Highland Book Prize reveals its long list

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The Highland Book Prize has announced the 12 titles on its 2021 Longlist.

Presented by the Highland Society of London, and facilitated by Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre, the prize seeks to recognise the rich talent, landscape, and cultural diversity of the Highlands and Islands.

There were more than 70 submissions for the 2021 prize: each title was reviewed and scored multiple times by a volunteer panel of 180 readers from around the world.

The final longlist includes An Seachdamh Tonn | The Seventh Wave, by Sandaidh NicDhòmhnaill Jones and produced by Stornoway publisher Acair Books; In a Veil of Mist by Lewisman Donald S. Murray; and Hiort, a Gaelic detective fiction novel based around St. Kilda, by Iain F. Macleod.

Speaking about Hiort, one member of the reading panel said: ‘Crime novels are hugely popular in Scotland, and it is great to see such a wonderful novel written in Gaelic.

‘The content matched traditional cultural practices with modern technology and ways of thinking, creating a unique and exciting story.’

Iain is originally from Lewis and now based on Skye.

He told The Oban Times, ‘I’m pretty delighted to have been nominated for the longlist for the Highland Book Prize – it means a lot to writers that it exists, and it shows the amazing amount of talent there is, and how deep the well is for story and subject matter with Highland connection.

‘It’s brought a couple of cracking books to my attention as well. A lot of people give a lot of their time to make the award happen, we’re grateful for that.’

  • The full 2021 Longlist is:
    An Seachdamh Tonn | The Seventh Wave, Sandaidh NicDhòmhnaill Jones (Gaelic poetry, Acair).
  • Ben Dorain: a Conversation with a Mountain, Garry MacKenzie (Poetry, The Irish Pages Press/Cló An Mhíl Bhuí).
  • Borges and Me: An Encounter, Jay Parini (Autofiction, Canongate).
  • Deep Wheel Orcadia, Harry Josephine Giles (Poetry, Picador).
  • Hiort, Iain F. Macleod (Gaelic fiction, CLÀR).
  • In a Veil of Mist, Donald S. Murray (Fiction, Saraband).
  • Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape, Cal Flyn (Non-fiction, William Collins).
  • Of Stone and Sky, Merryn Glover (Fiction, Birlinn).
  •  Regeneration: The Rescue of a Wild Land, Andrew Painting (Non-fiction, Birlinn).
  • Slaves and Highlanders: Silenced Histories of Scotland and the Caribbean, David Alston (Non-fiction, Edinburgh University Press).
  • The Stone Age, Jen Hadfield (Poetry, Picador).
  • VEEVE, Christine De Luca (Poetry, Mariscat Press).

Each title on the list will now be considered by the Judging Panel, who will announce the shortlist in March 2022.

Chairperson of the Judging Panel, Alex Ogilvie, who grew up near Fort William and is a trustee of the Highland Society of London, said: ‘Already celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Highland Book Prize goes from strength to strength in terms of the quality of the longlist titles and the engagement by authors, publishers, bookshops, and the reading public.’

The winning title will be awarded in Spring 2022. For more information about the longlist visit www.highlandbookprize.org.uk