Doric writer remembered with short story competition
A short story competition was launched today (Tuesday, February 12) to commemorate the work of one of the North-East’s finest exponents of written Doric.
John Reid (1913-1998) was an Aberdeenshire farm labourer, who spent most of his life working long hours for very small rewards. In odd moments he jotted down short stories, character studies, and bothy tales.
Eventually as 'David Toulmin' he had a few articles printed in local newspapers. The first of his ten books was published when he was 59-years-old. They consist mostly of short stories and reminiscences, although his one novel, Blown Seed, paints a harsh picture of farm life.
Now a new short story competition – The Toulmin Prize – has been launched to recognise Reid's contribution to written Doric.
"We're proud to be able to honour John and his work in this way," said Dr Ian Russell, Director of the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen, which is running the competition in conjunction with this year's WORD Festival. "His writing is powerful, evocative and witty, and he is one of the finest exponents of writing in the Doric."
The competition is open to all amateur writers* over the age of 16. The winner will receive a £500 prize.
"The story should be concerned with some aspect of life in North-East Scotland," added Dr Russell. "It may be written in Scots, including Doric, or English or a mixture of the two."
The award for the best entry will be announced at the WORD Festival at the University of Aberdeen (May 9-11), with the winning story also published in Leopard Magazine.
A short story of up to 4,000 words in length should be submitted by 31 March, 2008 to Dr Ian Russell, Director, The Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, MacRobert Building, King's College, Aberdeen AB24 5UA.
Hard copy, size A4, should be sent in addition to an electronic submission in MS Word. Tel: 01224-272996. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Note that for the purposes of this competition, a professional writer is considered to be one who has had a solo work published with a recognised UK publisher.
Notes to Editors:
Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.
Issued on: Tuesday 12th of February 2008