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A Gaelic poetry competition for Secondary Schools is being run by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig in partnership with Urras Shomhairle, The Sorley MacLean Trust, it was announced at the National Mod in Dunonn today (Wednesday October 17th).

It is also backed by Comhairle nan Leabhraichean and Comunn Sgiathanach.

The competition is to inspire a new generation of Gaelic poets and is open to all secondary school pupils. Stòrlann intends to use the winning entries in new classroom resources, as a further source of inspiration to young writers.

The Farpais Bàrdachd Gàidhlig competition is in memory of the famous Gaelic poet and is for poems of any length on any subject relating to a school course or the writer’s choice.

Entries will be split into three age groups – first and second year, third and fourth, fifth and sixth.

A panel will judge the entries which have to be in by February 8, 2019.

Prizes are £100, £80 and £40 for each of the three categories, with prizes being a mix of Amazon vouchers and Gaelic book vouchers.

Hugh Dan MacLennan, Chairman of Urras Shomhairle, said: “The Trust is delighted to be re-launching the poetry competition in partnership with Stòrlann, and grateful to the Gaelic Books Council and the Glasgow Skye Association for their support.

“This is an extremely important initiative for the Trust and we would hope to be in a position to publish the work produced in due course.

“There could be no more appropriate field for us to be working in memory of the bard’s work and life than encouraging poetry within schools. We wish all the schools and pupils taking part every success in their endeavours.”

Donald W Morrison said the competition aims to encourage children to write.  “In the midst of busy lives, writing requires encouragement. Stòrlann is happy to give a wee push for young people to get into the writing mode because, when they do write, we are aware that they come up with splendid work.

“We’ll use the prize-winners pieces as examples for their peers online.”

Stòrlann uses many pieces of literature from authors, poets and other writers in its Gaelic resources for the classroom – but young writers are always welcome.

“Young people appreciate writing from their own peers,” said Donald W Morrison.

“It opens out a lot of possibilities, certainly in my mind, and does a lot to inspire people to try it out for themselves.”