Moat Brae Launches Annual Young Writers Competition

The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust has launched an annual Young Writers Competition challenging the region’s budding authors to share their stories in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People.

The competition is open to anyone aged from five to twenty six who can write up to 500 words as a diary entry from a journey into the future.  This year’s theme is inspired by Moat Brae’s link to the childhood of legendary Peter Pan author JM Barrie who in 1870s, walked with his friends from Dumfries to Torthorwald Castle to hide messages to his future self.  Barrie returned many years later to read these messages which he famously claimed to have returned to their old hiding place.

Young writers are encouraged to write up to 500 words (or 250 for under 9’s) as a diary entry in a ‘Future Log’ which can include some illustration.  The entries must be submitted through the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust’s website by Thursday 5th April and the winners will be announced at a special event in Waterstone’s Dumfries on 9th May – the date of JM Barrie’s Birthday.

The winning stories will be published on the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust’s website and social media pages and will form the beginning of a collection of stories by the region’s young writers which will be housed at the new National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling which opens for special Preview Events at the end of 2018. Winners will also receive a gift donated by Waterstones Dumfries who are supporting the competition and included in the judging panel.

Sue Hughes, Centre Director, said: “We are really looking forward to reading all the entries in this year’s competition.  It is a great time to start what we hope will become an annual challenge inspiring young people across the region and giving them a platform to develop and showcase their imaginative ideas and writing skills.  This is Scotland’s Year of Young People and what better way to celebrate than listening to their visions for the future expressed in their own voice?  JM Barrie once wrote “I am not young enough to know everything” and we are very much looking forward to learning from the dreams and aspirations of the people who represent the future generations in our region”.

Anyone wishing to enter the competition can find the full details at