Developing the Young Workforce North Highland

Developing the Young Workforce North Highland

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The Bill Mowat Memorial Short Story Competition

The John O’ Groats Development Trust and the John O’Groats Book Festival are delighted to introduce the inaugural short story competition in memory of Bill Mowat of John O’Groats.

Bill Mowat, who passed away on 8th August 2023 was a writer, journalist, and historian. Bill had a passion for the history and heritage of the local John O’Groats area and in this centenary year of the Duncansby Head Lighthouse, we are proposing an appropriate lighthouse-based theme. Writers are encouraged to use this theme as they see fit, but we offer these quotations by way of some suggested starting points.

“When the lights come out at sundown along the shores of Scotland” – R. L. Stevenson
“At the foot of the lighthouse it is dark” – Japanese proverb.
“Lighthouses are endlessly suggestive signifiers of both human isolation and our ultimate connectedness to each other.”– Virginia Wolf

The short story competition is open to writers resident in Scotland. The competition is open to all ages but there will be awards for those 16+ and up to age 16. Entries should be in English and be between 2000 and 3000 words for the 16+ and 500 to 1500 words for the 16- Prizes of £100 will be awarded for the winning 16+ entry and £50 for the Up to 16.

Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast, have won or been placed (2nd, 3rd, runner up etc) in any other competition. You must inform us immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.

All entries must be accompanied by the approved Entry Form which can be requested by email from or collected from Café Groats. John O’Groats

The closing date for entries is 13th May 2024 and should be submitted via email to or by post to Café Groats, John O’Groats