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Neil Gunn Writing Competition

The theme for both the adult prose and adult poetry sections is ‘The Tenderness of Stone’. This title was suggested by Robert Davidson, one of the Neil Gunn Trustees.  Writers worldwide are invited to interpret this theme in any way they wish – the entries do not have to be set in Scotland or during the time when Neil Gunn himself was writing.  Please see the entry rules for full details about the competition.

This biennial competition is organised by High Life Highland and The Neil Gunn Trust, who gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship of this year’s competition by Dingwall & Seaforth Ward 9, The Highland Council; Rhoda Michael, and David Lynch of The Greenhouse ( .  We are delighted that the lead judge for this, the 13th competition is Scottish author Jackie Kay.

The adult sections of the competition are now open to writers worldwide.

The schools section of the competition is open to all Scottish Highland primary and secondary schools launches. Please note that the theme is not the same as for the adult sections of the competition, so don’t start writing yet!

The closing date for all sections of the competition is Friday 01 March 2013 and winners will be notified by mid-May at the latest.  The award ceremony will be held in June 2013.

The winning entries from past competitions are on the Am Baile website

The contact for this year’s competition is Lynsey Stein, Network Librarian with High Life Highland. Lynsey can be contact by email at, by phone on 01349 883341 or by post at Alness Academy, Dalmore, Alness, Ross-shire, IV17 0UY.

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