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Winners of the Inaugural Ulster-Scots Writing Competition Announced

The Linen Hall Library has today announced the winners of the Linen Hall Ulster-Scots writing competition at a special ceremony to mark Ulster-Scots language week. The competition was sponsored by the Ulster-Scots Agency.

First prize in the prose category went to Alan Millar (image left below) for ‘Sam an Jeck speel Parnassus tae see Rabbie Burns’; second prize was awarded to Angeline King (pictured below with Gary Morgan) for ‘Lang Toon Hotel’. In the poetry category the winners announced were: Angela Graham (centre image below) in first place for ‘A Heerd tha Sodjer on tha Radio’; and Gary Morgan (pictured below with Angeline King) in second place for ‘The Confeshion’. The winners received a cheque for £500, and the runners-up a cheque for £250.  

Alan Millar                             Angela Graham                                      Angeline King and Gary Morgan

The competition was launched earlier this year to help people understand more about the Ulster-Scots language, the role that it plays in the lives of its speakers, and the place that it has within our wider community.  

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

Dr Frank Ferguson commented on the winning prose piece: “An inventive bringing together of history and fiction. Excellent attention to detail in both description and linguistic flair. A very nicely paced story that places you in the headspace of the protagonists and captures a sense of the people that they might have been rather than the legends that are often depicted.”  

Linen Hall Director Julie Andrews says: “The quality of work submitted was excellent and confirms the popularity of the Ulster-Scots language. We thank the Ulster-Scots Agency for sponsoring this new competition which we hope will become a regular event in the calendar year.”  

Ulster-Scots Agency Director of Development Gillian McMaster says: “We were delighted to partner with the Linen Hall Library to develop this inaugural Ulster-Scots Writing Competition. It’s vital that we continue to create new opportunities whereby people can express, preserve and develop their Ulster-Scots linguistic identity. It has been very exciting to see the growth in contemporary Ulster-Scots writing.”  

The winning entries will be featured in a limited edition anthology due to be published in 2022.   

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

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