UofG Alumni are among the Scottish Book Trust's New Writers Award

Published: 21 February 2024

Arts & Humanities Alumni - Pip Osmond-Williams and Ross Crawford - among 2024 New Writers Awardees

Two UofG Arts & Humanities Alumni are among 11 up-and-coming authors from across Scotland announced as recipients of Scottish Book Trust’s 2024 New Writers Award.

Every year Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives with reading and writing, holds the prestigious year-long writer development programme to support burgeoning writers living in Scotland. As well as a £2000 cash award, they will receive mentorship from writers and industry professionals, a week-long retreat, and opportunities to showcase work to publishing industry professionals.

This year’s awardees including UofG's graduates, Scots language writer Ross Crawford and poet Pip Osmond-Williams.

The New Writers Award has made an extraordinary impact on publishing since its launch in 2009. From the 177 awardees who have gone through the programme up to 2023, 76 have had their work published, with a total of 183 books going out into the world. Previous awardees include Graeme Macrae Burnet whose 2015 novel His Bloody Project was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and Gail Honeyman, whose bestselling novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine won Scottish Book Trust’s The Next Chapter Award.

Titles published in 2022 and 2023 included Martin MacInnes, whose novel In Ascension was longlisted for The Booker Prize 2023, and Victoria MacKenzie’s For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain, which was the winner of the Scottish National First Book Awards 2023.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: "It’s always incredible to meet our awardees for the New Writers Award, and I’d like to offer my congratulations to this year’s cohort, each of whom have demonstrated exceptional writing.

"With our awardees exploring a rich variety of themes in their work, and writing in English, Gaelic and Scots, I am excited to follow their journey throughout the year and beyond, as we help to nurture and build on their talents."

Harriet MacMillan, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said: "Every year, the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Award identifies unique and compelling new literary voices. This latest list of talent is no different, featuring a fantastic array of emerging writers spanning a broad range of mediums and celebrating Scots and Gaelic language.

"The programme is an incredible departure point into professional writing, offering an invaluable package of support, mentorship and industry guidance. The impressive roster of notable alumni serves as a testament to the programme’s success and we’re all so excited to see what this latest cohort will go on to achieve."

Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books Council, said: "Tha Comhairle nan Leabhraichean toilichte a bhith ag obair ann an co-bhanntachd le Urras Leabhraichean na h-Alba a-rithist airson cothrom a thoirt do dh’Iain agus Kristina. Thairis air na bliadhnaichean a tha an sgeama seo air a bhith a’ ruith, tha tàlant nan sgrìobhadairean ùra air a bhith na adhbhar moit is dòchais dhuinn, agus tha sinn an dùil nach bi e fada mus faic sinn na sgeulachdan cloinne aig Kristina agus na sgeulachdan goirid aig Iain ann an clò mar thoradh air an taic a gheibh iad sa bhliadhna a tha romhainn.

"The Gaelic Books Council is pleased to be partnering with Scottish Book Trust once again to provide this opportunity to Iain and Kristina. Over the years this programme has been running, the talent displayed by the new writers has been a source of pride and encouragement, and we hope it won’t be long before we see Kristina’s children’s stories and Iain’s short fiction appearing in print as a result of the support they will receive during the coming year."

Ross Crawford

An image of a man again a black background

Ross Crawford, 34, is a scriever fae East Ayrshire wha noo bides in Stirlin. He’s goat a PhD in Scottish Historie fae the University ae Glesga. Scrievin maistly in Scots, he’s upsteirit by the historie, nature, an fowklore ae Scotland, inspeciallie the rural landscapes ae Ayrshire, the Trossachs, an the West Hielans. He’s interestit in explorin baith the historic resonance an modren relevance ae the Scots leid.

His short stories huv bin furthset by Eemis Stane, Soor Ploom Press, Thi Wurd, Product, The Milk House an Lemon Peel Press amang ithers. His poetry hus featured in Lallans, Dreich, an Razur Cuts. He wis shortlistit fur the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2022 an 2023.

Ross Crawford, 34, is a writer from East Ayrshire who now lives in Stirling. He has a PhD in Scottish History from the University of Glasgow. Writing mostly in Scots, he takes inspiration from the history, nature, and folklore of Scotland, especially the rural landscapes of Ayrshire, the Trossachs, and the West Highlands. He is interested in exploring both the historic resonance and modern relevance of the Scots language.

His short stories have been published by Eemis Stane, Soor Ploom Press, Thi Wurd, Product, The Milk House and Lemon Peel Press among others. His poetry has featured in Lallans, Dreich, and Razur Cuts. He was shortlisted for the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2022 and 2023.

Ross said: "Sae hertgled tae receive this award, it’s an honour and privilege. Jist aboot faintit when A heard the news! A’m awfa gratefou tae the Scottish Book Trust fur aw thur support and cannae wait fur a guid year ae scrievin aheid!

"So delighted to receive this award, it’s an honour and privilege. Just about fainted when I heard the news! I’m really grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for all their support and can’t wait for a good year of writing ahead!"

Pip Osmond-Williams

Portrait of a woman sitting with a black background

Pip Osmond-Williams, 31, is a poet and researcher originally from north-west England and now living in Perth. Her poems have been published in Gutter, Poetry Scotland, Northwords Now, From Glasgow to Saturn and Channel, and have been anthologised in New Writing Scotland (ASLS, 2019) and Island and Sea (Scottish Writers’ Centre, 2020). In 2020 she was shortlisted for Wigtown Festival’s Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize and the following year won the Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize for her debut pamphlet Of Algae & Grief, which was selected as Poetry Book Society’s Spring Pamphlet Choice in 2022. In 2019 Pip was awarded a PhD from the University of Glasgow for her thesis ‘Changing Scotland: The social history of love in the life and work of Edwin Morgan’. She is co-editor of The Collected Published Poetry of William Soutar (Tippermuir, 2024) and co-edits the online magazine The Bottle Imp.

Pip Osmond-Williams said: "I'm delighted to receive a New Writers Award – it's a real honour and I'm immensely grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for giving me the opportunity to focus on and develop my work, as well as to connect with the wider poetry community."


Scottish Book Trust 

The Scottish Book Trus is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children’s learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health and wellbeing. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.

Our programmes and outreach work include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home, through Bookbug and Read, Write, Count
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events such as Authors Live with the BBC and our Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour
  • Supporting and nurturing Scotland's wide-ranging literary talent, both emerging and established through our training, awards and writing opportunities including New Writers Awards
  • Creating events to share books and connect writers with communities, including Book Week Scotland
  • Providing support to people living with dementia and their carers through Reading is Caring

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. 

Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (The Gaelic Books Council)

Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (The Gaelic Books Council) is the lead organisation with responsibility for Gaelic writing and publishing, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic books in Scotland and internationally. Established in 1968, Comhairle nan Leabhraichean is a registered charity and receives funding from Creative Scotland and from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to support its programme of grants, professional training and events.



First published: 21 February 2024