2017 Judges

The judges for the 2017 Highland Book Prize where:



Jenny Niven (Chair)  is Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Scotland’s national funding and development agency, Creative Scotland. She has responsibility for Creative Scotland’s relationships across the literature and publishing landscape in Scotland.


She is keenly interested in translation, international exchange and gender representation in the arts and media and was on the founding Board of the Stella Prize for Australian women’s writing. She has judged literary prizes including the Saltire Scottish Books of the Year, and the McIlvanney Prize.  As a critic Jenny has written and broadcast for a variety of radio stations and publications.

Alex Ogilvie is a trustee of the Highland Society of London, and his particular focus within the Society is on promoting and supporting literature in the Highlands of Scotland. As well as presenting the Highland Book Prize, the Society provides funding to the University of the Highlands and Islands for two annual writing prizes for its students. Alex grew up near Fort William, the son of a Classics professor, in a house overflowing with books; since then, he has retained a love of both reading and the Highlands – and tries to combine both, wherever possible. He currently lives in the South of England and works for Warner Bros. International Television.


Kevin MacNeil is a leading Scottish novelist, poet, playwright and screenwriter, born and raised in the Outer Hebrides. His most recent novel, The Brilliant & Forever, was published to huge critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Saltire Fiction of the Year Award in 2016. He recently edited Robert Louis Stevenson: An Anthology, Selected by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares. Kevin has won a number of prestigious literary awards and he lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Stirling.


Chris Dolan, before becoming a full-time writer, was Scottish Director of Community Service Volunteers, and an International Consultant for UNESCO.
Chris’s most recent novel is Lies Of The Land, the 2nd Maddy Shannon mystery. His first collection of short stories, Poor Angels, was shortlisted for the Saltire Award. His non-fiction includes John Lennon: The Original Beatle, and a biography of Scottish Anarchist Ethel Macdonald.

Chris’s stage plays have been produced throughout Scotland, and in London, Milan, Spain and the USA, and have won awards including a Fringe First (Sabina). He translates drama from Spanish.

He has written over 20 radio plays, 6 Rebus adaptations to date, and for Radio 4’s From Fact To Fiction.
He is a regular radio and television presenter, and has written and presented over 20 hours of radio documentaries. He has written audio-visual pieces for, among others, Glasgow’s Transport Museum.