Each year we organise or are involved with awards for excellence in writing, poetry pamphlet publishing, and craft bookbinding.

Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition

In 1993 the Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition was initiated by the Library in order to recognise excellence in the field of craft bookbinding. Such is its appeal that it now attracts binders from all over Europe. Recent winners have hailed from Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as Scotland, England and Japan.


Bookbinding leaflet cover

Creative and craft binding categories
This competition aims to encourage the practice and development of both creative and craft binding skills which display individual expression and originality. The judges look for a best creative and a best craft binding. Each category carries two prizes — a main prize of £1,200 and a student prize of £600.

We define a student as any person receiving full or part-time training or education in bookbinding. We consider all student entries for both the main and student categories, but they are only eligible for one prize.

Exclusive binding
We ask entrants to submit a binding that has been bound using materials of their own choice. The winning entries join our collection of fine bindings.

Mrs Elizabeth A Clark (formerly Soutar) of Moray sponsored the award from 1993 until her death in 2008. Thanks to a bequest from her, the competition continues.

Winners of the 2016 competition were announced in February 2017.

Callum Macdonald Memorial Award

Competition leaflet cover

The award is given in recognition of publishing skill and effort in the field of poetry pamphlets. It was created by the Library in memory of Scottish literary publisher Callum Macdonald, and, until her death in September 2015, was administered in association with Tessa Ransford, former Director of the Scottish Poetry Library and Callum Macdonald's widow.

Publishers of Scottish origin, living in Scotland or engaged with Scottish culture can enter. The award is supported by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.


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