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Arts / Whalsay children’s writer wins dialect prize

THE AUTHOR of the popular Ooricks children’s book series has won this year’s Rhoda Bulter dialect prize.

Whalsay parent council chairwoman Ann-Marie Anderson.
Ann Marie Anderson.

Ann Marie Anderson, from Whalsay, won the award for a Christmas card and poem.

The competition is held annually to celebrate the late dialect author Rhoda Bulter.

The 2019 task was create a Christmas card with a dialect verse, accompanied by a short narrative explaining its inspiration.

Anderson, who is also known for her needle felting, said: “Rhoda is been such an inspiration ta me doon da years, an so it’s very special tae win, keenin it’s Rhoda’s faimly at’s pickit my wark.

“Da writin wis harder as the craft wark, especially when I hed tae explain whit my inspiration wis. Noo I feel at aa dat nights tinkin aboot it is been wirtwhile.”

The prize is decided by members of Bulter’s family. John Bulter said: “There was good use of dialect in the verses, beautifully presented cards – each very different – and detailed explanation of the varied inspiration which resulted in the cards.

“As in every year, we individually viewed all entries, which were anonymous to us until we had chosen the winner, and I am pleased that though we also had a hard task, we were unanimous in our choice. The creativity displayed by all is a credit to every entrant.”

Dialect promotion group Shetland ForWirds administers the competition each year and co-convener Mary Blance said: “I enjoy seein aa da entries comin in. Onnly wan can win, bit I hoop some o dem’ll maybe develop der entries ta be da cairds dey send dis year.”