Sceptre Prize

The Shortlist for the Sceptre Writing Prize has been Announced

19 Feb 2013

Writing the future for Scottish novelists

The shortlist for this year’s Sceptre Prize for emerging writers has been announced.

Three students, Caroline Moir, Graham Guest and Pauline Lynch from the University of Glasgow’s Edwin Morgan Centre for Creative Writing have been shortlisted from nine long listed writers for the £1500 prize.

The annual Sceptre Prize, now in its sixth year is jointly run by the University of Glasgow and Sceptre (an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton) to encourage new Scottish novelists. All students from the University of Glasgow’s acclaimed Edwin Morgan Centre for Creative Writing who achieve Distinctions in their final projects are eligible. They must submit between 5,000 and 10,000 words of a novel or a novel in progress.

The Brockenspectre by Caroline Moir is set in the Lake District, the story of three people whose lives become perilously entwined, which explores the roots of isolation, insecurity and manic obsession. Graham Guest’s Winter Park tells the tale of two unlikely friends who meet at a penal camp in West Texas, where their respective philosophic and romantic dreams begin to materialize. The Keeper of Secrets by Pauline Lynch is also set in America – a novel about abuse and survival, and a mother and daughter battling to overcome the past in order to love each other again.  

Elizabeth Reeder, convenor of the Mlitt in Creative Wrting said 'Each year the Sceptre prize shortlist announcement creates much excitement among our most talented fiction writers here at the University of Glasgow's Creative Writing Programme.  The Sceptre award gives students the opportunity to attract the attention and recognition of such a strong literary and commercial publisher and supports new writers at the start of their careers.  The award spots talent and potential and the goal is to see some of the shortlisted authors' books out there on the shelves, alongside many other of Sceptre's established literary talents.'

Carole Welch, Publishing Director for Sceptre said: ‘The judges of the Sceptre Prize for 2013 have enjoyed reading the entries this year and been impressed by the range of styles and subject in the students’ work. It has turned out that the three shortlisted writers share some themes, but each deals with them in a distinctive, engaging way. We much look forward to deciding on a winner.’

The winner will be announced and the prize awarded on Thursday 18th April at the Aye Write! literary festival in Glasgow.

Notes to editors

For a copy of the shortlisted submissions or for more information please contact Elizabeth Redder in the University of Glasgow Office on 0141 330 6449 or
For Sceptre publicity enquiries please contact Lyndsey Ng on 020 7873 6438 or   

For enquiries about the Aye Write! Festival please contact Karen Cunningham on 0141 287 5114 or; or Gordon Boag on 0141 287 6418 or
Founded in 1995, the University of Glasgow’s Creative Writing Masters Course has proved one of the most successful of its kind in the UK and one which has nurtured a wide range of talent including Rachel Seiffert, Louise Welsh, Zoë Strachan, Laura Marney and Anne Donovan.

Sceptre was founded as Hodder & Stoughton’s literary imprint in 1986, and publishes both fiction and non-fiction. Dedicated to publishing new talent alongside long-established writers like Thomas Keneally and Melvyn Bragg, Sceptre has launched the careers of novelists such as David Mitchell, Andrew Miller, Siri Hustvedt, Jill Dawson, Ned Beauman, Jake Arnott and, in 2012, the winner of the Guardian First Book Award, Kevin Powers.