View Full Version : Lybster and Watten to the fore in competition

14-Jun-11, 17:52
Sarah finds right way in "A Wrong Turning"

PUPILS from Lybster school have scooped the top places in their section in a Highland writing competition.
Winner Sarah Sinclair and fellow pupil Mari-Ann Ganson, who came second, received their prizes
at a ceremony at Inverness Town House today. Donald Mackay from Watten, was first equal in the adult poetry section.
The competition, run by The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport
Service in partnership with the Neil Gunn Trust, and sponsored by Tulloch Homes, has run every two years since 1988. This year the theme was “A wrong turning” and a total of 335 entries for the four categories of adult poetry, adult prose, secondary school and primary school were received.
Leading the judging panel was the author Andrew Greig who before announcing the winners, took the opportunity to thank everyone who had taken part and praised the very high quality of writing which made the job of the judges to make their final decisions very difficult.
The ceremony started with the presentation of the Primary School prizes. The top prize went to Sarah Sinclair from Lybster Primary in Caithness with fellow pupil Mari-Ann Ganson taking second place and third prize going to Ewen MacColl from Spean Bridge Primary. Eilidh MacDonald from Kinlochewe, John Williamson, Auchtertyre Primary and Matthew Ross from Daviot received Commended certificates.
The top secondary prize went to Will Hoffman from Dingwall Academy with
Katrina Gallacher and Anna Macrae also from Dingwall Academy sharing the second equal prize with Ellen Whealing from Golspie High School. Highly Commended certificates were presented to Caitlin Ferguson, Ardnamurchan High School; Seumas Barker, Fortrose Academy; and Dingwall Academy pupils Freddie Mack, Samantha McNeil and Natalie Bushell.
A special prize sponsored by The Green House, Dingwall for the best performing school was presented to the Head Teacher of Dingwall Academy, Mr Graham MacKenzie.
The adult competition which is now publicised far and wide, attracted entries from Europe, South Africa, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as all over the UK. Despite this, all but one of the winning entries are UK in origin with Highland-based authors taking 6 of the 13 places.
The Adult Prose first prize went to Margaret Skea from Kelso for ‘Working Away’. Sharing the second equal prize was Leo Madigan from Portugal, Michael Marett-Crosby from Ardross and Jane Verburg from Cromarty. Commended Certificates went to Gerry Watson from Peterborough, Alasdair MacEwen from Avoch and Joyce Moore, Orkney.
Wick High School teacher Donald Mackay from Watten shared first prize in the Adult Poetry section with Susan Richardson from Cardiff. Highly Commended were Sarah Van Hove from the Isle of Skye and John Brewster from Fife. Commended were Nancy Rutherford from St Albans and Simon Jackson from Edinburgh.
The ceremony ended with the Overall Winners Award, a Hi-Arts sponsored prize of a place on a week-long writing course at Moniack Mhor. This was presented to Margaret Skea.
Ann Yule, Convener of The Neil Gunn Trust said: “This our 11th Neil Gunn Writing Competition has been a rewarding experience. The competition goes from strength to strength and has entries in the adult categories from many countries throughout the world. We received 17 entries alone from Australia.
“I would like to think that if Neil Gunn knows what we are doing, he would be exceedingly pleased. We have encouraged many writers to have the courage to write their own books and that is a reward in itself.”
Chairman of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: “It is great to have a Highland based competition that supports and encourages writers of all ages. Several previous entrants have gone on to have successful literary careers writing for a living. I hope the competition continues to flourish and nurture new talent for many years to come. My congratulations go to all the winners and to everyone who took part.”
The winning entries and judges comments will be available from tomorrow on the Am Baile website, with a link from the Highland Council website – www.highland.gov.uk (http://www.highland.gov.uk/)
Neil Gunn 2010-11 Prize winners:
Primary school section
1st prize Sarah Sinclair Lybster Primary school
2nd prize Mari-Ann Ganson Lybster Primary School
3rd prize Ewen MacColl Spean Bridge Primary School a
Commended Eilidh MacDonald Kinlochewe Primary School
Commended John Williamson Auchtertyre Primary School
Commended Matthew Ross Daviot Primary School
Secondary school section
1st Prize Will Hoffmann Dingwall Academy
2nd Equal Prize Katrina Gallacher Dingwall Academy
2nd Equal Prize Anna Macrae Dingwall Academy
2nd Equal Prize Ellen Whealing Golspie High School
Highly Commended:
Caitlin Ferguson Ardnamurchan High School
Seumas Barker Fortrose Academy
Freddie Mack Dingwall Academy
Samantha McNeil Dingwall Academy
Natalie Bushell Dingwall Academy
Adult Prose section
1st Margaret Skea, Kelso, - ‘Working Away’
2nd Equal Leo Madigan, Portugal - ‘The Spirit of Peru’
2nd Equal Michael Marett-Crosby, Ardross - ‘Luggage’
2nd Equal Jane Verburg, Cromarty - ‘Lapworth’s Turn’
Commended Gerry Watson, Peterborough
Commended Alasdair MacEwen, Avoch
Commended Joyce Moore, Orkney
Adult Poetry section
1st Equal Donald Mackay, Watten - ‘Flambeaux’
1st Equal Susan Richardson, Cardiff - ‘Isolate’
Highly Commended Sarah Van Hove, Skye - ‘The Legacy’
Highly Commended John Brewster, Fife - ‘Sae Faur fae ma Faither’
Commended Nancy Rutherford, St Albans - ‘Nothing but the Truth’
Commended Simon Jackson, Edinburgh - ‘Lost in the Forest’