On Thursday 10th November 2016 the Anstruther Improvements Association celebrated the fourth Anstruther Writing Awards since the writing competition was relaunched in 2013. A writing competition was one of numerous events that used to take place during the Anster Fair, held in the town to celebrate the poem of the same name written by William Tennant (1784-1848). In 2013 the AIA decided to revive the competition in order to build on the community’s great tradition of creative writing and to celebrate talent of all ages. Categories are open to primary school children, secondary school pupils and adults.
The Awards competition has grown steadily in the four years it has now been running. This year entries more than doubled and the judges comment on the rising standards each year. Judges this year were Chae Strathie, Christina Banach, Jennie Erdal and Andrew Greig. “We are incredibly lucky to have such a prestigious group of judges, all of whom have some connection with Fife,” said Christine Palmer, AIA President. “We are so grateful for their support and it means a great deal to the entrants that they provide such positive and encouraging feedback.”
The Awards ceremony was a cosy, candlelight affair in the lower hall of Dreel Halls, home to the AIA. With coffee and cake for all, it was buzzing with creativity and excitement. The audience was treated to readings of all the winning entries and Chae Strathie and Jennie Erdal were on hand to entertain and pass on their experience of the literary establishment. AIA Honorary Patron Elizabeth Gordon, who was instrumental in relaunching the writing competition, helped with reading out the entries and awarding prizes. The event finished with a rousing rendition of the appropriately-named adult category winning poem, Anster Fair.
Results of the Anstruther Writing Awards 2016:
- Primary category: Brendan Lewis, 2nd Molly Scott
- Secondary category: Kate Fryer (Poetry), Xander Spence (Reflective Writing), Melanie Maclennan (Short Story)
- Adult category: Nicholas Beinn (Short Story), Ian Richardson (Poetry)