This biennial competition is organised by The Neil Gunn Trust in partnership with High Life Highland. The lead judge for this, the 16th competition was the distinguished author and patron of the Neil Gunn Trust, James Robertson.
The competition has 4 sections – Adult Short Story and Adult Poetry open to writers worldwide; the Secondary (S3-S6) and Primary (P5-P7) Schools sections open to pupils attending Highland Council schools. The competition themes are quotes from Neil Gunn’s writing.
Adult Poetry section
Joint first place
- Advancing Waves of Song by James Knox Whittet
- Going for the Gap by Barbara Hickson
- The Autumn Country by Ian McDonough
Adult Short Story section
- Flying Crooked by Heather F. Reid
Secondary Schools section
- Birdsong by Mhairi MacColl, Lochaber High
- A Beautiful Silence by Douglas Leslie, Millburn Academy
- I Found Myself Standing Yet Again by Coll McNamara, Millburn Academy
Primary Schools section
- The World Behind The Door by Daisy MacKenzie, Mulbuie Primary
- The Secret View by Charlie Raven, Bonar Bridge Primary
- Quinn’s Secret by Alice Olesik, St Joseph’s Primary
- Humans, Warriors and Wizards by Bernhard Almadin, St Joseph’s Primary
- The Prehistoric Predicament by Alexander Abu El Seond, St. Joseph’s Primary
- Matt’s Secret by Ethan Munro, Abernethy Primary
- The Half Birds by Ava Parmenter, Abernethy Primary
- Zombie Story by Maria Cameron, St Joseph’s Primary (this entry was untitled)
Award for Best School Entries Overall
- Jointly won by St. Joseph’s Primary school and Abernethy Primary School
For all sections, the themes are quotes from Neil Gunn’s writing.
Adult Poetry and Short Story sections
The Adult Poetry section and Adult Short Story section were open to all writers worldwide. The writing was inspired by one of the following quotes from works by Neil Gunn: –
- “Wild Geese Overhead” (book title)
- “But already, behind, the new wave was gathering volume, massing itself, steadily advancing.” (Morning Tide)
Secondary schools (S3-S6)
The schools’ sections are open to pupils in selected year groups who attend Highland Council schools.
The secondary section is open to pupils from S3 – S6, whose writing was inspired by one of the following quotes: –
- “They turned from the known world behind and faced the moors”. (Highland River)
- “It was very quiet, with a quietness that was tall and far, delicate as a leaf, and soft-footed as the grass.” (The Well at the World’s End”)
Primary schools (P5-P7)
The primary section is open to pupils from P5 – P7, whose writing should be inspired by the following quote: –
- “It is a terrible thing to be bursting with a secret you can’t tell.” (Young Art and Old Hector)
High Life Highland and The Neil Gunn Trust thank everyone who entered or assisted with the competition and gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance provided by individual supporters and the following organisations: The Highland Council Wards 5 and 8, the Dr David Summers Trust and the Lydia Michael Trust.
For all enquiries about the competition, please email [email protected] or telephone the Library Support Unit on 01349 781340.
Further information on the work of the Neil Gunn Trust can be found at www.neilgunntrust.org