Testimonies of the Rocks: the Hugh Miller Writing Competition 2015-16

“Every rock is a tablet of hieroglyphics with its ascertained alphabet; every rolled pebble a casket, with old pictorial records locked up within”
Hugh Miller, The Cruise of the Betsey, 1858

Hugh Miller

The Hugh Miller Writing Competition invited entries inspired by the geological and landscape writings of Hugh Miller, Scotland’s celebrated self-taught geologist. The competition was organised by the Scottish Geodiversity Forum, the Friends of Hugh Miller and many other partners.

We hope that this writing competition has encouraged a renewed interest in Miller’s work, a catalogue of superb new writings inspired by one of Scotland’s greatest nature writers and greater awareness and appreciation of Scotland’s geodiversity.

The winners

1st place in prose: Jane Verburg
2nd place in prose: Antonia Thomas
3rd place in prose: Jim Gilchrist
Highly commended in prose: Paula Hunter
Highly commended in prose: Màiri Anna NicUalraig (Mary Ann Kennedy)

1st place in poetry: Justin Sales
2nd place in poetry: Kenneth Steven
Joint 3rd place in poetry: Jim Mackintosh
Joint 3rd place in poetry: Michael Davenport
Highly commended in poetry: Elizabeth Pickett

Under 16 Prose winner: Mackenzie Robbie
Under 16 Poetry winner: Annabelle Fuller

Click on the links to download a pdf copy of the winning entries. Copyright of each competition entry rest with the author. Requests for reproduction can be forwarded to the author: email chair@scottishgeodiversityforum.org.

Thanks to …

The enormous success of this competition was due to the input of many people, not least all those who took the time to enter. We were bowled over by the range and quality of the contributions to this competition, as reflected in the winning entries.

The competition was managed by volunteer and chair of the judging panel, freelance science writer Lara Reid and it wouldn’t have happened without her. Martin Gostwick of the Friends of Hugh Miller was a hugely enthusiastic supporter and organsier, and Angus Miller, Chair of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum, helped behind the scenes. The rest of the judging panel also contributed much time and energy to support the competition; they were naturalist Kenny Taylor, geopoet Norman Bissell and geologists Simon Cuthbert (University of the West of Scotland) and Ruth Robinson (University of St Andrews).

Partners involved in the competition included:
Scottish Geodiversity Forum – scottishgeodiversityforum.org
The Friends of Hugh Miller – thefriendsofhughmiller.org.uk
Edinburgh Geological Society – edinburghgeolsoc.org
Geobus – www.geobus.org.uk
Lochaber Geopark – lochabergeopark.org.uk
Our Dynamic Earth – dynamicearth.co.uk
Scottish Centre for Geopoetics – geopoetics.org.uk