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Poetry competition looking for next Craigmillar Makar

Writing contest to be held in association with the Craigmillar Writers Group and Adult Learning Link.

A local organisation in Edinburgh is offering aspiring scribes the chance to become the ‘Craigmillar Makar’, with their annual creative writing and poetry competition.

The Craigmillar Writers Group are holding the contest in association with Adult Learning Link, with the aim of getting people from a variety of backgrounds interested in writing.

Entrants are divided into three categories - adult, children or disabled – and pieces are welcomed from people of all ages in the city of Edinburgh.

Winners, runners-up and third place writers will be announced at the grand final on July 6, which is part of the Craigmillar Festival, a week of activity beginning on July 2.

Fiona Evans, who works with Adult Learning Link, said she expects there to be a variety of different submissions.

“People write anything from their life story to fiction,” she said. “Adult Learning Link funded it for the last three years and it used to just be people from Craigmillar but now it’s the whole city.

“It’s mostly adults but there are a group of young writers who have been working at the Jack Kane who will probably be entering.

“I have had local people learning literacy and wanting to enter the competition. The lady who came second last year wrote about her life in Gogarburn hospital.

“It’s all to do with getting more people into art and creative writing.”

While organisers do not yet have a venue arranged for the final, where winners will be awarded book tokens, they hope to hold it in the newly refurbished White House.

Johnni Stanton, who is in charge of an exhibition currently on display in the White House as part of the Craigmillar Community Archive, co-organised the competition.

He-said: “There’s always been a strong element of writing in Craigmillar, from the writer Helen Crummy to poetry in the schools.

“We have a Scottish Makar and an Edinburgh maker so I think our community should have its own maker who writes and records what’s going on. There’s always a lot going on – good and bad – but everything comes together.

“I’d like to see some of the artistic creativity of the past return. In these austere times people turn to entertainment.”

The closing date for entries is June 30. Submissions should be sent to Adult Learning Link, 58-60 Niddrie Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4BG or emailed to adultlearning.link@zen.co.uk.

For further information telephone Adult Learning Link on 0131 652 6324.

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