The Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017: Meet the Authors

Now that Scotland’s teenagers are back to school, we are pleased to introduce you to the shortlisted authors for The Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017! Over the coming months, teenagers are invited to read the three shortlisted books and vote for their favourite to decide the winner.

We have some excellent learning resources to help classes and library book groups explore the shortlisted titles, as well as some exciting competitions to get involved in. Head over to the Scottish Teenage Book Prize homepage to find out how to take part. But first, let's meet our fantastic shortlisted authors!


Silver Skin by Joan Lennon Cover of Silver Skin

Joan Lennon grew up in Canada wanting to be a spy, but after trying out a few different countries she settled in Scotland and became a writer instead. Joan’s writing for children and young adults covers a variety of genres, from historical fiction to mystery and adventure. Her book The Case of the London Dragonfish was shortlisted for The Scottish Children’s Book Awards in 2011. 

Silver Skin spans the distant past and the future, but the majority of the book is spent in the Neolithic period as we follow Rab and Cait, two outsiders thrown together in Skara Brae, Orkney. With authentic characters and an intriguing setting, Silver Skin has already inspired art from its readers which can be found on the Silver Skin website, along with some great links and resources to find about more about Skara Brae.

In our video with Joan, she welcomed us to her home in Fife, sharing some excellent writing tips and a reading from the book, which ends on a serious cliffhanger!


Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall Cover of Black Cairn Point

When Claire McFall's not writing thrilling books for young adults, she’s teaching them at school in the Scottish Borders.

Black Cairn Point is Claire’s third published novel, after her debut Ferryman won a Scottish Children’s Book Award in 2013 and gained a massive fan base in China too.

In Black Cairn Point, Claire shows us a dark and ominous view of modern day Scotland. The story follows a group of teenagers on a camping trip in Dumfries and Galloway which quickly turns dangerous. This is a thrilling paranormal read with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end!

Claire took us for a hike up a reasonably sized hill to film her video to get the atmosphere just right for her reading of this chilling book. She also gave us some insight into how she manages to create realistic dialogue for her teen characters.


The Last Soldier by Keith Gray Cover of The Last Soldier

Keith was a reluctant reader until he read Robert Westall’s The Machine Gunners and unlocked a surprising interest in books and writing. Since then he’s written a number of books for children and young adults, including The Runner, which won The Smarties Silver Medal, and Ostrich Boys, which was recently adapted for the stage! The Last Soldier is one of a few books which Keith has published with Barrington Stoke, which specialises in dyslexia-friendly fiction. 

In The Last Soldier, Keith departs from his native Britain with a story set firmly in the American Deep South. This tale of two brothers transports you to a creepy carnival hiding something quite sinister. For our video, we entered into the spirit of the carnival by visiting a Spiegeltent, where Keith told us more about the setting of the book, as well as giving us a taster of one of its scariest scenes.


Now that the introductions are out of the way, it’s time to get reading! Register your class or book group now to get started, and let us know how you’re getting on over the coming months via social media #ScotTeenBookPrize.