Birlinn founder Hugh Andrew receives Shackleton medal

PUBLISHING house Birlinn founder Hugh Andrew has been presented with the Shackleton medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Andrew received the award for his “leadership and citizenship in publishing”.

He was also made an honorary fellow of the society.

Roger Crofts, former chair of the society, described Andrew as the “vital spark” of Scottish publishing during the presentation ceremony.

Andrew’s first step into publishing was to re-issue Neil Munro’s short stories about Para Handy and his trusty puffer, the “Vital Spark”.

Andrew said: “I have been in publishing for 30 years and, in that time, I have commissioned some 2000-plus books.

“I’ve always wanted Birlinn to have Scotland at its heart… we publish good books that come from Scotland and are very often about Scotland.

“Publishing – much more than simply publishing books, selling them, and making money out of them – provides a cultural context for a nation and a cultural context for its people.

“It is vital for preserving memory.”

The publishing house‘s authors include Denise Mina, Alistair Moffat, and Scottish Field columnist Alexander McCall Smith.

Read more stories from Scotland’s literary scene on Scottish Field’s books pages.