Author Ian Rankin, creator of popular literary sleuth John Rebus, yesterday saw his handprints immortalised in Caithness stone in the quadrangle of Edinburgh's City Chambers at an event to launch the second annual Edinburgh Award.

Rankin, who last year became the first recipient of the honour, unveiled the stone slab bearing an engraving of his hands as nominations were invited for the 2008 Edinburgh Award, the winner of which will be announced in June.

The Edinburgh Award was set up in 2007 to recognise an individual's outstanding achievements and contribution to the city of Edinburgh. Nominees should either have been born in Edinburgh or resided in the city for the past year; made a positive impact on the city by their contribution to the world of science, culture, sports, enterprise, technology, charity or education or gained positive media attention for Edinburgh in the past 12 months as a result of their work.

The award winner will be selected by a panel chaired by the Lord Provost George Grubb, with representatives invited from the council, Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and the business community.