This year, Message from the Skies will reveal a brand new short story by bestselling writer Val McDermid called New Year’s Resurrection. The work has been commissioned by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and brings together leading artists from a variety of art forms.
In October of this year, a competition opened under Message from the Skies looking for entries from under 18s, fitting in with New Year’s Day marking the beginning of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
As a result of this call, three talented young local writers have won the opportunity to see their works projected nightly on buildings across Edinburgh’s city centre in a competition which saw over 200 entries sifted through by the expert judging panel of Ali Bowden, Director, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, Janet Smyth, Children & Education Programme Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival, and Boogie and Arlene from Forth 1’s Breakfast Show.
The winners of the competition are:
Lucy Hutcheon, aged 11 from Davidson Mains Primary School won the Primary School category with a story called The Blind Watchmaker.
Where am I? The horrifying thought echoed through my mind with the sound of my footsteps running on the cobbled streets. My name is Penny Cogsworth, born and raised in Edinburgh and I’m here to tell you a story about time.
Maisie Dalon, aged 12 from Balerno High School won the S1 – S3 category with a poem called Edinburgh which starts –
Edinburgh, Edinburgh is exploding with fun
There is sometimes snow, rain, but rarely sun
Edinburgh, Edinburgh awesome street performers and shows
Greyfriars Bobby and his shiny gold nose
Jemma Glover, aged 16 also from Balerno High School won the S4-S6 category with a short story called Creatures of the Capital.
It doesn’t hit me that I live in the capital of my country until I actually stand there.
The three stories writter by the local young writers will have their work projected onto three of the Message from the Skies buildings for an hour (from 4pm) before Val McDermid’s New Year’s Resurrection from 2 January.
Ali Bowden, Director, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, said:
It’s superb that Edinburgh’s talented young writers will have their work read by thousands of people as part of Message from the Skies. What a wonderful way to start a writing career, congratulations Maisie, Lucy and Jemma.
Launching at dusk on New Year’s Day 2018, Message from the Skies runs until Burns Night on 25 January. Inspired by a line from Robert Burns’ poem Sketch New Year’s Day. To Mrs Dunlop (1790), Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival have commissioned Val McDermid to write a short story, New Year’s Resurrection, which will be told in a series of chapters through projections onto buildings and landmarks around Edinburgh.
The project creates a magical new walking tour to lead residents and visitors through Edinburgh’s iconic streets, which have inspired some of the world’s finest authors over the centuries – from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson to J K Rowling and Muriel Spark.
The project will be accompanied by an app filled with additional content about the story and buildings, and will translate Val’s story into seven languages – French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish and Spanish. The app will also read the text in English to visually impaired audiences.
Message from the Skies is commissioned and presented by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, produced by Underbelly and Pearlfisher, in partnership with Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and is developed with support from Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.