'Celebrating North-East Writing' at the University's May Festival, 26-28 May 2017, replaces the Toulmin Prize for 2017.

The Celebration event is now open to receiving poems and stories with a North-East focus, some of which will feature at the event, along with other North-East writers, speakers and performers.

Please send your entry to reach us by Friday 21 April 2017 in order to be considered for inclusion. There is no prize this year, other than possibly hearing your work presented at the event. Contributions should be sent to Dr Thomas A. McKean, Director, The Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, MacRobert Building, King's College, Aberdeen, AB24 5UA. E-mail: elphinstone@abdn.ac.uk

It is hoped that the Toulmin Prize Competition will be relaunched in 2018.


About David ToulminDavid Toulmin at his typewriter

John Reid (1913–1998) was an Aberdeenshire farm labourer from Rathen, near Fraserburgh, 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. His work consists mostly of short stories and reminiscences, with his one novel, Blown Seed, painting a harsh picture of farm life. In his later years he moved to Pittodrie Place in Aberdeen (later to Westhill) and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Aberdeen in 1986.

About the Toulmin Prize

The Toulmin Prize, established in 2008 and awarded annually, is a short-story prize commemorating the work of one of north-east Scotland's finest exponents of written Doric. In addition to a cash prize of £500, the winning entry will be published in Leopard Magazine and subsequently featured on the website of the Scots Language Centre. The award for the best entry will be made at the University of Aberdeen, where the winning story will be read out by the well-known north-east writer, Sheena Blackhall.

Emeritus Professor Ian Russell, former Director of the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen, says: 'We’re proud to be able to honour John Reid and his work in this way. His writing is powerful, evocative and witty, and he is one of the finest exponents of writing in the North-East. We have had a terrific response to the previous competitions and the standard of entries has been superb.'