Lost Words Writing Competition

GADGIES, hinnies, lads and lasses, are invited to put pen to paper for a geet canny writing competition.

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, at South Shields, is calling on adults and those aged from 12 to 19 to submit short stories which celebrate the North East dialect.

And there will be cash prizes for the winners of the adult category with vouchers for the best entry in the junior section.

Earlier this year The Word unveiled its Word Bank of Lost Dialects – a collection of 2400 words and phrases donated by the public, which would once have been part of everyday language in the shipyards, mines and in street games and social gatherings.

Competition entrants are encouraged to use the Word Bank (which is available online by clicking here) to construct a contemporary short story between 500 and 1000 words in length.

The competition opens on 28 October and closes on 28 February 2020 and the winning entries will be announced at a celebratory Wor Dialect Day event during The Word’s WRITE Festival in June 2020.

Tania Robinson, Head of Culture at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, said the competition is a continuation of the venue’s mission to “celebrate the words, sayings and expressions that are unique to us here in the North East.

“We were amazed and delighted with the response to our Word Bank of Lost Dialects project,” she said.

“It’s quite clear to us that our dialect is as relevant and important to us now as it has ever been and we hope as many people as possible will take part in the competition – and bring these unique, funny and much-loved words to a wider audience.”

The Word’s dialect short story competition, alongside celebratory events and new commissions scheduled for Wor Dialect Day, is being funded by and delivered in partnership with The Northumbrian Words Project, which aims to instil a sense of pride in the use of dialect by encouraging people to embrace its heritage.

Andy Bogle, of The Northumbrian Words Project, said: “Our dialect is as important to our heritage as Hadrian’s Wall or Durham Cathedral.

“We should not allow it to die and the only way that’s going to happen is for us to understand its ancient roots and to lose our fear of using it. We are therefore delighted to be able to encourage its use by supporting The Word in launching this dialect writing competition.” 

As well as funding support from The Northumbrian Words Project, the adults’ category of the competition will also be in partnership with Morpeth-based Northumbrian Language Society, which promotes, preserves, researches and publishes work about the North East dialect.

The young writers’ category, targeting 12-19 year olds, will be will be delivered in partnership with New Writing North, which runs young writers’ groups across the North East.

For more information and to enter the competition, click on the category below:

Adult Category

Youth Category

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