Hugh Miller Writing Competition

The Hugh Miller Writing Competition 2019-2020 is launched today. The competition carries the name of one of Scotland’s most intriguing geologists, Hugh Miller (1802-1856). It honours his legacy by inspiring new prose and poetry on the theme of Scotland’s geoheritage.

This is the third time this highly successful geologically-inspired writing competition has been run by the Scottish Geodiversity Forum and The Friends of Hugh Miller charity.

This year, entries are invited that are inspired by one or more of the 51 Best Places to See Scotland’s Geology. The list guides visitors to the best places to see different elements of our country’s geological story, to help people of all ages fully appreciate the formation of our country’s beautiful landscapes. Full details about the 51 Best Places can be found on the Scottish Geodiversity Forum website.

“We hope that – as in previous years – this writing competition will encourage both a renewed interest in Miller’s work, and contribute to a growing catalogue of new writings inspired by one of Scotland’s greatest science writers. We also aim to highlight the role that geology plays in our daily lives and foster greater awareness and appreciation of Scotland’s geology,” says Lara Reid, competition organiser and volunteer with the Scottish Geodiversity Forum and Friends of Hugh Miller charity. “While Miller himself visited many of the 51 locations on the list, entries are most certainly not limited to his haunts alone.”

Angus Miller, chair of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum, says “Scotland’s geology is amazing. Hugh Miller knew this, and he was adept at sharing its wonders with the general public. We hope that Miller’s writing, and the 51 Best Places, will inspire modern writers to enter the competition and share stories of Scotland’s geology with new audiences.”

Writer Robert Macfarlane (Underland, The Lost Words) has given his support to the competition, and adds: “Hugh Miller is one of the writers who gave me ‘deep-time spectacles’; his remarkable prose helped me, as it has helped so many people, to see back into earth history, and read our planet’s ancient past from its present surface. He was, really, a visionary, and it is wonderful to see him still celebrated today.”

The competition is open to all ages and is free to enter. It is being organised with the help of a range of partners in the fields of geology and education, with a closing date of 15th March 2020. Winners will be announced in Edinburgh in June 2020.

More details about the competition and about Hugh Miller can be found on the Scottish Geodiversity Forum website.