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Rhoda Bulter Award 2019

The 2019 Rhoda Bulter Award competition: a Christmas card design with a dialect verse.

Closing date: 31 August 2019.

This year's Rhoda Bulter Award competition should appeal to creative folk who enjoy both craft and poetry: the task is to design a Christmas card with a dialect verse.

The serpentine and silver trophy, made by Rosalyn Thompson, is presented every year by the family of the late Rhoda Bulter, one of Shetland’s most significant dialect writers in both poetry and prose.  She also illustrated her own books and the competition recognises the breadth of her creative talent, and the pleasure she took in both pen and paintbrush.

Speaking on behalf of the family, who judge the competition, John Bulter explains, ‘We’re keen that entrants have an opportunity to demonstrate their visual art skills alongside their creative writing skills. The dialect writing will be between 40 and 80 words, in the context of a Christmas card verse, and provides tremendous scope for imaginative dialect writing. The only constraint on the visual appearance of the card is that its size should be A4 folded. The brief sets a broad framework within which entrants can create something visually stunning, with thought-provoking dialect writing.'

The competition is organised by Shetland ForWirds.  SFW co-convener, Mary Blance, says, ‘Wir main role is ta gadder in aa da entries, dan “anonymise” dem so da judges dunna keen wha’s submitted whit. I do enjoy bein involved becis every year brings something new an different.’

John Bulter highlights another important aspect of the competition: ‘It’s essential that each entrant explains what inspired their work, using between 100 and 200 words. We invite them to share their creative journey, so we can fully appreciate their work.

For further information, details about competition rules, and entry forms, contact Mary Blance at or ring  Lerwick 01595 694104.

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