Boats, Fish and Folk: Anstruther Writing Awards Celebrate 50 Years of the Scottish Fisheries Museum

Now in its seventh year, since first being reinstated in 2013 by the Anstruther Improvements Association (AIA), the 2019 Anstruther Writing Awards are looking for fishing-themed entries to honour the 50th year of the Scottish Fisheries Museum.

With both the Awards and the Museum steeped in fishing heritage, it is a fitting partnership and a wonderful celebration of all things sea-worthy, with a theme this year of ‘Boats, Fish and Folk’.

Entry to this year’s competition is free, and the winners, alongside other selected entries, will be included in a Museum publication in May 2020. The adult categories (poetry and short story) are open Scotland-wide, while the primary and secondary categories (poetry, short story, reflective writing and creative writing) are open to Anstruther school pupils. The competition has a stellar judging panel of Scottish novelist Jennie Erdal, children’s author Chae Strathie, young adult writer Christina Banach and poet Matt Barnard, all of whom look forward to another year of fantastic writing.

Christine Palmer, President of the AIA, said: “I am thrilled that the Anstruther Writing Awards have gone from strength to strength since they were reinstated back in 2013. It is especially exciting this year, the 50th anniversary of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, to celebrate the Museum and our town’s fishing heritage with our fishing theme. We are also delighted with our talented judging panel, who are looking forward to receiving what we hope will be a wonderful array of entries. The AIA would like to wish the Museum a very happy 50th birthday, and we hope this year’s celebratory competition gets the community, and those further afield, to put their pens to paper.”

Andrea Elder from the Scottish Fisheries Museum, said: “Storytelling is a big part of celebrating fishing life in days gone by and the museum has many examples of this, so it is wonderfully fitting that the Anstruther Writing Awards have taken on the theme of Boats, Fish and Folk this year. The AIA have done a fantastic job bringing back the Writing Awards, revived from the town’s traditional ‘Anster Fair’ and we can just imagine the Fisher lads and lassies from way back when, writing their stories and poems. The Museum can’t wait to read the winning entries and publish them alongside a selection of entries next year; a wonderful celebration of fishing in this seaside town.”

The deadline for entries to the Awards is 31 October and there will be a prize giving ceremony at the Fisheries Museum in Anstruther on 28 November. Further information about how to enter the Awards can be found on the Anstruther Writing Awards page.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum opened in 1969 and over the last 50 years has told the story of the boats, fish and folk around Scotland from the first signs of fishing to the present day. This year to celebrate this, they want to read your stories and poems and share them through a publication as part of the 50th anniversary year.