Scotland’s only geological

writing competition

is now open


by Lara Reid


10th October 2019


It's that time of year again - the anniversary of Hugh Miller's birth on October 10th -and (amazingly) two years since we last launched our writing competition. We, the Scottish Geodiversity Forum and The Friends of Hugh Miller charity, are very proud that, as the headline says, we hold this, Scotland's only geology-based writing competition.


So,  the Hugh Miller Writing Competition for 2019-2020, our third, is now  open for prose and poetry entries. This year, we are inviting  entries inspired by one or more of the 51 Best Places to See Scotland’s Geology. Full details about the 51 Best Places can be found here: www.scotttishgeology.com/best-places.


The list guides visitors to the locations chosen by the Forum's earth science affiliates as the most favourable to see different elements of our country’s geological story, to help people of all ages fully appreciate the formation of our country’s beautiful landscapes.


The competition will encourage both a renewed interest in Miller’s work, and contribute to a growing catalogue of new writings inspired by him. While Miller, one of Scotland's greatest science writers, himself visited many of the 51 locations on the list, entries are most certainly not limited to his haunts alone. We aim also to highlight the role that geology plays in our daily lives and foster greater public awareness and appreciation of this.  


Angus Miller, chair of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum, says ”Scotland’s geology is amazing. Hugh Miller knew this, and he was adept at sharing its wonders with the general public. We hope that Miller’s writing, and the 51 Best Places, will inspire modern writers to enter the competition and share stories of Scotland’s geology with new audiences.”


Writer Robert Macfarlane (Underland, The Lost Words) has given his support to the competition, and adds; "Hugh Miller is one of the writers who gave me ‘deep-time spectacles’; his remarkable prose helped me, as it has helped so many people, to see back into earth history, and read our planet's ancient past from its present surface. He was, really, a visionary, and it is wonderful to see him still celebrated today."


The competition is open to all ages and is free to enter. It is being organised with the help of a range of partners in the fields of geology and education, with a closing date of 15th March 2020. it would be brilliant if you could encourage any under-18s that you know to enter. Scotland's geoheritage is part of their future. Winners will be announced in Edinburgh in June 2020.




15 October 2019



A NOBLE act by Cromarty's local Highland Councillor, Craig Fraser, has been the clearing, at some personal risk, of all the unsightly undergrowth surrounding the base of Hugh Miller's Monument. It has thus been restored as the town's most outstanding landmark, for residents and visitors alike.

Cllr Fraser's action has been praised by the local Community Council, and as you might expect, by The Friends of Hugh Miller. Highland Council has pledged to carry out works which will guarantee the monument's ongoing maintenance.

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