Edinburgh's Martin MacInnes takes home Fiction Book of the Year

Keira Brown
Communications Executive
Edinburgh City of Literature Trust

7 December 2023

Saltire Society announce 2023 Scotland’s National Book Award winners tonight

The Saltire Society tonight announced the winners for the 2023 Scotland’s National Book Awards in Glasgow which this year illustrates Scotland's talent and variety. Included in these were Edinburgh's Martin MacInnes, taking home Fiction Book of the Year, after being longlisted for the Booker Prize previously in 2023. Charco Press and Edinburgh University Press have both jointly won Saltire Society Publisher of the Year 2023. Similarly, the Emerging Publisher of the Year 2023 has been split between two also, going to both Grace Balfour-Harle (at Edinburgh University Press) and Melissa Tombere (at Canongate). Liz Lochhead, poet, playwright and former Scots Makar, was awarded the 2023 Saltire Society Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Scottish literature.

Scotland’s National Book Awards, co-ordinated by the Saltire Society, recognise work across six literary categories (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Research, History, Poetry and First Book) and three publishing categories (Publisher, Emerging Publisher and Cover Design). The Literary Awards see the winners each receive a cash prize of £2,000 and go on to be considered for the top Award of Saltire Scottish Book of the Year, receiving a further £4,000.

2023 Scottish National Book Award Winners


In Ascension by Martin MacInnes published by Atlantic Books.

Non Fiction Award

Womb: The Inside Story of Where We All Began by Leah Hazard published by Little Brown Book Group.

Commended: A Pebble In The Throat: Growing Up Between Two Continents by Aasmah Mir, published by Headline.

History Award

‘THE PEOPLE ARE NOT THERE’ The Transformation of Badenoch 1800–1863 by David Taylor published by Birlinn Ltd.

Research Award

The Old Red Sandstone, or, New Walks in an Old Field by Hugh Miller, edited by Michael A. Taylor and Ralph O Connor published by NMS Enterprises Limited.

Poetry Award

Dastram / Delirium by Taylor Strickland published by Broken Sleep Books.

First Book Award

For Thy Great Pain have Mercy on my Little Pain by Victoria MacKenzie published by Bloomsbury.

Book Cover Design

Rub-A-Dub-Dub designed by Thomas MacGregor published by P&H Books.


Charco Press & Edinburgh University Press

Emerging Publisher

Grace Balfour-Harle (Edinburgh University Press) & Melissa Toombre (Canongate Books).

Lifetime Achievement Award

Liz Lochhead

Congratulations to all winners of the Scottish National Book Awards 2023!