Writers receive rising star awards

An Edinburgh tutor and a former student have been recognised as two of Scotland’s most exciting new writers.

Aileen Ballantyne, from English Literature, and Beth Cochrane, a Creative Writing graduate, have won the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards.

New writing

The prizes, supported by Creative Scotland, are designed to help authors develop their writing.

The winners receive mentoring, PR training and the opportunity to show their work to agents, as well as £2000 prize money.

Aileen Ballantyne is a national newspaper journalist turned poet. She was the medical correspondent for the Guardian, then The Sunday Times.

She completed a PhD in Creative Writing and Modern Poetry at the University where her supervisor was award winning poet and critic Dr Alan Gillis. She is a tutor in contemporary poetry.

Story shop

Fiction author Beth Cochrane graduated in 2015. She was part of City of Literature’s Story Shop programme in 2016, and read her fiction at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

She regularly performs at live literature events, including Interrobang, co-produced by Ricky Monahan Brown, which won Best Regular Spoken Word Night at the Saboteur Awards 2017.

Three of the ten New Writers Awards are for poets, two are for children’s writing and young adult fiction and five are for fiction writing.

Two additional prizes are provided in association with the Gaelic Books Council, for work written in Gaelic.

One more writer was given The Callan Gordon Award, open to short story writers and poets between the ages of 18 and 35.

Supporting writers

We are delighted to welcome the next batch of awardees. Writing can be a challenging process, and the New Writers Awards provides one-on-one support for current projects, as well as guidance for the future.

Marc LambertChief Executive Officer of Scottish Book Trust

Both of the Edinburgh writers have been recipients of the University of Edinburgh Sloan Prize for writing in Lowland Scots.

The Edinburgh Sloan prize is awarded annually for a prose or verse composition in Lowland Scots vernacular. They are presented to a matriculated student or to a graduate of the University of less than three years’ standing.

Aileen Ballantyne won the Sloan Prize in 2009, and Beth Cochrane in 2015.

The New Writers Awards develop our emerging literary talent through tailored mentoring and training at this crucial stage in their career, and in doing so contributes to the strength of literature in Scotland.

Alan BettHead of Literature, languages and publishing at Creative Scotland

English Literature

Creative Writing

New Writers Awards

University writing prizes