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The 2009 Neil Gunn Writing Competition is Launched (01/10/08)
Highland school children and adults from across the Highlands and beyond are being asked to get creative and put pen to paper for the launch of the 2009 Neil Gunn Writing Competiton.
Organised by The Highland Council and the Neil Gunn Trust, this premier writing competition, originally launched in 1988 to encourage creative writing, is now one of the most prestigious events in the Scottish literary scene. Held every two years, it is the only writing competition in Scotland for all age groups which is promoted by a local authority.
Following feedback from previous winners, this time around writers will have more time to submit their entries as entry forms for the 2009 competition are now available.
The categories for entries are:
• Adult Prose
• Adult Poetry
• Secondary School
• Primary School
The theme is “Living with one another”, a phrase taken from a passage from one of Neil Gunn’s books, The Serpent. Organisers feel this theme is particularly appropriate as 2009 will be the Year of Homeconing.
Chairman of the Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: “2009 is the year of Homecoming Scotland so it is very appropriate that this prestigious competition, open to all ages, is taking place as it gives us the chance to commemorate the works of one of Scotland’s greatest writers, as well as celebrating and promoting young and emerging new talent. I wish everyone who enters great success.”
To mark the launch, Primary and Secondary pupils from the Isle of Skye joined local adults at Portree High School for a special event which included reading excerpts from the 2007 winning entries, a presentation by the Neil Gunn Trust, a short DVD compiled for the last awards ceremony and readings from Neil Gunn’s books.
Winning entries will be selected by a judging panel chaired by eminent Scottish author James Robertson and the top prize of £500 will be awarded to winners of both the Adult Poetry and the Adult Prose categories. The school prizes are sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland and an overall winner will also be awarded one week at the Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre by Inverness, sponsored by Hi-Arts.
Further information and entry forms are now available in all Highland Libraries or by visiting www.highland.gov.uk/neilgunn.
The closing date for secondary entries is 19 December and for Primary Schools and adults, 14 March.