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Word Festival 2001 Goes High Tech to Reach Across the Sea

Date: 23 October 2000
Our ref: 743

The first Word Festival took place in Aberdeen in May, 1999, and was “the largest, and most impressive literary event ever held in Aberdeen” according to The Scotsman.  This week will see the first event leading up to an even bigger and better Word 2001:  the launch of the online poetry competition for secondary schools in Scotland and Ireland on Wednesday, the 25th of October at 1:00 pm in New Kings 1, King’s College, Old Aberdeen.

To celebrate the launch, students from all secondary schools in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been invited to “An Audience with Alan Spence” featuring the Writer-In-Residence at the University of Aberdeen and award-winning novelist, playwright and short story writer. They will hear how he started as a writer and what inspires him.  Alan Spence said: “I will also be reading poems by people in the age group of my audience to show what young people are capable of and how they channel their interest into a piece of work.”

Winners of the online competition will be announced in February 2001, and will have the opportunity to participate in the second Word Festival.  Word 2001 will take place in May 2001, and will celebrate Scottish and Irish writing, aiming to promote reading and creative writing to the communities of the Northeast and throughout Scotland with an exciting and lively line-up.

Alan Spence said: “The first Word Festival was a wonderful success and Word 2001 will be even better.  A strong Irish contingent will join the best of Scottish writers for a really exciting programme of events.  The Word is out.  Be there!”

The first Word Festival included readings, poetry and jazz performances, children’s theatre, debates and lectures across the city, and brought together generations of established Scottish writers.  It was a great success, “the biggest literary event in Scotland outside the Edinburgh Book Festival”, according to the Press & Journal, and Word 2001 promises to be even better.

The online poetry competition is being sponsored by BT Scotland.


Further information from:

University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email