Nominations for the 2023 Scots Language Awards open today, giving the public a chance to commend their personal Scots language heroes. The awards ceremony will take place at Johnstone Town Hall, in partnership with Paisley is, on Saturday 16th September, showcasing the very best of Scots language and culture.

The awards, which were first started in 2019, celebrate the importance of Scots language within arts and culture but also within daily life, education, and business. Nominations will close on Sunday 30th July, giving people almost two weeks to share their recommendations for the awards.

There are 12 categories across a host of areas and industries open for nominations, as well as the widely-regarded Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award, which will be presented by Alistair Heather.

There will also be a host of incredible entertainment on the night, including a recital from Renfrewshire’s poet laureate poet Shaun Moore, who was appointed as the region’s Tannahill Makar last year, talks from esteemed Scottish writers Cat Cochrane and Shane Strachan, and musical performances from celebrated brother duo Euan and Lewis McLaughlin, and talented folk singer Iona Fyfe.

In what has recently been an extraordinary period for the Scots leid, the efforts of all those continuing to champion the language are set to be celebrated at the upcoming awards. The categories are:

  • Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award, supported by Creative Scotland
  • Scots Champion Award
  • Young Scots Writer o the Year, sponsored by Education Scotland
  • Scots Writer o the Year, sponsored by National Library of Scotland
  • Scots Media Person o the Year
  • Scots Bairns Book o the Year, sponsored by Scottish Government
  • Scots Speaker o the Year
  • Scots Teacher o the Year, sponsored by Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • Scots School o the Year, sponsored by Itchy Coo / Black & White Publishing
  • Scots Project o the Year
  • Scots Book o the Year, sponsored by Scottish Book Trust
  • Scots Performer o the Year, sponsored by TRACS
  • Scots Business o the Year

The past eight months have witnessed significant milestones for Scots, such as the Scottish Languages Bill, which initiated the official legal recognition of Scots in November of the previous year. Additionally, it was widely reported that the late Queen was proficient in speaking the Doric dialect of Scots, further emphasising the language’s significance.

Never before has it been more crucial to acknowledge and commemorate the language’s role in our daily lives. The commendable efforts of individuals and organisations dedicated to promoting Scots as one of Scotland’s three languages have contributed to its recognition and, with the Scottish Languages Bill as a turning point, there is hope that the language’s validity will be further enhanced.

Scotland’s traditional culture, music and arts organisation Hands Up For Trad organise the annual event, and organiser Simon Thoumire said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time in our annual calendar as nominations open for the Scots Language Awards 2023. It’s fantastic to learn about and champion people who are championing the Scots language that we might not otherwise know about, and to hear such inspirational stories from the public.

“It is wonderful to see such a growth in the use of Scots language, and a privilege to witness the efforts of those continuing to promote it through art, literature, business, teaching and more. If you know someone who embodies the essence of the Scots language, or shows unwavering dedication and passion in promoting it to others, we want to hear all about them! Make sure to nominate them for an award and share their story.”

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the Scots Language Awards 2023 and Johnstone Town Hall will be a fantastic venue for this wonderful event. I’m looking forward to hearing from our own Tannahill Makar, Shaun Moore, and joining our guests to celebrate the very best of Scots language and its impact in our arts and culture. I hope everyone takes the chance to make a nomination and highlight some of the great achievements this year.”

Scots Language has long been used by authors, spoken in our top films, and is experiencing a contemporary year on year resurgence via social media including a huge new audience of all ages on TikTok, as communities connect and realise their heritage, led by the public, influencers, and media alike.

To nominate someone you know for a Scots Language Award, visit: Nominations close on Sunday 30th July.

Tickets for the Scots Language Awards are available here:

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