Budding writers asked to tackle emotive theme

Scotland's Makar (Poet-Laureate) Ron Butlin, who is judging the Borders Writers' Forum Open Writing Competition

Scotland's Makar (Poet-Laureate) Ron Butlin, who is judging the Borders Writers' Forum Open Writing Competition

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Whether you’re a published author, a would-be poet or a brickie with a passion for the written word, the Sick Kids Friends Foundation wants you to get your creative juices flowing.

The Borders Writers’ Forum (BWF) Open Writing Competition is open to all writers, published or unpublished, with all entry fees donated directly to the Edinburgh charity.

Edinburgh Makar (poet laureate) and acclaimed Scottish writer, poet and playwright, Ron Butlin, will be the final poetry judge, while Ian Campbell, professor emeritus of Scottish and Victorian literature and professional fellow at the University of Edinburgh, will be the final prose judge.

The theme of the writing competition is Illness and the Child. Authors can write in any genre, fictional or true-life, that connects a child with illness through either a poem (maximum 60 lines) or a short story (maximum 3,000 words).

The winning entries will be published on The Sick Kids Friends Foundation website and they will be read out at the Borders Writers’ Forum event at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose in June.

Maureen Harrison, chief executive of Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said she is delighted that the Borders Writers’ Forum has so generously offered to donate all entry fees to the charity.

She added: “The Borders Writers’ Forum is doing a wonderful thing by ensuring all money goes to the Sick Kids Friends Foundation – this will contribute greatly to us hitting our fundraising target for 2012, which is our 20th anniversary.

“I would like to thank the members of the forum, and every person who enters the writing competition, for their generosity and the part they are playing in the continuing success of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.”

Pamela Gordon, chair of the Borders Writers Forum, said: “We are delighted to be running this competition to encourage writers far and wide, to raise money for a good cause and to let people know of our active, innovative forum which promotes the interests of writers in the Borders.”

The entry fee for each story and poem is £5, to be paid directly to the Sick Kids Friends Foundation. The donation may be online at edinburghsickkids.org/donate.html, or by text, telephone or post:

There is no limit on the number of entries anyone can make, but no author may win more than one prize.

Members of Borders Writers’ Forum, as organisers of the competition, are not eligible to enter.

Winners will each receive a piece of uniquely handmade Borders Art Glass.

The closing date for entries is Saturday, March 31, with winners being announced at the end of May.