Whit's oor way o' spikin?

WHATEVER YOUR way of speaking, if you're a secondary pupil living in Aberdeen you can enter a writing competition being run by the Word Festival in association with The TESS and publisher Wordfirsts.

The organisers of Word, the University of Aberdeen's writing festival, are inviting pupils to enter an essay-writing competition with a difference.

Stories must be based around the theme of "Oor way o' spikin" (our way of speaking), which recognises the wide range of dialects and languages spoken in the north-east.

"Aberdeen today is buzzing with different dialects and languages and it's important that we try to reflect that through the competition," says Louise Baxter, cultural co-ordinator for the city council.

Pupils are invited to write essays of up to 1,000 words (S1-S3) and 1,200 words (S4-S6) in their own dialect, whether it's Doric, "shtree" (urban street talk) or even "text speak". Other languages such as Polish are also welcome, but must be accompanied by an English translation.

Winning stories will be selected by a panel of judges including children's author Frank Rodgers, and published by Wordfirsts, a Scottish publisher dedicated to young authors. Extracts will also be published in The TESS.

Winning entrants and their families will attend a special ceremony at this year's Word Festival on May 11-13.

Stories should be sent to Louise Baxter, cultural co-ordinator, Arts Education Team, Aberdeen City Council, Summerhill Centre, Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen AB15 6JA by April 26. T 01224 346361E lbaxter@aberdeencity.gov.uk

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