A Grand Opportunity

The late Randolph Quirk, Quain Professor of English Language and Literature at the University College of London, once observed that anyone who mastered the skills of writing in English would never go hungry. However, those individuals who want to develop sustained earning power as a writer, whether fully professional or part-time freelance, need recognition at an early stage.

The Gatliff Trust and Scottish Islands Explorer magazine are providing such an opportunity, together with a £1000 prize. It is an award to an accomplished young writer (of under 30 years of age) who can produce a 1250-word winning article on a topic associated with, but not on, Herbert Gatliff. He was a legendary figure in the Outdoor Movement, who founded a chain of simple hostels in the Outer Hebrides.

The spirit of both adventure and enquiry, particularly in the young, were encouraged by Gatliff. He was aware that incentives were often needed to help people enter new comfort zones and discover cultures, customs and conventions. All too often, senses can be aroused close to home. He was inspired by the Hebrides; an entrant may well be attracted by a different location.

The topics of an article, and accompanying photographs, need to focus on how a place, a group of people or a phenomenon motivates venturing beyond established experiences and wanting to learn more. References, which are within the pages of this website, need to be made to the life, times and achievements of Herbert Gatliff, but the primary sources of a piece are personal experiences.

The closing date for entries will be 30 September 2023 and the winner will be announced by the end of the following month. Publication in Scottish Islands Explorer will be in 2024. So, 1250 words and, say, five accompanying photographs could get someone, perhaps you, started on a writing career as well as provide a financial reward for your efforts.

Do not hesitate to contact John Humphries – editor@gatliff.org.uk – for further clarification or assistance before undertaking research or writing.