Message from the Skies : Short Story Competition

Are you 18 or under, and a budding writer?  

Would you like to see your words lighting up the dark January nights through epic projections across Scotland’s capital?  If the answer is yes, we want to hear from you!

From Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott, to Dame Muriel Spark and Kate Atkinson, many great writers have lived and written in Edinburgh.

Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter are world-famous characters who were all created in the city.

And in January, bestselling author Val McDermid’s latest story, New Year’s Resurrection, will be projected on to buildings around Edinburgh as part of Message from the Skies.  

We want you to send us your short stories, which can be about absolutely anything, but should be inspired by Edinburgh, and should be between 200 and 1,000 words.

Watch Val McDermid talk about why Edinburgh is such a great inspiration for stories, and hear Val’s top tips for writing one here: 

“A good story is like a three legged stool, it depends on character, it depends on setting and it depends on plot.   Keep those elements in balance and you won’t fall over”  Val McDermid

The competition is open to young people aged 18 and under who live, or attend school, or special school, in an EH, FK or KY postcode.  
There will be a winner from each of these age groups: 

  • Primary School aged
  • S1 – S3 
  • S4 – S6 or school leavers 18 and under

In January, each winning story will be projected onto buildings in Edinburgh for an hour a day, for around a week.

Download Primary School Resource Pack
Download Secondary School Resource Pack

Your story needs to reach us by 15 November 2017.

Upload your entries here

or send by post to:

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, 26 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2JR. 


Please read the Message from the Skies : Short Story Competition Terms & Conditions here


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.

Developed with support from Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.