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The Hugh Miller Writing Competition 2015-16

The Hugh Miller Writing Competition 2015-16

Testimonies of the Rocks: the Hugh Miller Writing Competition is inspired by the geological and landscape writing of Hugh Miller, 1802-1856, and organised by the Scottish Geodiversity Forum, The Friends of Hugh Miller and other partners.

Entries are invited that are inspired by the geological and landscape writings of Hugh Miller, Scotland’s celebrated self-taught geologist. As a poet and prolific writer, the wealth of potential inspiration that Miller provides in his work is worthy of widespread public engagement. We hope that this writing competition, open to all ages, will encourage both a renewed interest in Miller’s work, a catalogue of new writings inspired by one of Scotland’s greatest nature writers and greater awareness and appreciation of Scotland’s geodiversity.


Any topic of choice particularly inspired by the geological and landscape writings of Hugh Miller


Scottish Geodiversity Forum


Winners will be notified by 15 April, and invited to an Awards ceremony at The Friends of Hugh Miller AGM in Cromarty on Saturday 14th May 2016; the day will include a geological tour of Miller’s fossil sites and a visit to the Hugh Miller Museum and Birthplace Cottage. The overall winner will also be offered a subsidised place at a trans-disciplinary geopoetics conference in Argyll in June 2017. In addition, prizes will include a first edition of Testimony of the Rocks, a selection of other published works including the books Grounding a World and Coast to Coast, Dynamic Earth Family Explorer Passes and equipment to help explore Scotland’s rocks.


18 March 2016


  • There are two categories; young people aged under 16 (on the closing date) and adults aged 16 and over.
  • Competition entries can be in any written format, fiction, non-fiction or poetry and should be directly inspired by the geological and landscape writings of Hugh Miller. Direct quotes / references are not necessary, but may form the basis of your entry if you desire. We are looking for work celebrating Scotland’s geology and landscapes, not purely social history, although we recognise Miller also excelled in this field within his writing.
  • Entries must be the entrant’s own work and not have been previously published. They must be no more than 200 words in length for under 16s and no more than 1000 words for adults.
  • The competition closes at midnight on 18 March 2016. All entries must be submitted by email as outlined below.
  • Copyright of submitted entries will rest with the author. The Scottish Geodiversity Forum request a non-exclusive licence to publish a selection of entries, for example on
  • The competition is open to all and there is no charge to enter. The judges will be freelance science writer Lara Reid, naturalist Kenny Taylor, geopoet Norman Bissell and geologists Simon Cuthbert (University of the West of Scotland) and Ruth Robinson (University of St Andrews). If your anonymised work is likely to be recognisable by any of these judges, please declare this when you submit your entry so that we can assess any conflict of interest.
  • Winners will be notified by 15 April. The judges’ decision is final.
  • Submit your entry as an email attachment in word or pdf format to
  • Please include your name and contact details only in your covering email, not in the entry itself, which should be anonymous. Please also declare in your covering email if you think your identity as the author of your (anonymised) entry could be recognised by any of the named judges. These are precautionary steps to avoid any possible conflict of interest in the judging process. Thank you for your co-operation.
  • All entries will be acknowledged within 72 hours. We are happy to accept batches of entries from schools, please get in touch to arrange this.


Please direct your inquiry to


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