Writer, editor and singer-songwriter Malachy Tallack has become one of 11 to receive the 2014 New Writers Award by the Scottish Book Trust.
He was awarded in the category of narrative non-fiction and will receive £2,000 along with mentoring from professionals to assist all the winners with their writing. They also get to attend a seven-day working retreat in Cove Park on the Rosneath peninsula.
The award will help Tallack, formerly Shetland Life editor and a Shetland Times reporter, complete his book project, Sixty Degrees North, which focuses on communities located 60 degrees north of the equator and the relationship they have with the location.
Tallack travelled to many of these places to research the project. He is living in Glasgow where he is working on completing the book .
He has been signed to literary agent Jenny Brown since last year and has extensive experience as both an editor and writer for a number of print and online publications such as Shetland Life and the Island Review website which he edits.
Tallack has also had success as a singer-songwriter, with four albums of original music as well as a recent EP and numerous live performances, supporting the likes of Newton Faulkner and Runrig.
He said: “It is so easy to be hampered by doubt when working on a long and difficult project such as Sixty Degrees North. To receive this award, and the support of Scottish Book Trust that goes with it, makes the task of writing feel more manageable and more worthwhile.”
The awards come from the Scottish Book Trust in association with Creative Scotland, with applications open to writers based in Scotland who have no published a novel, poetry collection or short story and are committed to forging a career in writing.
The judging panel had to choose the 11 awardees from over 300 applicants. The panel included some prolific Scottish writers, such as Shetland-based poet Jen Hadfield, as well as Doug Johnstone and Keith Gray.