Time closing in on Moray’s budding writing talent

Short story competition entries close this month
Short story competition entries close this month

TIME IS RUNNING OUT for budding authors or established writers to have a go at prizes of between £150 and £350 in the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere writing competition.

Held in partnership with the Rotary Club of Elgin, the competition is offering a £350 first prize for the best short story submitted that promotes Elgin’s rich and compelling history and its place as a tourist destination.

Submissions should be previously unpublished short stories of not more than 3000 works and should be set in Elgin and the surrounding area at any time in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries.

Jim Royan is chair of the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project. He said: “Take a look at the historic streets in Elgin – if they could tell a tale what tale would that be? What sort of person lived, worked or visited the Thunderton for example over 200 years ago.

“Or Elgin’s Tolbooth, opened in 1715 for prisoners, what tales did they have? We know smugglers operated around our coastline in those days so who else was involved in that – what were they smuggling and where was it going?”

“At the beginning of the nineteenth century Elgin was described as “in filthiness exceeded all the towns of the north east” – but by 1828 it had been transformed by philanthropy and a new prosperity.

“Fortunes made abroad financed some of Elgin’s finest buildings such as Dr Gray’s Hospital and Anderson’s Institution. A new St Giles Church replaced the old building in 1828 while a “little knot of clever, pushing, farsighted men” contributed to the city’s transformation.

“What sort of people were in Elgin at the time – from the labourers to the families who made their fortunes. Put pen to paper and you never know – it could set you off on a whole new career!”

“We are delighted to have secured the generous support of the Rotary Club of Elgin and to be working with them. This is an excellent example of how local organisations and businesses can contribute to the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere experience.”

Entry to the competition is free and the closing date for submissions is May 31 – so just a few weeks away.

Winning entries will be announced at the Spirit of Moray Book Festival in September 2016. For details, guidelines and an entry form please see: www.ccc-heritage.co.uk.