Clar winner

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I write on behalf of the Saltire Society in response to Crawford Mackie’s inaccurate critique (Letters, 20 November) of a well-deserved award to Tim Armstrong for the First Book of the Year.

Our judging panel of literary experts was impressed by the quality of the writing and imagination shown by the author. He hasn’t “picked up some Gaelic”. Tim’s gracious and modest acceptance speech was made by a fluent Gaelic speaker.

Clar is one of several small, independent Scottish publishers which provide an invaluable service to authors and the public by making such work available to us. We were delighted to see so many Scottish publishers evident amongst the shortlisted and winning entries. The power of the Saltire Literary Awards lies in their scope, their commitment to excellence and the integrity of a judging process grounded in the voluntary commitment of real experts.

Look across the full range of these awards and the shortlists and we see academic excellence, literary imagination in full flow, innovation, ambition and a confident, multilingual nation in good voice.

That’s surely is a matter of celebration, as Brian Ferguson captured well in his impressive piece (15 November).

Jim Tough

Saltire Society

Fountain Close

Edinburgh