Angela Jackson wins Edinburgh Book Festival award

Angela Jackson won the First Book Award. Picture: Julie Bull
Angela Jackson won the First Book Award. Picture: Julie Bull
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A NEW Scottish author who combines writing with jazz singing has won a coveted award run by the Edinburgh International Book Festival for her first book.

Angela Jackson was rated by thousands of festival-goers ahead of 41 contenders for the event’s annual “first book award.”

The Edinburgh-based author, won with her book, The Emergence of Judy Taylor, which she read an extract from - when the book was in the early stages of development - at a Charlotte Square event in 2010. It was released earlier this year.

The festival’s followers are given from the programme launch in June until mid-October to register their votes for the best new writer in the festival’s line-up each year.

Jackson, 45, a semi-regular performer at the Jazz Bar on Edinburgh’s Chambers Street, also works as a psychology and education coach and lecturer.

She was already rated as an emerging writer by the UNESCO City of Literature Trust and is also on Amazon’s “rising star” shortlist this year.

Set in Edinburgh, The Emergence of Judy Taylor focuses on a married woman who decides to flee her relationship and home in a Manchester suburb and head for the Scottish capital in a bid to shake up her life.

Jackson, who only landed a publishing deal last year, said: “This award is particularly special to me because it’s my first, and it’s from one of my absolute favourite events of the year.

“I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has bought the book and voted for it, and to the booksellers in Edinburgh and beyond who have championed it.

“It’s great to know I’m on the right track – that my work is connecting with readers – and it will spur me on to complete my second novel.”

The book festival award is open to writers of fictional novels, novellas and short stories who are booked to appear at the festival.

Director Nick Barley said: “Angela gave her first public reading here at the Book Festival in 2010 and appeared again in 2011 in the city of literature’s storyshop programme for unpublished writers.

“We were delighted to welcome her this year as a fully fledged and published author, and thrilled that our audience have voted her novel their favourite out of the 42 debut stories in the programme.

“The First Book Award continues to draw attention to the exciting new writers coming to Edinburgh from around the world but this is a wonderful, home-grown success story.”