My book on a wildlife year on the River Devon has been shortlisted for a prestigious award in the Scotland’s National Book Awards 2021, the premier literary prize for writing in Scotland.

‘If Rivers Could be Sing’ has been selected as a finalist in the ‘First Book’ category of the awards.

Published by Tippermuir Books, ‘If Rivers Could Sing’ is a personal Scottish river journey, where I delve deeper into my own local river to explore its abundant wildlife and to get closer to its wild beating heart. Among the creatures featured are beavers, otters, kingfishers, and salmon.

‘If Rivers Could Sing’ also focuses on the Devon’s historical past, where its tributary burns helped to power the mills along the Hillfoots villages. This, along with coal mining and other industrialisation put huge pollution pressure on the river and its wildlife in the 19th and 20th centuries.

If Rivers Could Sing is all about getting close to nature and connecting with our precious environment. I am thrilled it has been shortlisted for such a prestigious award, which I hope will provide encouragement to other first-time book writers to pick-up a pen and get writing.

Paul Philippou from publisher Tippermuir Books said: “We were delighted when Scotland’s National Book Awards returned after a year’s absence. They are a vital part of Scotland’s literary fabric. To have If Rivers Could Sing shortlisted for one of the awards is wonderful – we are delighted for Keith. It is also great for Tippermuir to be in this position – it is an achievement upon which we will build.”

My latest book, ‘A Scottish Wildlife Odyssey’, which is a travel journey in search of Scotland’s wild secrets, will be published in February 2022.

The Scotland’s National Book Awards 2021 is organised by the Saltire Society of Scotland and the winners of the awards will be announced on 27 November.

  • ‘If Rivers Could Sing’ can be purchased at and other online sellers and good book shops (£9.99).