THEY include award-winning international visual artists and thriving venues, from opera to rock theatre, from acclaimed writers to emerging talent.

Today the short lists for The Herald Scottish Culture Awards are revealed.

The annual awards, now in their fourth year, will announce the winners at a ceremony the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on July 11.

Among the short lists were acclaimed theatre shows What Girls are Made of, Birds of Paradise's My Left Right Foot, Lost at Sea, and Midsummer, part of last year's Edinburgh International Festival.

The comedy category features some well known names, notably Janey Godley, Ashley Storrie, Frankie Boyle and Kevin Bridges, while the musical performance category short lists John McCusker, Admiral Fallow, Gareth Williams and Sian Evans, Fat-Suit and Ailie Robertson.

The visual artist award short list features Charlotte Prodger, the Turner Prize-winning Scottish artist who is currently representing Scotland at the Venice Biennale, Cathy Wilkes, the Glasgow-based artist who created the UK pavilion at the same festival, as well as Charles Anderson and the graphic novel duo Metaphrog.

Chris McQueer, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Donald S Murray are in the literature section, while the Outstanding Festival section features the Glasgow Film Festival, StAnza, the international poetry festival, Aye Write, the annual Glasgow book festival, and Paisley's Halloween Festival.

The Cultural Event short list includes three events outside the central belt of Scotland in the Tiree Music Festival, Findhorn Bay Festival and Granite Noir, in Aberdeen.

Venues and attractions in two short lists include Edinburgh's Summerhall, the Tramway in Glasgow, the Aberdeen Music Hall, the new Dundee V&A and Blair Castle, among others.

On the night, a life time achievement award, sponsored by Edinburgh Napier University, will also be announced, as a well as a special award for a Contribution to Scottish Culture.

The judges of this year's awards said how tough some of the decision making had been.

Stuart Cosgrove, the writer and broadcaster, noted: "As ever it was a highly competitive field which in many categories reflects the surge of creativity rushing through the Scottish cultural scene ."

Reece Donnelly, Founder & Managing Director Of Theatre School Of Scotland, said: "I’m incredibly excited that the shortlist has been announced for this years Culture Awards.

"We had some tough decisions to make, the standard of nominations and entries this year blew me away.

"It makes me realise very proud to be a Scottish and I can’t wait to see all the talent and incredible businesses who have made the cut at the final in July.”

Ruth Wishart, the writer and broadcaster, former board member for Creative Scotland and chair of the Dewar Art Awards, said: "The Culture Awards are proof positive of the burgeoning talent in Scotland across all art forms.

"It’s always a pleasure to go through the entries, not just of people with whose work you are already familiar, but evidence of new work and new ideas from people who will undoubtedly be tomorrow’s star names."

Rhona Corscadden, the senior event manager for EventScotland said: “EventScotland is delighted to support the Herald Scottish Cultural Awards.

"The calibre of applications, not just for events but across all categories demonstrates the strength and depth of Scotland’s vibrant cultural sector that contributes so widely to Scotland’s tourism offer.

"I wish all the finalists the best of luck and look forward to seeing them all at the awards on the 11th of July."

The judges also included Pauline Miller Judd, dean of arts and creative industries at Edinburgh Napier University.

The awards are arranged with support from Edinburgh Napier University, EventScotland, Rotunda Comedy Club, Cameron Presentation, Theatre School of Scotland and MGA Management.

For more information on how to attend the awards next month please visit or contact