Three school girls will have their work projected onto buildings alongside famed crime writer Val McDermid as part of a literary event commissioned for Hogmanay.
The budding young writers will see their poems and stories illuminated nightly on three buildings in Edinburgh as part of Message from the Skies – which runs from January 1 to 25 in the capital.
Their work was chosen from among 200 entries to a writing competition sifted by an expert judging panel and will form part of a literary walking tour around the city.
The winners were:
Lucy Hutcheon, aged 11 from Davidson Mains Primary School won the Primary School category with a story called The Blind Watchmaker.
Where am I? The horrifying thought echoed through my mind with the sound of my footsteps running on the cobbled streets. My name is Penny Cogsworth, born and raised in Edinburgh and I’m here to tell you a story about time.
Maisie Dalon, aged 12 from Balerno High School won the S1 – S3 category with a poem called Edinburgh which starts –
Edinburgh, Edinburgh is exploding with fun
There is sometimes snow, rain, but rarely sun
Edinburgh, Edinburgh awesome street performers and shows
Greyfriars Bobby and his shiny gold nose
Jemma Glover, aged 16 also from Balerno High School won the S4-S6 category with a short story called Creatures of the Capital.
It doesn’t hit me that I live in the capital of my country until I actually stand there.
Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “We’re delighted that over 200 young people submitted stories as part of this competition. Message from the Skies will celebrate Edinburgh’s literary past and present across some of its most iconic buildings, and as well as celebrating the talent of local young writers as we begin Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. The quality of the stories was fantastic and visitors to Message from the Skies in January are going to be very impressed with Lucy, Maisie and Jemma’s stories.”
Janet Smyth, Children and Education Programme Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: “It was such a pleasure to be involved in the judging of Message from the Skies. The quality and range of writing was impressive and demonstrates that this city has not only a great literary past but also a great future. The three young winners show a sophisticated breadth of imagination and skill and I look forward to seeing their words projected for all to see.”
Launching at dusk on New Year’s Day 2018, Message from the Skies runs until Burns Night on 25 January. Inspired by a line from Robert Burns’ poem Sketch New Year’s Day: To Mrs Dunlop (1790), Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival have commissioned Val McDermid to write a short story, New Year’s Resurrection, which will be told in a series of chapters through projections onto buildings and landmarks around Edinburgh.