New Writing Competition Winner Gets into the Spirit

Glasgow, 9 October 2008 (embargoed until 18:30):

Former shipyard worker and educational psychologist Billy Bonar of Glasgow was

declared winner of the Best of words 2008 writing competition at Waterstones in

Sauchiehall Street tonight. His poem Real Writing (in Residence), composed during

the words 2008 exhibition at the Mitchell Library last month, beat a wealth of other

entries to the winning slot and features a Hollywood scriptwriter whose props include

a bottle of bourbon and a pack of Lucky Strikes. Fittingly Billy receives a bottle of Isle

of Jura Superstition malt whisky as his prize. His winning entry will also appear on

the Isle of Jura distillery website.

words 2008 was a new interactive writing exhibition held at the Mitchell Library

between 9 and 11 September. Organised by Lucy Adams, Susan Kemp and Fiona

Rintoul of the Edwin Morgan Centre for Creative Writing at Glasgow University and

the public artist Nicola Atkinson, it sought both to promote new literary talent in

Scotland and to engage a wide range of people with contemporary writing.

“We were very impressed with the standard of work submitted for the competition

and really pleased that four out of six of the short-listed entries came from members

of the wider community who had participated in the workshops,” said Fiona Rintoul.

“We wanted to involve as wide a cross-section of the public as possible with the

creative process. Writers were on hand to share the skills they’d learned on the MLitt

course through a series of prose and poetry workshops, readings and writer-inresidence

slots. It took the normally solitary process of writing out into the public

domain,” she added.

The other short-listed writers are: Mary Paulson-Ellis, Christine Byrne, Felicity

Parsons, Ingrid Lees and Amanda Ferguson who will have their work posted on the

words 2008 website.

The exhibition featured a half-hour film about new writers directed and produced by

former BBC producer Susan Kemp. There was a reading room with an extensive

collection of as yet unpublished work by new writers on the Glasgow University MLitt,

a writing room where members of the public could pen a poem or piece of prose and

either pin it up on the noticeboard or enter it in the

Contact: Lucy Adams
Phone: 07909 926043