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Glasgow Residents Win National Writing Competition

Scottish Book week

Seven Glasgow residents who wrote short stories about what ‘home’ means to them for a national writing competition have had their submissions chosen to be published in a book.

They beat off competition from over 500 other entries to win a place in a special book entitled Scotland’s Stories of Home. Their submissions will feature alongside entries from 33 other winners and author contributors such as Alan Warner, Vic Galloway, Kirsty Logan and Beatrice Colin.


The winners include:

 Anne Brittain, an administrator at East Renfrewshire Golf Club, who submitted ‘43 Dumbarton Road’, a story that reflects on her childhood, growing up next to John Brown’s shipyard on the Clyde.

Commenting on the publication of her story, Anne said:

“The project has allowed me to share a very personal experience of an extraordinary place and time that was ‘home’ but is now history, and to express a certain sadness at the loss of John Brown’s iconic shipyard and much of the Scottish culture.  I’m delighted and proud to be included in the book, and to be able to share my story with others.”


Sam Gates, a retired teacher living in the West End of Glasgow, submitted ‘Close’ a story that looks back fondly on his time living in a tenement flat in Yorkhill, recalling the friends he made there and the sense of community that existed in his close.

Commenting on the publication of his story, Sam said:

“I particularly enjoy factual writing, which is what attracted me to Scotland’s Stories of Home. I have found the project very encouraging, and I appreciate the idea of giving everyone the same subject as a stimulus – personally, I need an idea to get me started! I think a lot of people will pick up a book called Scotland’s Stories of Home; it’s a subject which means a lot to all of us.”


Margaret Boyce, a classroom assistant working in Paisley, submitted ‘Oor Street’, a story written in Scots that focuses on her childhood memories of the street on which she grew up.

Commenting on the publication of her story, Margaret said:

“I am chuffed to bits that my little story has been judged worthy to be included in the anthology, Scotland’s Stories of Home.  This wee tale, from cherished childhood memories during the years I lived with my family in the South Nitshill area of Glasgow is dear to my heart.”


The other Glasgow winners were Derek Parkes, a quantity surveyor living in Shawlands, with his poem ‘White Goods’, Moira Yarwood, a retired medical secretary from Govan writing as Moira Cameron, with her story ‘Lobster Legs’, John McGlade, a freelance writer, with his short story ‘The TARDIS,’ and Frances McHugh, a retired secretary living in Cathcart, with her story ‘Be a Brick’.

The competition was held by Scottish Book Trust, the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland, and encouraged members of the public to express in writing what ‘home’ as a place or a concept means to them. Contributions included poems as well as prose that tell tales of childhood, communities, family life, travel and food.

To celebrate the third year of Book Week Scotland (24 – 30 November 2014) more than 150,000 free copies of Scotland’s Stories of Home will be gifted to people throughout the week. The books will be distributed in local bookshops, public libraries, prisons, hospitals, visitor information centres, ferry terminals and train stations. All the stories entered for the competition are available to read at

Scotland’s Stories of Home also features original commissioned contributions from some of the best-loved names in Scottish arts and literature, including Alan Warner, Des Dillon and a special contribution in Gaelic from Catriona Lexy Chaimbeul.

Sophie Moxon, Acting Director of Scottish Book Trust said:
“Scotland’s Stories of Home has given people of all ages living in Scotland a chance to express in writing what ‘home’ means to them. We received hundreds of submissions from members of the public, sharing beautifully unique stories of home as a place and a concept and are delighted to be able to give away 150,000 free copies of this wonderful book for Book Week Scotland 2014.”

All the entries to the Scotland’s Stories of Home campaign can be read here:


The Glasgow winner’s stories are available at the following links:

Anne Brittain’s ’43 Dumbarton Road’:


Sam Elder Gates’s ‘Close’:


Margaret Boyce’s ‘Oor Street’:


Derek Parkes’s ‘White Goods’


Moira Cameron’s ‘LOBSTER LEGS’:


John McGlade’s ‘The TARDIS’:


Frances McHugh’s ‘Be A Brick’: