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Writing Competition to be reviewed in 2020 – more information to follow.

In previous years, we have opened up the competition, as follows:

To celebrate your experiences with this your Drover’s Tryst activities we would like to invite you to submit a piece of creative writing – prose or poem, no more than 500 words, on the theme of ‘HORIZON’.  We hope this will leaves lots of room for your imagination to roam. You can interpret the theme in any way you like, all we ask is that you include some element of your Drovers’ Tryst 2019 experience.

Entries must be submitted by email to the Drovers’ Tryst at  with “writing competition” in the subject line.

Entries can be included in the body of the mail, or attached using file types: .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, .txt

The competition judge will be novelist and short story writer, Moira McPartlin:Moira McPartlin was born in the Scottish Borders but was brought up in a Fife mining village. In 2005 she resigned her global role in Shell Oil to write full time.

Moira is a keen hillwalker and mountaineer. She completed her Munros in 2006 and will find any excuse to get out in the hills. She successfully manages to merge her writing with her love of the mountains. She has been the subeditor of The Scottish Mountaineer, a full colour quarterly magazine with a national distribution to members of Mountaineering Scotland and has contributed many articles to the publication. In November 2018 Moira represented Mountaineering Scotland at the Into The Mountain workshop held in Glasgow. An filmed interview with Moira talking about her walking experiences will form part of the Glasgow Women’s Library living archive for their Women in the Landscape project

Moira draws heavily on her walking experiences in both her fiction and non –fiction and uses familiar landscapes to create a genuine sense of place.

Her blog chronicles her travels in her campervan as well as other travel stories.

Moira’s debut novel The Incomers was short listed for The Saltire First Book Award. Her Sun Song Trilogy is a thrilling future fiction tale of survival, family and identity.

She currently lives in Stirling.

The winning submissions will be published on our website and Facebook page

A previous entry:


We can see it from a distance as we walk towards the gold mines.
Colle Coire Chuilc ancient Caledonian forest
Isolated beautiful, mystical,
Standing alone, defiant against the world.
Canopies spread proud absorbing the atmosphere
The mother tree whispers to her children as we trudge up her muddy paths.

Sphagnum moss, blaeberries and bog myrtle intermingle and lichen grows free.
Funghi grow in the shape of stags antlers and hooves.
Water is clear and the forest breathes.
Gareth goes “pshaw” and a flock of long tailed tits explode into the air.
The weasels and voles disappear into their root burrows.

Young trees struggle to grow, their tops nibbled by deer untouched by predators.
Wolves, lynx and bears roamed the forest in ancient times but no more.
Perhaps the ghosts of the lost Roman legion drift through the trees.
Robert the Bruce has retreated through these lands and the lochan holds the secret of his sword.

We climb the slopes and reach the top looking down over the secret gentle waterfall.
How many dreamers have sat here before or crofters taken refuge before their long journey to another land?
We pick our way carefully down through the mud with wet feet and
look back at the magical landscape lit by late afternoon sunshine.

The forest breathes a sigh of relief and settles back into its peaceful vigil.

Jane Mitchell

The following entries were also submitted in 2018  Permission has been given by the writers to post their work.

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