Budding Borders bards sought to get to the heart of caring

A local opticians from Galashiels is encouraging would-be writers and poets to submit prose to a national Creative Writing Competition run by the charity, Carers UK.'Specsavers ongoing support of the writing competition campaign aims to increase awareness of its home-visiting service to individuals who are unable to make it to a store unaccompanied.
A local opticians from Galashiels is encouraging would-be writers and poets to submit prose to a national Creative Writing Competition run by the charity, Carers UK.'Specsavers ongoing support of the writing competition campaign aims to increase awareness of its home-visiting service to individuals who are unable to make it to a store unaccompanied.

A creative writing competition has launched for budding writers in the Borders aiming to get to the heart of what caring means to family, friends and carers in the community.

A local opticians from Galashiels is encouraging would-be writers and poets to submit prose to a national Creative Writing Competition run by the charity, Carers UK.

Specsavers is sponsoring the competition for the third year. The Carers UK campaign, supported by the Poetry Society and the Reading Agency, is looking for compelling stories and poems that explores the relationship between health, connectedness, and caring for a loved one.

Ted Akil, director of Specsavers home-visit service in Galashiels, says: ‘Through the power of poetry and story-telling, Carers UK can convey very special messages around the importance of connectedness for those experiencing isolation and living life with health issues.

‘This year’s theme of ‘Well and Connected’ really resonates with me and my Specsavers colleagues who make home visits every day to conduct sight and hearing tests for those who are home-bound and unable to visit one of our stores.’

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said, ‘Last year, we were overwhelmed by the quality of entries, with many of the most moving works being submitted by entrants with more caring than writing experience.’

Guided by this year’s theme, ‘Well and Connected’, writers are invited to enter poems or short letters by July 31. First, second and third place winners stand to win £100 in high street gift vouchers and £125 to spend at Specsavers.

Individuals can submit two poems (up to 40 lines) and one short story of up to 1,000 words. Entries will be judged by the award-winning poet, Cheryl Moskowitz.

The winning and commended poems and stories will be announced in September 2018. Those making the shortlist will also see their work included in the charity’s anthology that launches in November. This special collection comprises stories, poems and photography selected by Carers UK staff, volunteers, trustees and Specsavers.

The anthology will be launched at a Creative Writing Celebration event in central London, with proceeds going to Carers UK.

Visit www.carersuk.org/creative for more information.