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Wild Writing competition winners announced

Suilven from the Fionn Loch

Suilven from the Fionn Loch

The John Muir Trust today announced the winners of the 2009 Wild Writing Competition as part of this week’s Fort William Mountain Festival. Tom Bryan from Kelso won the first prize for his piece Seven Ways of Looking at Suilven. Alan Gay from North Berwick was awarded the second overall prize for his poem Deer Path and Neil McRae from Skye won the Gaelic category for his story Doilleireachd an T-Sleibhe.

Now running its third year the Wild Writing Competition, sponsored by John Muir Trust, encourages both aspiring and professional writers to pen stories about Scotland’s landscapes and wild places. The competition is free and open to all and there are prose, poetry Gaelic and children’s categories. Tom Bryan’s first prize this year is a place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor.

Judging was particularly hard this year as there were over 100 entries, twice as many as in 2008. The Judges were Hamish MacDonald, playwright, novelist and Director at Moniack Mhor Scotland’s writing centre and writer and teacher Linda Cracknell. “The entries took us to wild places all over Scotland, Britain and the world,” commented Linda. “The winners for me were personal, immediate and poetic with a touch of mystery in the landscapes and the human responses they portrayed.”

The judges also highly commended three other writers. Kate Blackadder from Edinburgh for Oldshoremore, Stephen Busby from Findhorn for All Exhilaration and Jenny Holden from Onich (by Fort William) for The Climb. The runners up for the Gaelic category were Tearlach Quinell from Inverness and Derek Mackay from Glasgow.

“The wild writing competition was set up to highlight people’s experiences of wild places,” commented Alison Austin, the brainchild of the writing competition and Nevis Conservation Officer for the John Muir Trust. “I hope that more and more emerging writers who feel passionate about exploring and enjoying our incredible landscape will take part in the coming years.

The winning piece can be read here
For more information go to: www.mountainfestival.co.uk/writingcompetition.asp

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