Applying for the New Writers Award: Three awardees share their stories

open notebook and pen
Category: Writing

If you love the idea of applying for a New Writers Award but you’re not quite sure whether to go for it or not, the below insights might just help you make up your mind. Read on to see what three previous awardees have to say about their experiences.


Kate McNair portrait
Kate McNair

Kate received a New Writers Award in 2012. Her fiction has appeared in Gutter, New Writing Scotland and been recorded for BBC Radio 4. She has been a Writer-In-Residence at Cove Park, Scotland and the MacDowell Colony, USA. Currently, she’s juggling two novel manuscripts with two young children while on maternity leave from the University of Glasgow. Follow her @ourkaty. She says:

“Winning a NWA was such a boost for me. It was a vote of confidence, a chance to make connections with other writers and to receive support from the brilliant people at Scottish Book Trust. I can’t recommend it enough - apply, apply, apply!”


Rachel Plummer portrait
Rachel Plummer

Rachel received a New Writers Award in 2016 and her poetry can be found in a variety of magazines and journals. She’s also published several pamphlet and her new collection, Wain, came out with Emma Press in 2019. Follow her @smaychel. She says:

"Since winning the New Writers Award I feel like part of the writing community. It gave me the time and tools I needed, and a massive confidence boost. Learning from my mentor, Scottish Book Trust staff and the other writers improved my work immeasurably, and I've since had a pamphlet and a book published. As parent and carer of a young, disabled child I have felt excluded from professional development opportunities in the past, but Scottish Book Trust made sure that I was fully supported and able to access all aspects of the New Writers programme. I could not put a value on this award and all it offers. Grab it with both hands."


Bobby Finn portrait
Bobby Finn

Bobby received a New Writers Award in 2019 and in addition his work as a scriptwriter, radio producer and one-man show performer, he is currently working on a YA novel. Follow him @mrbobbyfinn. He says:

"I've been aware of Scottish Book Trust's New Writer's Award for about 5 years now and considering the amazing work that Scottish Book Trust do, I knew this was an award worth winning. I came close in 2016 when I was shortlisted and that was mind-blowing in itself. To actually be announced as a recipient of the New Writer's Award has been like a shot-in-the-arm to my hopes, aspirations and self-belief. For the first time I feel my writing has a bit of legitimacy, that it's not just writing in the dark and that someone thinks there is something redeemable in my silly little scribbles and wild flights of fancy. I may never achieve anything on a commercial level but frankly I don't care, I've fallen in love with writing all over again because of this award. Put your fingers on the keyboard and apply. Do it, do it, do it. You just never know who might like your writing..."


Our New Writer Awardees are going on to do wonderful, inspiring things. Since the start of 2019 alone, we’ve seen the publication of Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom from P.M. Freestone, When I Had a Little Sister from Catherine Simpson, Wain from Rachel Plummer, Let Me Tell You This from Nadine Aisha Jassat and a series of audio books from Roy Gill, including the most recent Doctor Who: The Creeping Death. But that’s not all! We’re also excitedly looking ahead to releases from Sylvia Hehir, Kirsty Logan and many more before the year’s out.


Image credit Pixabay.