Home > Event > Uist Book Festival Writing Competition

A cover with a muted greyish blue cloudy background with thin writing on the top centre reading ‘Uist Book Festival’ below is a white pencil like streak that divides the top text from the dominant text which is big in the centre, and white reading in a pencil like font ‘Writing Competition.’ Underneath the text follows another rough white streak in the centre.

Uist Book Festival Writing Competition

The Festival Open Writing Competition is open to all those living on Uist and Benbecula or whose entries are inspired by the socio-economic, historic or geographic features of these islands; and is open to established and new and emerging authors alike.
There are separate classes for juniors (from 3 to below the age of 8 on the closing date; and 8-16); and for adults. Entries are particularly welcome in Gàidhlig or in English.
The theme under which entries for the 2018 competition should be made is ‘Youth’ or ‘Òige’.Read more below about submission, entry rules, and prizes.
  • Separate streams for poetry (no line limit) and for short stories (up to 3,000 words)
  • Gàidhlig and English language streams
  • Poetry: Katharine Barr Prize for Poetry (1 x £50 prize in each language stream)
  • Short Story: Norman MacLean Prize for Short Story Writing (1 x £50 prize in each language stream)
  • Authors may also be highly commended in each category (no cash prize)
  • Judges: Pauline Prior-Pitt (English language poetry); Helen Forbes (English language short story writing); Mòrag Dhòmhnallach (Gaelic language poetry); Rosemary Ward (Gaelic language short story writing)
  • Entry fee: £5 per entry
  • Aged 3-7 years: Draw a picture of your favourite book and write a few words about it
  • Aged 8-16 years: Write a short story of up to 500 words, or a piece of poetry
  • Gàidhlig and English judged streams for 8-16 years; single stream for those aged 3-7
  • £20 book voucher for winning entries in each age group and language stream (3 in all)
  • Judges: TBA
  • No entry fee

2 x £50 Katharine Barr prize for poetry (one in Gàidhlig, one English)

2 x £50 Norman MacLean prize for short story (one in Gàidhlig, one English)

6 x £20 book voucher for school competitions

?2nd places Highly Commended.

Important dates
  • Entries accepted from: Sunday 26th August (entries can be submitted, with the correct fee, at the launch event but do note that this is the opening of the competition and there are a further seven weeks in which entries may be submitted)
  • Competition closing date, by which all entries must be received: Monday 15th October (4pm)
  • Winners notified directly on: Thursday 15th November
  • ?Public announcement made on the Uist Book Festival website on: Thursday 22nd November
Your submission must be accompanied with an entry form stating these details:
Title of entry:
Contact details (preferably phone number and email address):
Class for which entry is made (delete as appropriate):

Junior aged 3-7 / Junior aged 8-16 / Adult
Gàidhlig / English
Poetry / Short Story (+ accurate word count)Your submission must also have enclosed the entry fee (if applicable). Cheque, cash, and card payment can be made in person at the Learning Centre. Cheques to be made out to Cothrom Limited.
Card payment can also be processed over the phone. For bank transfer details,  email us on enquiries@cothrom.net or phone us on 01878 700910.
Entries can be submitted through email to enquiries@cothrom.net, by hand to the Learning Centre in Ormiclate, or through post to Cothrom Learning Centre, Ormiclate, HS8 5SA, South Uist.
Entry rules
1. Entries must be your own original and unaided work.
2. Entries must not have been previously published or broadcast commercially, in print or online, or have won a prize in another competition. Work that has been self-published, including online, may be entered but it must not have won a prize in another competition.

3. All entries must fall within the theme and the openness criteria of the Uist Book Festival Competition.4. The competition classes are: juniors aged 3-7; juniors aged 8-16; adult poetry; and adult short story. In all classes other than junior aged 3-7, there will be separate, but equal, streams for Gàidhlig and English entries. For juniors aged 3-7, entries will be accepted in either Gàidhlig or English.

5. The maximum length of any entry in the adult open short story writing competition is 3,000 words. There is no limit on the lines of poetry that can be entered. For children aged 8-16, there is a 500-word limit on the short story competition but, again, there is no limit on the number of lines of poetry that may be entered.

6. Judging of competition entries is fair and unbiased, and all entries will be read and judged anonymously. Your name or address must not appear anywhere on your entry; nor therefore must there be any other content marks that could identify you as the author of the work.

7. Each entry must be accompanied by a completed competition entry form. The entry form will be separated from your work after the entry has been accepted. Entry forms can be downloaded and will be available at the competition address; and can be typed or handwritten.

8. For all competition classes, entries (including the entry fee in the adult classes) must be posted or hand-delivered to the competition address, which is: Cothrom Ltd, Ormiclate, South Uist HS8 5SB (telephone: 01878 700910). If posting, this is at your own risk and you must allow sufficient time for posting prior to the competition closing date. Please note that entries cannot be submitted online.

9. Entries in the short story competitions (adult and junior classes) must be submitted in black ink on single-sided white A4 paper, double-spaced and in 12 point. For short stories, pages must be clearly numbered and not stapled or pinned in any way. There is no specific format for entries in the poetry classes. In all cases, the title of the work must be at the top of the first page.

10. Entry fees in the adult classes cannot be returned after an entry has been accepted; and no entry can be accepted unless it is accompanied by the appropriate fee. Cothrom has the ability to handle card payments for entry fees. An entry is accepted at the point it is received. No changes can be made to an entry after it has been accepted.

11. You may submit only one entry in each category. However, you may submit a single entry in more than one category.

12. Please pay careful attention to the key dates of the Uist Book Festival competition.

13. Copyright for work entered into the Uist Book Festival Competition remains with the authors, but Uist Book Festival reserves the right to publish the winning and highly commended entries, online or in print, for one year after the winners have been notified. We also reserve the right to use any sound or video recordings of work for promotional use. Winning entries may also choose to have their entry broadcasted on An Radio and this posted as an audio file on the Uist Book Festival and An Radio websites.

14. We are unable to return entries, although these can be collected after the competition has closed from the competition address. Uncollected work will be destroyed after one month.

15. Entries that do not meet the rules of the competition will be disqualified. Note that the competition organisers cannot enter into any correspondence about the acceptance of entries.

16. Decisions made by the judges regarding the winning entries are final.

17. Prizes in any category may be withheld or altered if, in the opinion of the judge, we receive no outstanding entries, or insufficient entries.

18. The competition organisers can be contacted via the Uist Book Festival website (www.uistbookfestival.org).

19. There will be a prize-giving ceremony at the Uist Book Festival 2018, (venue and date TBC). Travel to this event will be at each prize winner’s own expense.

20. By submitting an entry, you are agreeing to the competition rules.

Entry fees will go towards the Competition prize funds and in furtherance of the aims of the Uist Book Festival and of the communities of Uist and Benbecula.