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Highland Council - Caithness
Neil Gunn Writing Competition 2004
25 June 04
1) WRITING COMP 1
Established in 1988, this is the first time that the competition has been held in Neil Gunn’s native Caithness. A record-breaking 1,100 entries were received in this year’s competition which was launched on Gunn’s birthday on the 8th November 2003.
Twenty four people, twelve adults and twelve children, were commended on their achievements in the three categories of Primary (5-7), Secondary (S1-S4) and Adult Open, with sections for poetry and prose.
The Primary and Secondary sections of the competition were open to pupils in the area served by The Highland Council and the Open section was open to any persons living, working or studying in Scotland.
Scripts were submitted anonymously to the judges Robert Davidson, poet and editor; George Gunn, poet and playwright; and John B. Pick, poet, fiction writer and Neil Gunn biographer. The judges were assisted by The Highland Council’s Caithness Area Arts Development Officer, Tom Bryan, who is also a poet and fiction writer and Ann Yule, Convenor for the Neil Gunn Memorial Trust.
The prize giving ceremony was compered by honorary guest, Dairmid Gunn, Neil Gunn’s nephew. Cash prizes were presented and the recipients of the commended awards in each section received book tokens, certificates and a special Neil Gunn folder. All winners received certificates and commemorative folders.
John McPartlin of Edinburgh is winner of the open adult poetry section and Peter Cameron of Lasswade in Midlothian came first in the open adult prose. Lucy Church from Kirkhill Primary in Inverness was first in the primary writing competition for her prose, “The Vikings are Coming” and Kirsten Conacher from Mallaig High School was the winner of the Secondary writing competition for “A Window on the Past” (prose).
Competition organiser Tom Bryan said: “I’ve been involved with the competition over the years as an entrant, judge and organiser. This record number of entries, nearly twice the previous high, showed some outstanding examples of the vision and awareness that good writing always demands. This is in keeping with Neil Gunn’s own vision as a Highland writer of world standing.
“Many young writers in particular are heavily influenced by television, film and popular writing but the entries that really stood out in all sections were writers who remain true to their own unique voice and aren’t afraid to take risks.”
Ann Yule, Convener of the Neil Gunn Memorial Trust said: “The Neil M. Gunn Memorial Trustees are delighted to have been involved with the Writing Competition since it's inception in 1988 and will continue to give their wholehearted support in the future.”
The full list of winners is as follows:
· Open (Adult) Poetry
First: John McPartlin, Edinburgh. “Breakdown”
Second: John Miller, Ullapool. “Reading the Obituaries”
Third: Lynda McDonald, Edinburgh. “Walking on the Ice”
Gordon Kennedy, Glasgow. “panmusica mysteriophysicum”
Yvonne Gray, Stromness, Orkney. “Incomers on Eynhallow”
Alan Gay, North Berwick, East Lothian. “A Calm Crossing”
· Open (Adult) Prose
First: Peter Cameron, Lasswade, Midlothian. “The Ferlie Morn”
Second: Vikki Trelfer, Struy, Beauly, Inverness-shire “A Year After”
Third: Dr. Vicky Gunn, Ruchill, Glasgow: “The Wind Listener”
Roddy Johnson, Partick, Glasgow: “On the Shelf”
Rhoda Michael, Inverness: “The Piano”
Katrina Crosbie, Edinburgh: “Chiaroscuro”
· Primary Winners: Neil Gunn Writing Competition 2004
First: Lucy Church, Kirkhill Primary, Inverness. “The Vikings are Coming.” (prose)
Second: Gina Membury, Duncan Forbes Primary, Inverness. “The Dun Laoghaire Wake.” (poem)
Third: Holly McLaughlin, Teanassie Primary School, Inverness-shire. “Autumn Tree.” (poem)
Vivienne Main, Auchtertyre Primary (Kyle and Lochalsh) “Daydreams.”(prose)
Kathleen Stevenson, Achfary Primary, Sutherland “The Thing.” (prose)
Megan Druce, Grantown Primary. “Night Life.” (prose)
· Secondary Section
First: Kirsten Conacher, Mallaig High School (S4) “A Window on the Past” (Prose)
Second: Laura Guthrie, Glen Urquhart (S4) “The Day I Woke up with Wings” (Prose)
Third: Jamie Simpson, Thurso High School (S4) “Decisions” (Prose)
Holly Bird, Golspie High School (S1) “Infatuation” (Poetry)
Mary Mackay, Ullapool High School (S2) “Slice of Time” (Poetry)
Natalie Stewart, Ullapool High School (S2) “Saint Francis of Assisi” (Poetry)
Deadline Monday 12 April 2004
Primary School Children - Highland Council Area
Secondary School Children - Highland Council Area
Adult - National & International Resident Anywhere In Scotland
Entrants must send 2 copies of each piece of work (one copy if submitted electronically) There is NO set theme for this competition. Writers may write on any theme.
Adult, prose up to 2500 words, poems up to 40 lines
Entrants wishing to know the results should send a self-addressed envelope (SAE) marked “Results.” Entries cannot be returned and discussions about individual entries can’t be entered into. No competitor will be eligible for more than one Copyright remains with the authors but entrants are deemed to have given permission to have their entry published in conjunction with the competition. Further publication or broadcast or website use will be only with the permission of
The writing must be previously unpublished prose or poetry in any variety of English or Scots (Doric, Lallans, Norn, etc) and any combinations of Scots and/or English. The work must be submitted on white A4 paper, preferably typed or written legibly. Entrants should NOT put their names on the manuscript but should list their name and address and titles of their entry on a separate sheet of paper or on the entry form provided.
Members of the Neil Gunn Memorial trust, the adjudicating panel and steering group will not be eligible. All other members of Highland Council are free to enter provided competition rules are adhered to.