by Joe Brown
The 2007 competition was judged by Ex-MCofS President, John Donohoe, Ex-MCofS Vice President and English Teacher, Ingrid Parker, Sport Development Officer and editor of Scottish Mountaineer, Kevin Howett, Press and Journal columnist and keen hill walker Mike Lowson and last year’s prose winner, Andy Cloquet.
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, ten submissions where received.
In joint third place were 'Above the clouds, below the stars' by Finlay Wild and 'In the Wilderness' by P.J.Biggar. Finlay’s ‘well paced and evocative’ account of a mountain top bivvy under the stars conveys an ‘almost tangible atmosphere’, whilst ‘In the Wilderness’ combines ‘a great eye for detail’ with some nicely conveyed recollections.
In a close second place was 'The Crossing' by David McVey. One judge’s review in particular commenting “Excellent …this had me absorbed from the start.” Whilst another judge was taken by the “steadily built tension” and “highly creative language.”
This year's clear winner in the Prose category was 'Reunion' by Nick Hamilton. All judges awarded high marks for this ‘well written, well observed human reunion’ and ‘genuine attempt at writing creative, captivating prose’.
There was an especially good showing in the poetry category with ten entries received and judges somewhat split over a close final result.
In third place was ‘Base Camp at Kuilu: Impressions’ by Angela Wright. A wonderful description of a passage through the mountains, whilst leaving no trace and taking only memories. In second place was ‘Creak and Groan’ by Rob Wright. Oh, how age and aching limbs come to us all, but Rob reminds us of the simple things that make it all worthwhile.
Phyllis Anderson’s, ‘The Cobbler’ draws some lovely parallel images between our beloved Cobbler and its shoemaking namesake in an “accessible, well paced piece”. The central character of such a well loved and familiar mountain, stirring the affection of most judges and gaining Phyllis first prize.