Sandstone Press: material released under FOI

Bear with us, there’s a LOT to add! We’re also awaiting the outcome of a validated appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner after Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) withheld key applications and assessments or fully/partially redacted them. Publishers should be funded on merit, not because public agencies are prepared to mis-score their funding applications or…

Highlands & Islands Enterprise set to face judicial review petition after propping up Nicola Sturgeon speeches publisher Sandstone Press with £0.12m by mis-scoring funding application

Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) is set to face a petition for judicial review that will aim to require it to retake funding decisions that passed £0.12m to Sandstone Press.

SCANDAL: how Scottish Book Trust handed £0’000s excess profit to CEO’s business partner Birlinn by duping Scottish Government & Postcode Culture Trust

Scottish Book Trust negotiated a significantly worse deal than it claimed to ScotGov and Postcode Culture Trust. As a result, publisher Birlinn – SBT’s CEO’s business partner – pocketed £131k funding, and up to £43k EXCESS profit, for a Muriel Spark Centenary project announced by Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister. ScotGov and Creative Scotland –…

Creative Scotland ignored Sandstone’s false claims to approve bailout

Regulars will know that we have challenged Creative Scotland (CS) over its funding of unviable private company Sandstone Press. Sandstone is CS’s most-funded publisher. CS, and its predecessor SAC, have subsidised it annually since 2006. Together they have added £0.41m to Sandstone’s balance sheet, only for Sandstone to lose £0.34m of that. CS gave Sandstone…

Mind the gaps

Does the IBBY article by Creative Scotland’s Head of Literature, Publishing & Languages, Mairi Kidd, herald long-overdue change from Creative Scotland? We have asked several times to see Creative Scotland’s priorities for Scotland’s publishing sector and have been referred to its 10-year plan each time. The plan is high level. It does not set out…

PUBLISHED TODAY: Highest Lives – Gordon Brown’s 4th Craig McIntyre thriller

Is history’s most outrageous serial killer on the loose? Gordon Brown’s new Craig McIntyre thriller, Highest Lives, is published TODAY. Craig is used to being hunted. Now he’s the hunter… Darkest Thoughts, Furthest Reaches, Deepest Wounds…Highest Lives.

Gordon Brown on (blog) tour

Top conspiracy-thriller novelist Gordon Brown, author of the Craig McIntyre series, is off on tour with his latest book, Deepest Wounds. And already it is garnering rave reviews. Gordon’s namesake, the former PM, might appreciate that there’s a little bit of politics (as Ben Elton used to say) in the Craig McIntyre novels. The underhand sort.…

Margaret Collyer: pioneer in the time of the Suffragettes

Margaret Collyer (1872-1945) is renowned as a London Royal Academy of Art-trained artist – her paintings can be found around the world and include the acclaimed The Lord of the Isles. Her artistic output, however, masks that hers was a life lived in two halves. And that lesser-known half is now drawing a lot of…

Speed, blades & fire

Linda Strachan has tackled them all. Speed in Spider. Blades in Dead Boy Talking. Fire in Don’t Judge Me. Novels centred around issues can be tricky – there’s a danger they will come across as preachy. But readers of these 3 can rest easy on that score in the expert hands of a Catalyst Book…

The first cut is the deepest…

…as Cat Stevens wrote* and Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow and others sang. Craig McIntyre’s cuts are deep. They run to the core of his being, and the scars are showing few signs of healing. Deep. Deeper. Deepest. Others seem to understand him better than he understands himself. And they see a use for him when…

Sunny – going down a storm in schools and libraries

We’ve been captivated by Sunny, the gripping new novel from Paul Murdoch. So have his school and library audiences. It’s kicking up a storm of enthusiastic supporters. Sunny is like a cross between Frank Cottrell Boyce’s novel/Danny Boyle’s film Millions and Theresa Breslin’s exploration of sectarianism Divided City. It’s a page-turning thriller with a mystery…

Linda Strachan to host Grampian Book Awards

Don’t Judge Me author Linda Strachan will be hosting this year’s Grampian Book Awards on Wednesday. And a fab host she’ll be too. Good luck to all those on the shortlist. Most of all, have fun everyone!