LISTEN: Marc Lambert explains how to enter the competition
The Scottish Book Trust is opening up for entrees for their 50-word fiction writing competition and they’re looking for entrants in Highland Perthshire to give it a shot.
Their challenge is in the name, they want to read writers’ short fiction which is confided within 50 words and features as sunrise as this year’s theme.
Marc Lambert, the trust’s CEO, explained: “Well, firstly, it’s, it’s just a great deal of fun for people who want to participate and get their stories up online and through social media, the thing is really about providing a platform to allow people to express themselves on a certain subject. And this time around where we’re looking at, can you write a 50 word story that involves a sunrise?
“And we do this throughout the year. It’s tremendously popular. There are a lot of benefits to it, as well as it being just fun. It’s really important to be able to express yourself well in writing right across your personal and your professional life, but ultimately it’s about you expressing yourself in a story and getting other people to appreciate it.”
After this past year, the sunrise theme could almost be taken as a metaphor for the light at the end of the tunnel after, what for many people has been, a difficult year.
And as part of that, for Mr Lambert, writing has it’s therapeutic tendencies for people facing stress and isolation.
He said: “I think putting your thoughts to paper is always therapeutic and is an established practice in that famously, they will say great writers, you know, have a problem and they’re trying to work out the problem as they write their fiction.
“And I think there’s a lot of truth to that, but it’s also true in a sense for shorter works of affection. And it is a really important thing to do because it concentrates the mind. It takes you out of your immediate experience.
“So, I think a really effective way of drawing in some sense, to improve your situation, to heal yourself a little bit. And most importantly, at the end of it, you have something that you yourself have created this 50-word story, and that’s always a wonderful feeling.”
As well as the 50 word fiction competition, the trust are commemorating the lives of people in Scotland through writing with their ‘Your Stories: Celebration’.
Mr Lambert added: “And it is wonderful then to be able to choose the best of these stories, print them in a book, we print a hundred thousand copies of that book and during bookwork Scotland, which place in the last week in November, every year, we distribute for free that book back out to the people of Scotland. So we give them back their stories.”
Anyone looking to make their contribution can go to: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/