School pupils urged put pen to paper in dialect writing competition
That’s the challenge being set to school bairns across the county, as the Orkney Native Wildlife Project and the Orkney International Science Festival team up to launch a brand new writing competition.
Pupils are being asked to create a piece of writing with a focus on Orkney’s very special native wildlife. But there’s a twist — writers must use Orkney dialect within their piece.
Taking inspiration from Robert Macfarlane’s project, The Lost Words, the competition will celebrate some commonly used and ‘lost’ Orkney words.
You could write a poem about the striking red feet of the black guillemot, known in Orkney as a tystie; a story about the misunderstood brute of the sky the great skua, known in these parts as a bonxie. You could create a song celebrating the majestic and powerful king of the sea, the orca; or you could focus on the threats faced by our native wildlife.
Using the Orcadian dialect is a must with extra credit going to those who use lesser known, nearly lost words. If you would rather perform your piece than putting pen to paper that’s no problem at all, you can send in videos — the more creative the better!