Message from the Skies: Writing Competition

Are you 18 or under, and a budding writer? Would you like to see your words lighting up the dark January nights? If the answer is yes, we want to hear from you!


From Robert Louis Stevenson and J M Barrie, to Dame Muriel Spark and Carol Ann Duffy, many great writers have lived and written in Scotland. 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 here.


In January, six love letters to our fellow European countries, penned by writers including novelist Louise Welsh, historian William Dalrymple and playwright Stef Smith, will be projected on to buildings around Edinburgh as part of Message from the Skies.  


We want you to send us your love letters, which can be about absolutely anything, but should be written to a European country of your choosing. Each should be between 250 and 500 words.


The competition is open to young people aged 18 and under who live, or attend school in EH, FK or KY postcodes. 


There will be three winners selected from three age groups: 

•       Primary School aged

•       S1 – S3 

•       S4 – S6 or school leavers 18 and under


Between 14 and 25 January, each winning letter will be projected onto buildings in Edinburgh for an hour a day at dusk.

Download Primary School resource pack
Download Secondary School resource pack

Your letter needs to reach us by 21 December 2018. You can either upload your letter online here or send it by post to: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, 26 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2JR. 

Message from the Skies is commissioned and presented by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Produced by Underbelly, in partnership with Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Developed with support from Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund.