Stornoway Resident Wins National Writing Competition

Alayne Barton's winning book
Alayne Barton's winning book

A Stornoway Resident who penned a story about her most treasured possession for a national writing competition has had her submission chosen to be published in a book.

Alayne Barton beat off competition from over 300 other entries to win a place in a special book entitled ‘Treasures’, and her special memory of her granny ‘Granny Special’ will feature alongside entries from 40 other winners and celebrity contributors such as John and Carole E. Barrowman, Denise Mina and Mairi Hedderwick.

Commenting on her win, Alayne said: “When I opened the email I thought, ‘Oh dear, I’d better tell them they’ve sent this to the wrong person’.

“I’m still thinking it now ... I really hope you haven’t though because I’m so thrilled and excited about it I can hardly speak!”

The competition was held by Scottish Book Trust, the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland, and encouraged members of the public to write, read and share stories about an object that is special to them.

Contributions arrived in a variety of forms including poems, diary entries and stories, and these previously untold accounts of unexpected objects included pieces about a steamship, a VHS tape, a rucksack and a chip of concrete.

To celebrate the second year of Book Week Scotland (25th November to 1st December) more than 150,000 free copies of ‘Treasures’ will be gifted to people throughout the country.

The books will be distributed in local bookshops, public libraries, National Trust and Historic Scotland properties, workplaces, ferry terminals and train stations.

And all the competition entries are also available to read at

‘Treasures’ also features original commissioned contributions from some of the best-loved names in Scottish arts and literature, among them exclusive stories from Richard Holloway and Mairi Hedderwick.

A special contribution in Gaelic comes from Catriona Lexy Chaimbeul.

Philippa Cochrane, Head of Reader Development at Scottish Book Trust said: “The winning stories from the Treasures campaign give a fascinating and heart-warming insight into the valued objects that have shaped people’s lives in Scotland, and we are delighted to be able to publish them so that they may be enjoyed by others and, most importantly, may never be forgotten.”