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Linen Hall Announces Ulster-Scots Writing Competition

Everybody kens a wee bit o’ Ulster-Scots and this is your chance to get creative with it. The Linen Hall Library is launching an Ulster-Scots writing competition sponsored by the Ulster-Scots Agency.

There will be two competition categories, one for prose and one for poetry. The winner for each section will receive £500 and one runner up for each section will receive £250. The winning entries will be published in a special edition anthology to be revealed in an awards ceremony during Ulster-Scots Language Week in November.

A distinguished panel of judges has been assembled to adjudicate: Ulster University’s Dr Frank Ferguson, Ulster-Scots Agency Director of Development Gillian McMaster, and Scottish poet Stuart Paterson.

Linen Hall Director Julie Andrews says: “The new Ulster-Scots writing competition is a wonderful opportunity to illuminate the Library’s significant Ulster-Scots language holdings which include the world’s largest collection of Scots poet Robert Burns items outside of Scotland. We are grateful to the Ulster-Scots Agency for sponsoring this new competition.”

Ulster-Scots Agency Director of Development Gillian McMaster says: ”Ulster-Scots has a rich literary tradition and we are delighted to partner with the Linen Hall Library to foster and encourage the tradition of Ulster-Scots writing. This competition offers a welcome opportunity both to highlight and promote contemporary Ulster-Scots writers and hopefully inspire others to re-engage with the language as well.” 

Deadline for entry is Friday 10 September 2021 at 5.00pm.

For more information about the Ulster-Scots Agency visit    https://www.ulsterscotsagency.com/




 THE PRIZE FOR THE WINNING PROSE AND POETRY WORK IS £500; with £250 for one runner up in each category. The winners’ and runners-up’s pieces will be published in a limited-edition anthology.

CLOSING DATE:                        5.00pm Friday 10 September 2021.

Entry Guidelines:

  1. The competition is open to writers born or resident in Ulster or Scotland over 16 years of age
  2. Entries MUST be written in Ulster Scots
  3. No entry form is required.
  4. Entries must NOT have been, by the date of submission, published or broadcast in any medium
  5. Entries must be typed, in double spacing, using only one side of A4 paper
  6. Prose entries must NOT exceed 3000 words and poetry entries must NOT exceed 40 lines
  7. Entries can be emailed to info@linenhall.com or posted to the Linen Hall Library at the address below. Hard copy entries will not be returned.
  8. No indication of the writer’s identity should be placed on the entry and name, address, telephone number and e-mail address should be submitted under separate cover with the title Ulster Scots Writing Competition
  9. Only one entry per applicant
  10. The decision of the judges is final
  11. Only winners and runners up will be notified
  12. Neither judges nor Linen Hall Library staff will enter into any correspondence regarding the competition
  13. The Winners will be awarded their prizes in the Linen Hall during Ulster- Scots Language Week in November 2021
  14. The Linen Hall Library reserves the right to select for publication such entries as may be deemed appropriate, in any year
  15. The Linen Hall Library will liaise with successful authors in preparing texts for publication

The Linen Hall Library’s social network channels can be found at: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. 

Notes to editor: 

For more information about this press release, please contact Rachel Wetherall, Head of Digital and Marketing Communications at the Linen Hall Library. R.wetherall@linenhall.com