Tommy Foghorn Giglets

By Seona MacRuary and Lilian Ross

Tommy Foghorn is a story about a small boy with a big voice that comes in very handy one day. Having featured in a previous storytelling event, we know that children and teachers alike appreciate the humour of the text and it is this aspect, and the vibrant illustrations by Graeme Nimmo, that will engage children in the Scots language. Over 2,500 pupils have access to this story in English at the moment, and the Scots translation will allow many pupils to tackle Scots prose in an accessible way.

'It's a privilege to have received this grant support from Scottish Book Trust which will enable us to publish our tenth book in Scots. We hope to build on the previous success of Laird Graham an the Kelpie and bring Scots stories to children in Scottish classrooms (and beyond!) in an engaging and accessible way.' Seona MacRuary, Giglets

'We are heelster-gowdie tae hae gotten the Scots Publication Grant tae stey the publication O' Tommy Foghorn. We hope teachers, pupils and parents across Scotland enjoy the story.' Lilian Ross

Yum Foggie Toddle Books

By Susi Briggs

Yum is a picture book featuring wee Jenny sharing her piece with different animals and birds in the garden.

'It's wonderful to receive the Scots Language Publication Grant. As a small indie publisher it enables us to have the opportunity to work with the amazing Susi Briggs again and Charlotte Brayley, an artist new to children's book illustration.' Foggie Toddle Books

'When I heard the news that Foggie Toddle Books were awarded the grant to publish my story Yum, I was overjoyed. This story will be my fourth original Scots language picture book to be published. I am looking forward to working with the incredible illustrator Charlotte Brayley.' Susi Briggs

About the Scots Language Publication Grant

The Scots Language Publication Grant is administrated by The Scots Language Resource Network, which meets twice a year to discuss the coordination and publication of new and existing resources (online and in print) that support speakers, readers, writers, teachers, learners and students of Scots. It currently includes representatives from the following organisations: ASLS

The publication grant is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Scottish Book Trust.