THE shortlist for one of the most prestigious book awards in Scotland features books by James Kelman, Irvine Welsh and the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.

The Saltire Society's Book of the Year shortlist includes The Bees by Duffy, Kathleen Jamie's Sightlines, Kelman's Mo Said She Was Quirky, Deanamh Gaire ris a' Chloc by Aonghas MacNeacail, Tales From The Mall by Ewan Morrison, The Dead Man's Pedal by Alan Warner and Skagboys, by Welsh.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in the National Library of Scotland on St Andrew's Day. The Book of the Year award is given to either a book by a living author of Scottish descent, or residing in Scotland, or the subject must be the work or life of a Scot or engage with a Scottish issue.

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Nominations may be a novel, a play, poetry or other work of literature, biography, literary criticism or a study of any Scottish issue.

Ian Campbell, the convener of the Book of the Year and First Book panel, said: "This year's shortlisting has been exceptionally difficult for the judges."

The society announced shortlists for its other literary prizes, including First Book, Research Book and History Book of the Year.

The First Book shortlist includes Air Bilean an t-Sluaigh by Maighread A. Challan, The Last Highlander by Sarah Fraser, Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson, The Incomers by Moira McPartlin, Furnace by Wayne Pric,e and Ramshackle by Elizabeth Reeder.