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Neil Gunn Writing Competition 2012/2013

Believe it or not, this is the 12th Neil Gunn Writing Competition. From very modest beginnings, when the Competition was inaugurated in 1988 and only open to people living in Ross & Cromarty, the Trustees have gradually expanded the competition, first of all to include anybody living in Scotland, then the UK, until now it is open to anyone worldwide, who can write in Scots or English. The lead judge this time is the Scottish author Jackie Kay, who is both poet and novelist.

The adult sections of the competition are open to writers anywhere in the world. The theme for both the adult prose and adult poetry sections is ‘The Tenderness of Stone’ which was suggested by Robert Davidson, one of the Neil Gunn Trustees, and managing director of Sandstone Press.

Themes for the schools section (open to Highland Council primary and secondary schools) have been chosen from the novels of Neil Gunn. The theme for the primary section (P5 to P7) is from Highland River : “They're gone, he whispered. They never saw us.” The theme for the secondary section (S3 to S6) is from Young Art and Old Hector : “Perhaps the only real treasures he possessed were his secrets.”

The closing date for all sections of the competition is Friday 1 March 2013. Rules and entry forms are available from

The organisers are High Life Highland and The Neil Gunn Trust, who gratefully acknowledge sponsorship for this competition from Dingwall & Seaforth Ward 9; Rhoda Michael, one of the Friends of the Neil Gunn Trust; The Greenhouse, Dingwall,