Falkirk-born publisher of 404 Ink on latest accolade

The publishing team of Chris McQueer's Hings, Falkirk-born Heather McDaid (left) and Laura Jones (right)
The publishing team of Chris McQueer's Hings, Falkirk-born Heather McDaid (left) and Laura Jones (right)

Falkirk-born Heather McDaid, one of the two founders of 404 Ink, has seen her company become the first publisher to win a Young Edge grant.

The accolade from the Scottish Edge Awards means the publisher has been awarded £10,000 towards growth areas in the company.

Book releases from 404 Ink include the surreal collection of short stories Hings by rising Scottish star Chris McQueer.

Their debut graphic novel We Shall Fight Until We Win, co-published with BHP Comics, was released last week, showcasing a century of pioneering political women.

The company were behind crowdfunding sensation Nasty Women, their debut book on what it is to be a woman in the 21st century.

The Kickstarter campaign for the title raised over £22,000 and gained the support of authors including Margaret Atwood, who wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, and has seen subsequent support from Nicola Sturgeon.

Feedback from the Scottish Edge Awards judges praised 404 Ink, saying they can see the fresh and enthusiastic team “achieving a lot more than they have forecast”.

Heather (26) grew up in Bantaskine until she was a teenager, when she moved to Bainsford.

She qualified from the University of Stirling with a Masters in Publishing, along with the other half of the publishing team Laura Jones (27).

Heather said: “We’re blown away to be a recipient of a Young Edge award – when applying, we knew it could be difficult to showcase publishing as a growth industry, particularly when we saw the other sorts of companies involved, but we took the leap as we felt we could take the company to the next level after the success of our first 18 months.

“We’re chuffed to be the first publisher to win an Edge Award and are excited to continue working on 404 Ink with the support of Scottish Edge.”

The latest accolade comes after the company’s recent inclusion in FutureBook 40, a list of innovative UK publishers.

Towards the end of last year they were also named The Saltire Society’s Emerging Publisher of the Year, and gained the top spot in The List’s Hot 100 for culture.