Prizes were presented to four talented young writers last night who had been inspired by the theme of “Dreams”.
The Shetland Young Writers Awards ceremony took place in the Old Library Centre in Lerwick and the four winners were presented with cash prizes provided by dialect group Shetland ForWirds, a certificate and a laminated copy of their entry. The judges were Mary Blance from Shetland ForWirds and the poet Jen Hadfield.
The competition is an annual event organised by Shetland Library, with the aim of encouraging young writers, especially in the dialect, although entries in these categories were down this year. Teachers’ input was also recognised.
“Dreams” was the theme and there were 138 entries from all over Shetland, it was thought this was the biggest entry ever with half coming in during the last week before the closing date.
As well as the common perception of dreams some entries considered “achieving one’s dreams” as an interpretation. According to Mary, the theme was “exciting and difficult”.
The four who scooped the prizes had the choice to read out their entries and two did, Georgia Leask and Mairianne Jamieson. Ishbel Nicolson and
Laura Newbold decided not to. But thanks to Lauren Johnson of the New Shetlander you can see them in the next edition.
Georgia’s dialect story was about her grandfather’s failing eyesight entitled Dreams o’ a Blurry Reality and Mairianne’s My Trowie Dream which had the wonderful line at the end noting that the chances of seeing a trow were as likely as “gadderin’ berries at da welk ebb”.
The judges explained that there was a lot of reading involved. They read each entry three times and read bits to each other. There were as ever many stories about trows, they reminded us that “trowie” is an adjective.
Inspiration was drawn from folklore, “scary selkie stories” and “murder an aa”, said Mary, who added that there should be more attention to grammar, punctuation and paragraphs, to help the reader.
The judges’ biggest tip was for the writer to read their work out loud so they could hear it as the reader will.
Morag Nicolson closed proceedings with the thought that, like Up-Helly- A’, they were about to be thinking about the next competition.