We held our 10th annual Writing Awards on Sunday 22 October at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. This celebratory event, hosted in partnership with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, was a chance for our 11 shortlisted writers to read excerpts from their pieces which encompassed fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. The proceedings were expertly led by Edinburgh Makar Hannah Lavery, and our writers’ readings were bookended by evocative live music from Jill Lorean and storytelling from Daniel Serridge. 

The shortlisted pieces were selected from over 200 entries to this year’s writing competition. Writers from Scotland, the UK and internationally submitted pieces exploring mental health and this year’s festival theme of ‘revolution’ across three categories: Fiction, Poetry and Creative Non-Fiction. 

Digital illustration of a person sitting on a cloud with their head resting on their hand.
Illustration by Nisan Yetkin

The 2023 competition winners are: 

Creative Non-Fiction & Overall 
Victoria Reid 

Rachel Gorry 
Revolt the Revolve 

Suzanne Smith 
On Counselling 

Many congratulations to Victoria, Rachel and Suzanne and all our shortlisted writers: Luke ‘Luca’ Cockayne, Alyssa Marie, Ann Macleod, MJ Burns, Dylan Beckham, Rhys Pearce, Annmarie Campbell, and Amber Sinclair-Case. 

You can read the shortlisted work in a special ebook, illustrated by Nisan Yetkin and designed by Hamish Gibson. 

We are hugely grateful to everyone who entered the competition and would love to have been able to publish many more of the entries. The hundreds of entries we receive each year are always inspiring and provocative. They help us to consider what our theme means to people who approach it through the lens of their own lived experience – as well as their imagination.  

We would also like to say a big thank you to our jury members, Tom Bird, Alison Rankin, Bridey Rudd and Oliver Seligman, for dedicating their time to consider all the competition entries and for bringing enthusiasm, experience and thoughtful consideration to the selection process.  

Read the shortlisted entries to the 2023 Writing Awards.