by Joe Brown
The 2006 competition was judged by Ex-MCofS President, John Donohoe, Ex-MCofS Vice President and English Teacher, Ingrid Parker, Sport Development Officer Kevin Howett and Press and Journal columnist and keen hill walker Mike Lowson.
There was a good variation in the style and themes in this year's Prose entries and the judges were obviously drawn towards the same conclusion as to which entries merited special attention. Overall, eight submissions where received.
Sharing third place was 'The Taming of the Slate' by Alan Dawson and 'Time out' by John Biggar. Alan's piece cleverly applied the 'epic terminology' of mountaineering writing to a walk; whilst John's 'well constructed tale' highlights the stresses revealed when romantic and climbing relationships overlap.
In second place was ‘From Whence Doth Come Mine Aid...?’ by David McVey, a strong, contemporary piece that one judge felt showed 'great imagination and powerful structure.'
This year’s winner in the Prose category was 'Vivre La Difference' by Andy Cloquet. All judges applauded this witty, short yet compact piece that holds an unguessable twist in its tail.
There where a good number of entries in the Poetry section, although a number of those clearly had little to do with mountaineering and scored down accordingly. Susan Collin's entry, 'No Summit' captured perfectly the feelings of those all too familiar days when we find ourselves retreating from the mountains whilst J Purvis' 'No Risk' illustrates the loss we'd feel as mountaineers in a safety obsessed society taken to extremes. Mike Robinson's 'Why do I climb' expressed it's subject in a 'creative and thoughtful' way and came a close second to the eventual winner, 'The Arch' by Moira Baird, a multi-facetted piece that contains several messages.