Scottish Book Trust Announces Recipients of New Writers Awards 2017

Category: Press Releases



Two librarians, a social care worker, a prop maker and a retired English teacher are among the 10 recipients of this year’s Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards.

The New Writers Awards are managed by Scottish Book Trust in association with Creative Scotland and each year they provide a selection of talented, unpublished writers with financial support to enable them to concentrate on developing their work, as well as professional guidance to help them move towards publication.

Each of the 10 recipients will receive a £2,000 cash award and support tailored to their needs 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. The awards also include a week-long retreat at Moniack Mhor. The retreat provides time, space and the freedom to create new work in idyllic surroundings. 

The three judging panels reviewed over 400 entries in total before selecting the final 10. This year’s judges included Don Paterson, Amy Liptrot and Pamela Butchart.

The full list of the 2017 New Writers Awardees is as follows:

Fiction & Narrative Non Fiction

Anna Stewart (Dundee)- Library and Information Assistant

Elisabeth Ingram Wallace (Glasgow) - Art Director, Prop Maker, Production Designer

Laura Morgan (North Sutherland) – Project Manager

Sally Huband (Shetland) – Full time writer

Simon Brown (Edinburgh) – Library Assistant


Ciara MacLaverty (Glasgow) - Survey Assistant for Glasgow University

Lydia Harris (Orkney) – Retired English Teacher

Molly Vogel (Glasgow) – University Tutor

Children’s and Young Adult Fiction

Christine Laurenson (Shetland) – Social Care Worker

Helen MacKenzie (Linlithgow) – Freelance copywriter

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

“The New Writers Awards exist to support and nurture the talent and spirit out there in Scotland. We’re here to help the writers who might be bowing under the weight of their commitments or who just need some breathing space and encouragement to keep going. Our 2017 awardees have already produced some fantastic writing, and I can’t wait to see what they create over the next year.”  

Aly Barr, Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing, Creative Scotland, said:

“The New Writers Awards continue to be both a strong indicator of the next big name in Scottish writing and a vital rung on the ladder for authors taking their first steps as professionals.”

Many New Writers Award recipients go on to secure publishing deals. Upcoming 2017 publications from previous awardees include the much-anticipated Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (HarperCollins) by Gail Honeyman. 2016 publications from previous awardees include Claire Askew with This Changes Things published by Bloodaxe Books, Lucy Ribchester with The Amber Shadows published by Simon and Schuster, Martin MacInnes with Infinite Ground published by Atlantic Books and Helen Sedgwick with The Comet Seekers published by Harvill Secker. 2012 recipient Graeme Macrae Burnet was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize for his second novel, His Bloody Project.

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

Scottish Book Trust is also currently working with the Gaelic Book Council to provide two additional places on the programme which will support two New Gaelic Writers each year.


Back L-R: Sally Huband, Laura Morgan, Lydia Harris, Molly Vogel, Ciara MacLaverty, Anna Stewart, Elisabeth Ingram Wallace

Front L-R: Helen MacKenzie, Simon Brown, Christine Laurenson



Information about the 2017 New Writers Awards can be found here.


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Notes to Editors:


  • Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. Scottish Book Trust believes that books and reading have the power to change lives. As a national charity, we inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure.

-       We give free books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.

-       We work with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classrooms activities, book awards and author events programme.

-       We support Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities

-       We fund a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promote Scottish writing to people worldwide

-       We work for a Scotland where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive through literacy.   @scottishbktrust


  • 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. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit  Follow us @creativescots and


  • Some facts about the New Writers Awards:
  • There are 10 Awards available in total for 2017 - 5 Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction, 3 Poetry and 2 Children and YA.
  • Any writer over the age of 18 may apply as long as they fulfil the criteria.
  • The poetry awards are run in association with the Scottish Poetry Library