Category Archives: Awards

Scots Bairn’s Book o the Year!

Weel, we aw ken bi noo that the voters sometimes get it wrang… But eneuch time has passed for me finally tae feel like this is wan result that isnae aboot tae get owerturned.



By ‘we’, o coorse, ah mean me, Jeff Kinney, Itchy Coo an Black an White Publishing – oor book ‘Diary o a Wimpy Wean’ won Scots Bairns’ Book o the Year at the first-ever Scots Language Awards in Glesga last month!

There wis loads o ither weel-deservin winners on the nicht, includin the likes o Billy Kay, Morna Young, Gary Robertson an Iona Fyfe. But the real winners wir the Scots language community as a hale. We’ve been waitin sae lang for a flag tae sail thegither unner, an thanks tae Hands Up For Trad, we’ve finally got wan.

The awards brang thegither hunners o fowk wha, in the normal rin o things, are toilin awa doon their ain lanely mines, faur fae the warld an each ither. Fowk like Billy Kay an Matthew Fitt that hae been daein their darg for decades, wi naethin tae spik o in terms o support or recognition. We’ve a list as lang as oor airms o the things we need tae get Scots back tae the tap table whaur it belangs. Government siller, media coverage, education. But maist o aw, we need each ither. Thon wis the real award we won in Glesga.

We’re at the stairt o sowt muckle here, loons. Lat’s no tak it for grantit.

Stories of Home.

Had a great time at the launch of “Stories of Home” last week, the Scottish Book Trust’s anthology for Book Week Scotland. As well as my story “All Addresses Are Approximate”, there’s some really superb pieces by the likes of Des Dillon and Alan Warner. Definitely worth looking out for!

The Hawick News and the Border Telegraph have both done nice write-ups about my inclusion, links below.

Scatter My Ashes At Claggan Park.

Much cheer. My story “Scatter My Ashes At Claggan Park” finished second in the Derby QUAD’s Offside Stories competition. There were some very good writers on the shortlist, too. Here’s the link:

Claggan Park, by the way, is where Fort William F.C. play. The team themselves have finished bottom of the Highland League virtually every year since their inception (which means that’s who I’d have played for, if I’d been from the Highlands), but have a very striking ground, which can be seen here:

Most non-league grounds are picturesque in a similar way, especially in rural areas like the Highlands and the Scottish Borders. Picturesque perhaps isn’t quite the word: touching, maybe. Hans van der Meer has a photography book called “European Fields” (stupidly expensive now) which consists entirely of amateur and lower-league football games across Europe. It captures footballers often so tiny that their struggles are almost completely lost against the sprawling landscape; just to be seen becomes a titanic endeavour. Also very funny too; a photo of a Dutch goalkeeper staring longingly into a canal where a misplaced ball bobs enticingly out of reach. Even if you can’t get hold of the book, some of those marvellous photos can be seen here: