Put pen to paper for poetry

Poets should put pen to paper for one of Scotland's most prestigious poetry competitions.

Friday, 17th February 2017, 12:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:32 am

The Wigtown Festival Company, a driving force in Scotland’s National Booktown, is again celebrating the art of poetry writing with its international competition, now in its eleventh year.

In association with leading Scottish literary societies Wigtown Festival Company annually holds one of Scotland’s most respected poetry competitions and invites entries from now until the end of May. With a main prize of £1500 and £250 for category winners, poets can submit multiple entries with their work. Entries are invited for the main competition and also the the Scots and Scottish Gaelic categories.

Last year’s judge John Glenday said that whilst some writers argue that competitions have no place in poetry he believed the battle wasn’t between poets but “between language and silence.” He added: “ It’s so difficult to describe the relationship between the world in which we live and the world which lives in us, that sometimes only poetry will suffice. This competition proves a microcosm for the many ways a writer can tackle that difficulty and tackle it successfully.”

The closing date for the competition is Friday 26th May 2017 and further details of how to enter and the fee structure for submissions can be found at


The judges of this year’s competition include Edinburgh based Ryan Van Winkle whose second collection ‘The Good Dark’ won the Saltire Society’s poetry book of the year award, Gaelic teacher and creative writing tutor Myles Campbell who is a previous winner of the Scottish Gaelic category he will be judging and Matthew Fitt the official Scots translator of the Asterix series and for the Scottish Parliament.

Wigtown Festival Company’s Operational Director Anne Barclay said: “Each year we are so impressed with the consistently high stand of entries we receive. We are looking forward to receiving new poetry submissions from all over the world as the competition enters its second decade.”

Wigtown in Scotland’s south west became the national booktown in 1998 and has since become a mecca for booklovers drawn not only to the annual festival but to the year round events and the wealth of bookshops and book related businesses.

The annual poetry competition is held in association with the Saltire Society, the Scottish Poetry Library and the Gaelic Books Council.