Scottish Teenage Book Prize Winner 2018 Revealed

Caighlan Smith
Category: Press Releases


Caighlan Smith, author of Children of Icarus, has been named winner of the 2018 Scottish Teenage Book Prize. Now in its second year, the Scottish Teenage Book Prize was set up to celebrate the most popular teen books by authors in Scotland. The prize is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, and is supported by Creative Scotland.

Caighlan Smith is a 23-year-old fantasy novelist from Newfoundland, Canada. She was a finalist for the Dell Magazines Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing in both 2015 and 2016. Caighlan was a Saltire fellow and Alexander & Dixon scholar at the University of Glasgow, where she studied an MLitt in Fantasy. Since being nominated for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize, the author has returned to her native Canada.

As part of her prize, Caighlan will receive £3,000 whilst the shortlisted authors, Danny Weston for The Haunting of Jessop Rise, and Elizabeth Laird for Welcome to Nowhere, will receive £500 each. Lucy Eldridge, illustrator of Welcome to Nowhere will also receive £200.

The announcement of the winner was made at The Lighthouse Bookshop in Edinburgh, at a special event hosted by Danny Scott from Scottish Book Trust. Film of the announcement is available to watch on Scottish Book Trust’s website today (28 February 2018).

Caighlan Smith said:

“I'm truly honoured, not to mention ecstatic, that Children of Icarus has won the 2018 Scottish Teenage Book Prize. It means so much to me, because it's an award voted on by the readers themselves. I've always thought of stories as conversations between the readers and the writers, so to know that the readers enjoyed that conversation, that they responded to it – what more can a writer ask for?”

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“The Scottish Teenage Book Prize is voted for by young people all across the country, so it is wonderful that Caighlan Smith has been chosen as the winner for 2018, considering that she started her writing career as a teenager herself. Caighlan has an impressive backlist and Scottish Book Trust wishes her all the best on her future projects.”

Alan Bett, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said:

“Awards voted for by readers hold special worth, so Creative Scotland would like to congratulate the 2018 Scottish Teenage Book Prize winner Caighlan Smith, and also the additional shortlisted writers and illustrator. We are delighted to support this award, one that we hope will inspire more young readers and writers – already evidenced through Scottish Book Trust harnessing young creative’s energy with their Book Trailer and Graphic Novel competitions, running alongside the Teenage Book Prize itself.”

As well as voting, aspiring young filmmakers were asked to get involved with the Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2018 by creating their own book trailer for one of the shortlisted titles or entering a graphic novel to create a comic strip adaption of a scene from one of the books. Scottish Book Trust provides extensive learning resources for teachers and librarians on how to create book trailers and how to make the most of using comics in the classroom.

The winner of the Book Trailer Competition is Ciara Wilkie from St Margaret’s Academy in Livingston and her trailer is featured on the Scottish Book Trust website. Ciara will receive a Waterstones voucher for herself, plus a £250 Waterstones voucher for her school to use for their school library.

The winners of the Graphic Novel Competition, who will each receive Waterstones vouchers, are: 

  • 1st place: Fiona McCafferty, Elgin Academy in Moray – The Haunting of Jessop Rise
  • 2nd place: Rhys Nelson, Elgin Academy in Moray – Children of Icarus
  • 3rd place: Daniele Ceponaite, Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen – Children of Icarus

The winning entries are featured on the Scottish Book Trust website, and interviews with the pupils and teachers involved in the competition will also be included on the website’s blog in the coming weeks.


Notes to editors:

For all media enquiries, please contact Media and PR Manager Lindsay Clydesdale on or 0131 524 0175.

Images of Caighlan are available to download here.


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:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.   @scottishbktrust


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