Three young writers chosen to star alongside acclaimed author Val Mcdermid in Message from the Skies
Primary school winner:
Lucy Hutcheon, age 11: ‘I’m so happy! I can’t believe my story was chosen. It feels great to know that people enjoy what I write.’
Davidsons Mains Primary School
Maisie Dalton, age 12: ‘I’m in shock, I never expected to win. I can’t stop shaking with excitement!’
Balerno High School
Jemma Glover, age 16: ‘I am delighted, it means a lot that other people will be able to read my writing. I hope I have made my city, my home proud.’
Balerno High School
Message from the Skies opens on 1 January at dusk and runs until 25 January each night creating a literary walking tour across Edinburgh’s city centre following chapter by chapter a brand new story commissioned by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh International Book Festival, written by Val McDermid called New Year’s Resurrection.
Three local young writers have won the opportunity to have their work projected onto three of the buildings for an hour (from 4pm) before New Year’s Resurrection from 2 January.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s young writing competition was judged by Ali Bowden, Director, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and Janet Smyth, Children & Education Programme Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival and Boogie and Arlene from Forth 1’s Breakfast Show.
New Year’s Day marks the beginning of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
Message from the Skies will reveal a brand new short story by bestselling writer Val McDermid, New Year’s Resurrection, commissioned by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and bringing together leading artists from a variety of art forms in a unique collaboration: director and dramaturg Philip Howard of emergent theatre company Pearlfisher, Edinburgh based projection company Double Take Projections and three of Scotland’s finest composers and sound designers; Michael John McCarthy, Pippa Murphy and RJ McConnell.
Three talented young local writers have won the opportunity to see their works projected nightly on buildings across Edinburgh’s city centre in a competition which saw over 200 entries sifted through by the expert judging panel of Ali Bowden, Director, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, Janet Smyth, Children & Education Programme Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival, and Boogie and Arlene from Forth 1’s Breakfast Show.
Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam directors of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said, “We’re delighted that over 200 young people submitted stories as part of this competition. Message from the Skies will celebrate Edinburgh’s literary past and present across some of its most iconic buildings, and as well as celebrating the talent of local young writers as we begin Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. The quality of the stories was fantastic and visitors to Message from the Skies in January are going to be very impressed with Lucy, Maisie and Jemma’s stories.”
Janet Smyth, Children and Education Programme Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said, "It was such a pleasure to be involved in the judging of Message from the Skies. The quality and range of writing was impressive and demonstrates that this city has not only a great literary past but also a great future. The 3 young winners show a sophisticated breadth of imagination and skill and I look forward to seeing their words projected for all to see."
Ali Bowden, Director, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, said, ‘It’s superb that Edinburgh’s talented young writers will have their work read by thousands of people as part of Message from the Skies. What a wonderful way to start a writing career, congratulations Maisie, Lucy and Jemma.’
Boogie from Boogie In The Morning, said, “Forth 1 is proud to be a partner of Edinburgh’s renowned Hogmanay and it also means that Arlene and I get to be involved in these brilliant events. The standard was incredibly high so it was a tough job to select the winners.
“A huge congratulations to all those that entered and especially to our deserving winners Lucy, Maisie and Jemma.”
Lucy Hutcheon, aged 11 from Davidson Mains Primary School won the Primary School category with a story called The Blind Watchmaker.
Where am I? The horrifying thought echoed through my mind with the sound of my footsteps running on the cobbled streets. My name is Penny Cogsworth, born and raised in Edinburgh and I’m here to tell you a story about time.
Maisie Dalon, aged 12 from Balerno High School won the S1 – S3 category with a poem called Edinburgh which starts -
Edinburgh, Edinburgh is exploding with fun
There is sometimes snow, rain, but rarely sun
Edinburgh, Edinburgh awesome street performers and shows
Greyfriars Bobby and his shiny gold nose
Jemma Glover, aged 16 also from Balerno High School won the S4-S6 category with a short story called Creatures of the Capital.
It doesn’t hit me that I live in the capital of my country until I actually stand there.
Launching at dusk on New Year’s Day 2018, Message from the Skies runs until Burns Night on 25 January. Inspired by a line from Robert Burns’ poem Sketch New Year’s Day. To Mrs Dunlop (1790), Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival have commissioned Val McDermid to write a short story, New Year’s Resurrection, which will be told in a series of chapters through projections onto buildings and landmarks around Edinburgh.
Val McDermid will collaborate with director and dramaturg Philip Howard of emergent theatre company Pearlfisher, Edinburgh based architectural projection mapping specialists Double Take Projections, and three of Scotland’s finest composers and sound designers; Michael John McCarthy, Pippa Murphy and RJ McConnell to bring the story to life.
The project creates a magical new walking tour to lead residents and visitors through Edinburgh’s iconic streets, which have inspired some of the world’s finest authors over the centuries - from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson to J K Rowling and Muriel Spark.
The project will be accompanied by an app filled with additional content about the story and buildings, and will translate Val’s story into seven languages – French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish and Spanish, making the project equally accessible to visitors to Edinburgh. The app will also read the text in English to visually impaired audiences.
Message from the Skies is commissioned and presented by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, produced by Underbelly and Pearlfisher, in partnership with Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and is developed with support from Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.