Next month sees the 50th edition of Indelible Ink, Dear Scotland’s monthly column on the best of Scottish writing. In an act which can only be described as impulsive, Pete Reid, Editor of Dear Scotland has just bought all 50 books featured since the first column was published four years ago. From ‘Morvern Callar’ to December’s featured novel, ‘Pfitz’, the books have been picked to showcase the range and quality of modern Scottish writing, and, although we haven’t stopped yet, collecting all the books to date in one place certainly hammers that point home.

There is only one thing to do now, so we are going to have a competition and the winner will receive those 50 books in the post, thereby impressing the neighbours and annoying your postie (see below for the full list).

To win you will have to dig out your virtual ballpoint as we are looking for a piece of writing on ‘Scotland’.

That’s all the direction you are going to get, so how you react is up to you. It can be poetry, prose or non-fiction, whatever takes your fancy, but your submission must be no longer than 600 words. You can be as funny, passionate, angry, controversial and emotional as you like, or all of the above.

The judges are broadcasting legend, and author, Vic Galloway, novelist Nina de la Mer, and my good self. In the event of a literary punch up breaking out Pete has agreed to cast the deciding vote, although I’m sure it won’t come to that.

The top three will be published in a special Indelible Ink in the New Year. First place wins all 50 books. Second place will win signed copies of Vic’s new book ‘Songs In The Key Of Fife’ and Nina’s classic ‘4 a.m.’, with third place getting a copy of one of the best collections of new Scottish fiction of the last 10 years, ‘The Year of Open Doors’.

To enter, send your submissions to The closing date is November 30th, and the winner will be announced on December 23rd. Full terms and conditions here.

Good luck!


The Books (click to read why we think they are great):
1.        Alan Warner’s ‘Morvern Callar’
2.       Andrew O’Hagan’s ‘Be Near Me’
3.      John Niven’s ‘Kill Your Friends’
4.      Janice Galloway’s ‘The Trick is to Keep Breathing’
5.       Irvine Welsh’s ‘Trainspotting’
6.       Louise Welsh’s ‘The Cutting Room’
7.       Gordon Legge’s ‘The Shoe’
8.       Alan Bissett’s ‘Boyracers’
9.       Rodge Glass’ ‘The Year of Open Doors’
10.     Iain Banks’ ‘The Wasp Factory’
11.     Anne Donovan’s ‘Buddha Da’
12.     Alasdair Gray’s ‘Lanark’
13.     James Robertson’s ‘The Fanatic’
14.     James Kelman’s ‘Kieron Smith, boy’
15.     Suhayl Saadi’s ‘Psychoraag’
16.     Ron Butlin’s ‘The Sound of My Voice’
17.     Duncan McLean’s ‘Bunker Man’
18.     Kevin MacNeil’s ‘The Stornoway Way’
19.     Ali Smith’s ‘The Accidental’
20.     Robin Jenkins’ ‘The Changeling’
21.     Doug Johnstone’s ‘The Ossians’
22.     Alexander Trocchi’s ‘Young Adam’
23.     Alan Spence’s ‘Way To Go’
24.     A.L. Kennedy’s ‘Paradise’
25.     Alice Thompson’s ‘The Existential Detective’
26.     Agnes Owens’ ‘Bad Attitudes’
27.     Rodge Glass’ ‘No Fireworks’
28.     Toni Davidson’s ‘Scar Culture’
29.     John Burnside’s ‘The Devil’s Footprints’
30.     Stuart David’s ‘Nalda Said’
31.     Zoe Strachan’s ‘Spin Cycle’
32.     Ewan Morrison’s ‘Swung’
33.     Martin Millar’s ‘Lux the Poet’
34.     Andrew Raymond Drennan’s ‘The Immaculate Heart’
35.     Ajay Close’s ‘Forspoken’
36.     Nina de la Mer’s ‘4a.m.’
37.     William McIlvanney’s ‘Weekend’
38.     Jeff Torrington’s ‘Swing Hammer Swing!’
39.     Jackie Kay’s ‘Trumpet’
40.     Frederic Lindsay’s ‘Brond’
41.     Tom Morton’s ‘Red Guitars In Heaven’
42.     George Friel’s ‘Mr Alfred MA’
43.     Archie Hind’s ‘The Dear Green Place’
44.     Laura Marney’s ‘No Wonder I Take A Drink’
45.     Karin Altenberg’s ‘Island of Wings’
46.     Des Dillon’s ‘Me and Ma Gal’
47.     Muriel Spark’s ‘The Driver’s Seat’
48.     Sophie Cooke’s ‘The Glass House’
49.     Leila Aboulela’s ‘The Translator’
50.     Andrew Crumney’s ‘Pfitz’ (December 2013)