Saltire Awards open for submissions

SUBMISSIONS are now being accepted for the Saltire Literary Awards. Covering literature published between September last year and the end of August,  this year also sees a call for individuals who have a passion for literature and experience in the literary community to form part of the award panels. 

Recognising work across six literary categories including fiction, history and poetry, the awards see the winner of each category receive a cash prize of £2,000 and go on to be considered for the top prize of £6,000, awarded to the Saltire Society Book of the Year.

This year also sees the 30th anniversary of the First Book of the Year Award.  This is an award which has celebrated the likes of Ali Smith, AL Kennedy and Michel Faber for their first works and has seen recipients go on to join the international literary landscape.

Sarah Mason, programme director of the Saltire Society, said: “The Saltire Literary Awards allow us to recognise the immense contribution and talent of Scotland’s writers, from the emerging to the established. We are extremely proud of all our awards for celebrating the astounding talent in Scotland’s literary world and we are excited to be opening up the judging experience to a diverse audience. ”

US students soak up Scottish culture
EIGHTEEN US theatre students are being immersed in contemporary and traditional Scottish culture before presenting the world premiere of a new play by Davey Anderson at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Pepperdine Scotland’s biennial cultural exchange programme allows students from Malibu’s Pepperdine University to work with a leading Scottish playwright and gain insights from top directors, musicians, actors, commentators and others.

This year’s line-up includes Cora Bissett and Peter Arnott plus journalist Mark Fisher, actor Isobel McArthur, producer Stephanie Hunter and musician Annie Grace. They will also meet Lynda Radley who wrote The Interference, the play which earned Pepperdine Scotland its second Fringe First award in 2016.

The students have spent time in Glenelg, on the west coast, where playwright and storyteller Eddie Stiven introduced them to Highland history, including the impact of the Clearances, and the region’s Gaelic tradition. They spent time on Skye at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college, and hosted a ceilidh for the Glenelg local community.

The group is now in Glasgow where they are rehearsing The Abode, Anderson’s new play which addresses the appeal of Alt Right extremism among disenchanted white, working class American men. It is partly set in an alternative reality that offers camaraderie and sense of purpose for a lost generation. Its credo is that white is right, women are trash and hate is strength.

The group, which includes 12 performers, and six people working on the technical side, are also visiting Scottish theatres, attending rehearsals and watching plays during their eight weeks in the country.

May’s focus is on 3D images pioneer
THE rock star and astrophysicist Brian May is to lead a presentation on the photographic pioneer George Washington Wilson, whose innovations in stereoscopic photography created captivating 3D images in the 19th century.

George Washington Wilson began his career as a portrait miniature painter, but in the early 1850s he took up photography and established a portrait studio in his home town of Aberdeen. One of his earliest commissions was to photograph the construction of the new Balmoral Castle, and the success of these studies led to other assignments, including portrait sessions of Queen Victoria and members of the Royal Family. 

However, Wilson is now best known for his pioneering work on 3-D images. Together with Professor Roger Taylor (the leading authority on Wilson), May will show key examples of Wilson’s work using a new 3D projection system.

The event is at the Edinburgh Book Festival on August 15.