Authors of Tomorrow Sought by Scottish Book Trust


Scottish Book Trust has announced that applications for the New Writers Awards 2017 are now open, providing a unique opportunity for 10 unpublished writers who live in Scotland to pursue their dream of becoming a published author.


The New Writers Awards are managed by Scottish Book Trust in association with Creative Scotland and each year they provide 10 unpublished writers with financial support to enable them to concentrate on developing their work, as well as professional guidance to help them move towards publication. The awards also include a week-long retreat at Cove Park.


Each recipient will receive a £2000 cash award, as well as tailored support including mentoring from writers and industry professionals, training in public relations, social media and performance and the opportunity to showcase their work to publishers and agents.


Applications for the New Writers Awards are open to Scotland-based writers who have not published a novel, short story or poetry collection and have a strong commitment to developing their writing. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 6 July at midday and the recipients will be announced in January 2017.

In order to provide the best possible support, the New Writers Awards are divided into three different categories. Writers may only apply for one category:


  • Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction in English and Scots
  • Poetry in English and Scots
  • Children’s and Young Adult Fiction in English and Scots

The three poetry awards will be run in association with the Scottish Poetry Library.


Lucy Ribchester, a recipient of a 2012 New Writers Award and author of forthcoming novel The Amber Shadows, said:

“A New Writers Award is so much more than a badge to put on your writing CV. The best thing about the whole experience has been becoming part of a community of writers and booklovers who encourage each other in an unstable and sometimes nerve-wracking industry. The support you receive from Scottish Book Trust – partnering you up with inspiring mentors, championing your work at festivals, being a friendly ear when you need a career chat – goes way beyond the initial award year. And on top of that you get £2,000 and a week at Cove Park – what good reason is there not to apply?”


Caitrin Armstrong, Head of Writer Development at Scottish Book Trust, said:


“Writing is often a lonely pursuit and it can be very difficult for writers to get themselves noticed. That is why the New Writers Awards are so important to writers in Scotland – we give them support, encouragement and friendship, along with a bit of financial and physical breathing space to enable them to concentrate on their writing for a while. It’s amazing how even the act of receiving the award can restore the faith and enthusiasm of a writer, often setting them on the road to publication or just giving them a much needed boost to keep going.”


Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland, said; 


“The New Writers Awards not only recognise and celebrate Scotland’s literary future but also offer an important development opportunity for talented writers.  The support offered by Scottish Book Trust is hugely beneficial in helping writers from across Scotland develop creatively and professionally. We strongly advise talented writers embarking on their careers to apply.”


This is the ninth year that Scottish Book Trust has managed the New Writers Awards and so far the process has proved hugely successful in terms of developing the careers of more than 60 writers. Confirmed 2016 publications by previous New Writer Awardees include Kirsty Logan (recipient of a 2009 award) with A Portable Shelter in paperback in October, Lucy Ribchester (recipient of a 2012 award) with The Amber Shadows in April, Helen Sedgwick (recipient of a 2012 award) with The Comet Seekers in August, Martin MacInnes (recipient of a 2014 award) with Infinite Ground in August and Em Strang (recipient of a 2014 award) with Bird-Woman.


Scottish Book Trust New Writers can also be found in the programmes of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Aye Write, Stanza, The Edinburgh International Science Festival, the Dundee Literary Festival and the Wigtown Book Festival amongst others.


Scottish Book Trust is also currently working with the Gaelic Books Council on a project which supports two New Gaelic Writers.


Some facts about the New Writers Awards:


  • 10 unpublished writers will be selected this year. Decisions will be announced in January 2017.
  • There are 10 Awards available in total – 5 places to Fiction, 3 places to Poetry and 2 places to Children’s.
  • We work with the Gaelic Books Council to provide an additional 2 Gaelic places each year
  • The selected New Writers will have three months to work on their material before meeting with Scottish Book Trust to discuss their professional development support.
  • Any writer over the age of 18 may apply as long as they fulfil the criteria.

Information about the 2017 New Writers Awards can be found at www.scottishbooktrust.com/new-writers-awards


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