This week, we’ve been hearing from shadow panelists for this year’s Saltire Society Literary Awards to see what they made of the experience. Today, it’s the turn of the non-fiction panelists!
Catriona Cox (Chair)
What a fantastic opportunity we were given though SYP Scotland and the Saltire Society! Although time was short, it was such fun to read and “judge” the books on our non-fiction panel. I’ve not been one for group reading but it showed me another new way to read to be fair. It was incredibly interesting to be part of the whole process and I think it’s fantastic that the Saltire Society is offering this new insight into the awards. And the awards themselves were tremendous: a great atmosphere, lots of familiar faces and speeches that brought tears to our eyes.
This month I took part in the Non-Fiction Book of the Year SYP shadow judging panel for the 2015 Saltire Society’s literary awards. As part of this, I read and reviewed the four shortlisted titles and was invited to the awards ceremony held in Edinburgh. The evening was a real celebration of literature and reaffirmed the importance of awards in bringing together the literary community.
The event began with a reception celebrating Douglas Gifford becoming as Honorary President of the Saltire Society and provided a great opportunity to meet with the shortlisted authors, publishers and the members of the real judging panels. I was thrilled to discover that the book had selected as our overall winner, Adventures in Human Being, went on to collect Non-Fiction Book of the Year, a thoroughly deserved win for Gavin Francis.
I took so much away from the judging process and learned that the Scottish publishing industry is a strong as ever, with such diverse and varied titles represented in the shortlist.