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Neil Gunn Writing Competition 2010/2011

Adult Winners Photo

2010-11 Adult Prize Winners
Back Row Councillor Bill Fernie, Robert Livingstone (HI-Arts), Jane Verburg (Prose 2nd equal) - Cromarty, Andrew Greig (poet and novelist), Sarah Van Hove (Poetry HC) Isle of Skye, Ann Yule (Convenor of the NGT), Alasdair MacEwen (Prose-Commended) - Avoch, Front Row Donald Mackay (Poetry 1st equal) - Watten, Margaret Skea (Prose First Prize) - Kelso, Michael Marett-Crosby(Prose 2nd equal) - Ardross

This was the eleventh Writing Competition organised by the Neil Gunn Trust, originally cooperating with Ross & Cromarty District Council and, of recent years, in partnership with Highland Council Libraries, and a very successful partnership it has proved to be. As always the adult section of the competition is split into two parts Prose and Poetry. Then the Secondary Schools' section and the Primary Schools' section. There were 129 entries in the Adult Prose section and 60 in the Adult Poetry. There were entries from 64 pupils in the Secondary Section and 78 in the Primary Schools section. The winning school with the largest number of prize winners was this time undoubtedly Dingwall Academy, who practically swept the boards. The schools' sections are only open to those schools within the Highland Council area.

Secondary Winners Photo

2010-11 Secondary Schools' Prize Winners
Front Row L to R Katrina Gallacher (2nd = DA), Ellen Whealing (2= Golspie), Anna Macrae (2= DA) Back Row L to R Scumas Barker (Fortrose Academy HC), Graham Mackenzie (Rector DA), Councillor Bill Fernie, Will Hoffman (1st Prize DA), Andrew Greig (poet and author), Caitlin Ferguson (HC Ardnamurchan), Ann Yule (Convenor of the NGT), Freddie Mack (HC DA), Natalie Bushel (HC DA)

This year in the adult sections of the Competition we had entries from 9 different countries and that's not including the countries within the British Isles - South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, America, Switzerland, Portugal, Canada, Belgium and France. Surprisingly, considering such world wide competition, a great many of the prize winners live in the UK and quite a few were very local indeed. The competition is open to anyone who can write either in Scots or English.

Primary Winners Photo

2010-11 Primary Schools' Prize Winners
Back Row L to R Councillor Bill Fernie, Andrew Greig (author and poet), Ann Yule (Convenor of the Neil Gunn Trust) Front Row L to R John Williamson (Auchtertyre Primary School) Commended, Sarah Sinclair (Lybster Primary School)1st Prize, Matthew Ross (Daviot Primary School) 3rd Prize, Mari-Ann Ganson (Lybster Primary School) 2nd Prize.

The winners of the Competition are all listed on the Highland Council web site

The winning stories and poems are to be found on the Am Baile website -

From very humble beginnings, when the competition was only open to people living within Rossshire, the competition has gone from strength to strength and is now open to anyone worldwide, provided the entries are in Scots or English.

The judging of the Competition was done mainly by Trustees of the Neil Gunn Trust and employees of Highland Council Libraries. The lead judge this time was Andrew Greig, poet and author. It is always so exciting to read through the entries looking for a gem. We've never failed so far to find a few outstanding pieces. This year was no exception.

Ann Yule
(Convenor of the Neil Gunn Trust)