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Toulmin Prize with Sheena Blackhall

Friday 22nd September, 12-1pm BST
Main Hall King's Pavilion, King's College Campus University of Aberdeen  

In honour of Aberdeenshire writer David Toulmin (John Reid, 1913–1998), the Toulmin Prize writing competition is held annually by the Elphinstone Institute and sponsored by the Reid family. Join us for this appreciation of North-East writing with this year’s prize-winning story read aloud by North-East Makar, Sheena Blackhall.


John Reid was an Aberdeenshire farm labourer from Rathen, near Fraserburgh, who spent most of his life working long hours for very small rewards. In odd moments he jotted down short stories, character studies, and bothy tales. Eventually, as David Toulmin, he had a few articles printed in local newspapers. The first of his ten books was published when he was 59 years old. His work consists mostly of short stories and reminiscences, with his one novel, Blown Seed, painting a harsh picture of farm life.

Sheena Blackhall is the North-East Makar. She has published some 174 poetry pamphlets in Scots & English, 4 novellas, and 15 collections of short stories, both online & in book form, meaning she is probably Scotland’s most prolific poet. In 2018 Aberdeen University gave her the honorary degree of Master of the University.

This event is supported by

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