Gaelic Books Council launches literature awards

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The Gaelic Books Council has announced the launch of The Gaelic Literature Awards 2020.

Publishers and writers are invited to submit Scottish Gaelic books published between May 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020 for consideration in four categories – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s books – as well as manuscripts for children’s or adult books as yet unpublished.

Following 10 years of the Donald Meek Award, established in 2010 with financial assistance from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig to encourage and support new and established Gaelic writers and original Gaelic writing, the categories reflect the evolution of Gaelic publishing in that period, and aim to reward excellence across a range of genres.

The Donald Meek Award will now be presented to the best non-fiction title published in the past year. Among the other prizes on offer will be an award in memory of Derick Thomson, first chairman of the Gaelic Books Council, for the best poetry publication. There will also be an opportunity for the author of the best unpublished original children’s manuscript to secure a publishing contract with Acair Books.

Alison Lang, director of the Gaelic Books Council, said: ‘With Derick Thomson’s centenary approaching, we felt it would be appropriate to establish a new award in his memory for a poetry publication. We are delighted that Donald Meek, who has always been a friend and supporter of the Gaelic Books Council, is willing to have the award in his name included among the new array of prizes, and we are also grateful to Acair Books for agreeing to work with the author of the best children’s manuscript.

‘We hope that by offering awards for both published and unpublished literature we will be able to not only celebrate the best Gaelic books of the past year, but also encourage original writing.’

Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday May 1. Visit