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Scots Language Publication Grant Awardees 2021

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

We are delighted to announce the ten 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.

A Series o Scunnersome Events, Book the First: The Boggin Beginnin Itchy Coo

By Thomas Clark and illustrated by Brett Helquist

The Boggin Beginnin (The Bad Beginning) is the first in the hugely successful 13-book Lemony Snicket series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. The books are very dark and very funny, and of course they are already well known in their English editions, which has proved to be an excellent route for encouraging young readers to start reading in Scots. With its ironic Dickensian tone the nature of the story is perfect for translation into Scots, which has a huge vocabulary for the clattie events and scunnersome characters that the book contains.

'This high-quality edition with fantastic illustrations by Brett Helquist is a brilliant addition to the Itchy Coo list. The unsettling macabre tone of the novel is a perfect match for a rich Scots vocabulary and we couldn’t be more thrilled.' – Itchy Coo

'I’m fair-trickit – a word which here means "absolutely delighted" – that The Boggin Beginnin is being supported into print by the Scots Publication Grant. The opportunity to make this fantastic book available to young people in their ain leid is a real dream come true.' – Thomas Clark

A Working Class State of Mind – Leamington Books

By Colin Burnett

Written entirely in East coast Scots, A Working Class State of Mind, the debut book by Colin Burnett, brings the everyday reality and language of life in Scotland to the surface. Colin's fiction takes themes in the social sciences and animates them in vivid ethnographic portrayals of what it means to be working class in Scotland today. Delving into the tragic exploits of Aldo as well as his long time suffering best friends Dougie and Craig, the book follows these and other characters as they make their way in a city more divided along class lines than ever before.

'Scots and Doric have always been important to us, especially coming from a generation in which both were discouraged. We continue to work with writers of Scots and this award is a great acknowledgement of that. We also welcome this award as it allows us as a new company to record an audio version of a book that is proving increasingly popular with the public, as well as compete on a more level basis with other publicly funded titles.' – Leamington Books

'I cannot thank the panel enough. I have developed a keen interest in promoting the Scots language through my work ever since I began writing creatively these past few years. Something that I was inspired to do through reading the works of James Kelman and Irvine Welsh. And through my brother Michael Burnett's work who is a Scottish playwright and who writes in Scots. This is truly an exciting time for me and my publisher.' – Colin Burnett

Berries Fae Banes – Tippermuir

By Jim Macintosh

Berries Fae Banes is a poetical translation (not a direct translation, rather a poetical engagement) of a book of poetry by Italian poet, scholar and musician Pino Mereu. Pino is the president of the Hamish Henderson folk club di Roma and a contributor to A Hame Wi’ Freedom: Essays on Hamish Henderson and the Scottish Folk Revival (2002). This collection is more than fine poetry; it also has an important cultural and historical connection with Hamish Henderson. It portrays Pino and Henderson's close relations in a way that deserves to be better-known beyond its original Italian-speaking audience.

'Tippermuir are delighted that the Scottish Book Trust have once again put their faith in Tippermuir to produce new work in Scots. Berrie Fae Banes is not only new work, it is part of that carrying stream of the cultural contribution of Hamish Henderson.' – Tippermuir

'Fair chuffed tae hae the honour o owersettin Pino’s fine words intae the Scots Leid. Aiblins noo the precious thrums o freendship between Hamish Henderson and Pino will grace the lugs o mair fowk.' – Jim Macintosh

Wheesht - Foggie Toddle Books

By Susi Briggs and Wiliam Gorman

Wheesht is a picture book by Susi Briggs. It’s a story about a dog who loves to sing but who has been sent outside to the garden by his family who don’t always appreciate the noise. They’ve told him to “Haud yer wheesht” but he has no idea what this means and asks other animals if they know. In the end he works it out for himself!

'I am absolutely delighted to be receiving the Award as it enables my new company, Foggie Toddle Books to work with the wonderful Scots writer and storyteller Susi Briggs and talented illustrator William Gorman.' – Foggie Toddle Books

'I'm ower the muin tae get an opportunity tae see anither yin o my Scots stories fer weans published. I am looking forrit tae working wi Foggie Toddle Books and seeing the character Shug the Dug come tae life in the talented hands o illustrator Will Gorman. Wheesht was a joy tae scrieve and I'm delichted wi the award.' – Susi Briggs

Hard Roads an Cauld Hairst Winds: Li Bai an Du Fu in Scots – Taproot Press

By Brian Holton

The latest book by the Sarah Maguire Prize-winning poet and translator Brian Holton, Hard Roads an Cauld Hairst Winds is a collection of Scots translations of poetry by Li Bai and Du Fu, two of the most renowned poets of Ancient China. By bringing two of the world’s great poets – from the oldest continuous literary tradition in the world – into the library of Scots writing, Brian Holton creates a text as valuable in its own way to the literary tradition as Lorimer’s wonderful New Testament in Scots. Holton’s skilfully supple verse is composed in a literary Scots inflected by his local Borders dialect, giving rise to a natural phrasing that draws on his intimate knowledge of the Border Ballads. Complemented by a collaboration with Edinburgh-based calligrapher Chi Zhang, these finely wrought translations create a strikingly beautiful book.

'It’s a real privilege to be awarded a Scots Language Publication Grant, which will allow us to create a beautiful book befitting of Brian’s poetry. With extra calligraphy from the exceptional Chi Zhang, we can now make Hard Roads into a real collector's item worthy of any bookshelf.' – Taproot Press

'I am delighted that Taproot Press has an SBT grant. All such support turns public attention to this ancient and beautiful language, which helps give Scots speakers still greater confidence in the active use of the Mither Tongue, in both speech and writing.' – Brian Holton

Laird Graham an the Kelpie – Giglets Education

By Jax McGhee

Giglets is an online literacy resource used by thousands of teachers and pupils to share texts and activities that pupils love to work on in school or at home. Giglets includes an accessible and ever-expanding library of colourful and enjoyable texts in over 35 languages, including Gaelic, Doric and Scots. Pupils are engaged before they have even begun to read, drawn in by enhanced texts that include audio support, illustrations, animations and theme music. Laird Graham an the Kelpie, a new addition to the Giglets library, is a Scots translation of a story based on an old Scottish legend about the cruel and miserly Laird Graham of Morphie and how he caught a kelpie (water horse) from the loch and made it build a castle for him.

'We’re delighted to have received this grant support from Scottish Book Trust, which will enable us to publish our ninth book in Scots. We hope that this project can serve as a catalyst for more to follow as we grow and develop our library of texts to support children in Scottish classrooms and beyond.' – Giglets

'I’m thrilled that we have received the Scots Publication Grant from the Scottish Book Trust to support the publication of Laird Graham an the Kelpie. It promises to be a colourful and engaging retelling of a Scottish legend. I hope teachers, pupils and parents across Scotland enjoy the story.' – Jax McGhee

Norlan Lichts – Rymour Books

By Sheena Blackhall, Sheila Templeton and Lesley Benzie

A selection of new poems by three of the most prominent writers from the North-east writing in Scots today. All written in North-east Scots or 'Doric'.

'Rymour Books have championed the traditional Scots of the North-east through neglected authors, folk song and, in this case, active contemporary authors writing in their native Scots, and are delighted to receive this grant.' – Rymour Books

'We are extremely pleased to receive this support which rewards our new work in the Scots of the North-east and hope that our work will encourage others to write in their local tongue.' – Sheena Blackhall, Sheila Templeton, Lesley Benzie

Phantom the Ginger Mog – Wee Stoorie Press

By Kirsty Johnson and illustrated by Mandy Sinclair

Phantom the Ginger Mog, is a series of rhyming, picture story books for children aged 4 to 7, written in Scots. Each book will include a glossary of Scots words and phrases. The stories are full of fun, based around seasons, nature, and the supernatural, and are all brought to life by beautiful, vibrant illustrations. We are also producing audio books for this series, incorporating original music composed specifically for each individual book, and aim to create a uniquely Scottish, sound picture, story book.

'To say, we are absolutely delighted to receive this grant, is a huge understatement. This grant gives us, Kirsty Johnson and Mandy Sinclair, of Wee Stoorie Pess, the opportunity to offer our work to very important people – bairns.' – Wee Stoorie Press

The Day It Never Got Dark In Dundee – Rymour Books

By Ian Spring

The work is a collection of short fictions written entirely in Glaswegian Scots. There is humour but they also deal with issues of poverty, violence, and sectarianism, set in the background of working class Glasgow over the last 50 years.

'Rymour Books have championed the Scots language and are delighted to have received a generous grant towards the publication of The Day It Never Got Dark In Dundee, written entirely in Glaswegian Scots.' – Rymour Books

'I’m chuffed at receiving a Scots publication grant for my collection of short stories written in Glaswegian. Ya dancer!' – Ian Spring

The Itchy Coo Book o Aesop’s Fables in Scots – Itchy Coo

By Matthew Fitt and James Robertson, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

The Itchy Coo Book of Aesop’s Fables in Scots is a translation of the Orchard edition, published by Hachette in 2004. Featuring glowing illustrations from Emma Chichester Clark, and translated from Michael Morpurgo’s lively retellings, these classic fables will now be published in Scots for the first time, translated by a select group of well known Scottish writers. One of Itchy Coo’s long-term aims is to embed reading in Scots for pleasure into the reading habits of a large section of the population. Itchy Coo’s foundation was based on the premise that there was a great but neglected demand for quality prose and poetry in Scots for young readers. To help meet this demand, we are building a small Scots library of classic children’s literature that can sit comfortably and permanently on any bookshelf, to be read by children themselves or shared with parents, teachers, librarians and others.

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:

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