And The Winner Is…

The 5th Tarbert Book Festival got off to a great start today with Theresa Breslin and Ken McTaggart entertaining pupils in the Academy.

The ‘adult’ part of the Festival began with the awards ceremony for our 2nd Writing Competition generously sponsored by Moniack Mhor.  5 out of 6 shortlisted writers attended the Gathering in the Gallery, where judge Anne Hamilton introduced each of the writers, saying why she thought their submissions were special.

It was particularly pleasant to hear the stories read out, some informative, some reflective, some funny, but all very enjoyable. We also welcomed back last year’s winner, Frances Ainslie, to tell us what a  valuable experience she found on her chosen course.

Finally, Richmond Clements of Moniack Mhor announced the winner who is – Sylvia Hehir from Strontian.

You can read their entries now and see if you agree with Anne!

Barbie and Me by Mike Hunter from Nova Scotia

Click by Simon Cowdroy from Victoria, Australia

Frae a Haggis by Kate Donne from Dollar

Oban, The Perfect Destination by Sylvia Hehir from Strontian

The Mad Crone of Comriach by Sue Stubbs of Kilmichael Glassary

Who Do We Think We Are by Mary Easson from Linlithgow

Shortlist for Success

Many congratulations to the shortlisted entrants in our writing competition. Our judge  Anne Hamilton has spent countless hours reading and rereading your stories, reminiscences and researched articles and has come up with the following eclectic selection for her top 6.

In alphabetical order:

Barbie and Me by Mike Hunter from Nova Scotia

Click by Simon Cowdroy from Victoria

Frae a Haggis by Kate Donne from Dollar

Oban, The Perfect Destination by Sylvia Hehir

The Mad Crone of Comriach by Sue Stubbs of Kilmichael Glassary

Who Do We Think We Are by Mary Easson from Linlithgow

These six writers have been invited to an awards ceremony in Tarbert on the evening of 27th October where they will read their entries. Only then will we discover who has won the major prize of a week’s course at the fabulous Moniack Mhor.

Of course everyone who entered is a winner in their own way as it can be a real achievement to complete a piece of writing and then submit it for another writer’s scrutiny.

Keep up the good work everyone!


Congratulations to the Longlisted Entrants

In response to popular demand (see? we listen to your suggestions) we have decided to publish a longlist this year. Although it’s only two weeks until we publish the shortlist, some of you are keen to know whether you can get excited or abandon hope.

Congratulations to those who can get excited, but, as we have been careful to keep the judging anonymous, it is very important that in your facebook posts and tweets you do not link your name to your entry yet. Here they are in alphabetical order and in a couple of weeks we will be publicising names with the shortlisted entries.

Barbie and Me
Don’t Call Me Susan
Frae A Haggis
Oban – The Perfect Destination
The Mad Crone of Comraich
Who Do We Think We Are?

The Magic of Moniack Mhor

I’m here at Moniack Mhor feeling the magic of this special place after winning the Tarbert Book Festival Writing Competition last year.

The Writing Centre sits in a tangle of green wildness under a huge sky, where nature lives in every nook and cranny. Here, you stop to listen . . . start with one word. . . then a sentence. . . then the magic happens. . .

It’s sad to leave, but I go brimful with new skills, friendships and words to inspire the next story – It’s all part of the alchemy.

I’d highly recommend entering this years competition to experience it for yourself.

Many thanks to Tarbert Book Festival and Moniack Mhor for giving me this amazing opportunity.
Frances Ainslie

Moniack Mhor are sponsoring this year’s competition as well. The closing date is 23rd July so why not Get Writing!
Continue reading “The Magic of Moniack Mhor”

Story Competition Winners – Read Their Entries

It was a real treat to listen to four of our six shortlisted writers reading their entries on Awards night. Unfortunately two of them weren’t able to come, so thanks to Susan Connor who read them for us.

You can appreciate what a hard time Anne Hamilton had judging the entries so many congratulations to Frances Ainslie, who is the winner.

Nights With Mary-Anne, by Frances Ainslie, Dunblane

Fighting Back, by Jackie Goulding, Alton(Surrey)

A Wet Coast Tale, by Mike Hunter, Nova Scotia

The Groatie Buckie, by Cath King, Muir of Ord

Close Encounter by Louise Mangos, Switzerland and

Breathing Room, by Kendra Olson, London.



We are delighted to be able to announce the shortlist for our first Writing Competition. The shortlisted entrants have already won a weekend pass to the Festival and a critique of their work from judge Anne Hamilton. Now six talented writers are biting their nails as they wait to discover who has won the fantastic main prize of a week’s course at Moniack Mhor.

Continue reading “Congratulations!”

Extended Entry Date for Competition

Technology got the better of us!

And we apologise unreservedly to those who were affected by the 12 noon closure of the ticketsource website, when it should, of course, have been 12 midnight.

We know about some of you who were affected but we don’t know about everyone, so please feel free to enter now – you have up until 11.58 p.m. (we’re not getting caught again!) on Thursday 7th July. And tell your friends!

The terms and conditions are the same, apart from the closing date.

Book now

The ticketsource link is different, as we were not able to extend the previous entry and have had to set up a new one.