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Mountain Writing Competition 2008

This year we had twelve prose entries and seven poetry entries. The judges were: Chris Townsend (MCofS President), Stevie Christie (EMFF), John Donohoe (ex-MCofS President), Ingrid Parker (ex-MCofS VP), Nick Hamilton (last year’s winner) and Jayne Glass (Scottish Mountaineer subeditor).

The quality was generally high with only a few points separating the top four in each category. In the prose, Phyllis Anderson’s The Last Bothy split the judges between those who loved the fictional intricacies and novel style and those who "liked the story but it’s too difficult to understand”. It still scored high enough for 3rd place. Eddie Barratt’s Croft on the Flowe wove "brilliant cultural and historical descriptions” with "an effective ghost story and a chilling finish” with believable characters and atmosphere to take 2nd place.

Of the poetry submissions, Roderick Manson described "a poetic map!” in Episodes – East to West with "evocative language” to take 3rd prize, whilst James Turner "captured the feelings of a hill day” in his love poem Brewing Up, Ardnamurchan to take 2nd prize.

However, for the first time since the competition started 20yrs ago, the same person won 1st prize for both prose and poetry with consistently high scoring from all judges: Malcolm McMillan wrote of his inspirational journey in Greenland. Described variously as "evocative”, "atmospheric”, "moving”, "emotional” and "lovely writing style”, Malcolm’s Empty Horizons and Greenland Inspired Poem are both reproduced in Scottish Mountaineer Issue 42 (February 2009). Malcolm wins £250 and a weekend pass to 2009 EMFF.


1st -Greenland Inspired Poem, by Malcolm McMillan

2nd - Brewing Up, Ardnamurchan, by James Turner

3rd - Episodes - East to West, by Roderick Manson


1st - Empty Horizons, by Malcolm McMillan

2nd - Croft on the Flowe, by Eddie Barratt

3rd - The Last Bothy, by Phyllis Anderson