The Isobel Lodge Award 

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To apply for the Isobel Lodge Award, enter the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition and tick the relevant boxes on the entry form.

​If you are an unpublished writer who was born in or is living in or studying in Scotland you may enter both competitions at the same time with the same story. There is no additional cost.

Apply for the Isobel Lodge award here
The Isobel Lodge Award for New Scottish Writing is offered in the memory of a stunningly imaginative writer and powerful story-teller who was a much loved member of the Scottish Arts Club. Read about Isobel below.

The Isobel Lodge Award offers a special annual prize of £500 for unpublished writers who enter the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition and were either born in Scotland, have their primary residence in Scotland or were studying in Scotland during the year of entry to the competition. "Unpublished" means that the writer has never had a book-length work of fiction or short fictional story purchased by a commercial publisher or magazine. Writers may still qualify for the Isobel Lodge New Scottish Writer Award if they have self-published a work of fiction. Authors of commercially published non-fiction may also submit stories for the Isobel Lodge Award.

The entry form for the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition asks all entrants if they qualify for and would like to be considered for the Isobel Lodge New Scottish Writing Award. Stories may be entered in both competitions simultaneously and in theory (and as happpened in 2017)  it is possible for one excellent story by an unpublished writer to win both the main Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition prize of £1000 and the Isobel Lodge Award of £500.

As with the main competition, stories entered for the Isobel Lodge Award may be on any topic and should be 1500 words or less. Writers may enter as many stories as they wish. The selection of the winning story will be by a panel of experienced readers  along with Trustees of the Isobel Lodge Memorial Fund.

Entry to the 2018 Isobel Lodge Award is open now and closes on 31 March 2018.

Isobel Lodge

Isobel Lodge (1947-2016) was born in Thurso on the far north-east coast of Scotland. She was schooled at Hamilton and Forres Academies and took a degree at Aberdeen University, where she studied History, English, Greek, and Moral Philosophy. At Southport she studied children’s theatre, and she would bring her talents as an actress and a writer/director to many drama clubs for children and to local Christmas pantomimes in Edinburgh.  Isobel wrote and directed with great charm, humour and invention, and often also starred. She was charismatic, larger than life, never happier than when performing, and wholly unafraid to sing, dance, and to appear as a bird, a plant, a man, the wicked Snow Queen, or the virtuous Betty Bee II.

She worked as a social worker in Edinburgh for 30 years, where she used her talents as a storyteller to help neglected and abused children understand the processes they were going through and to feel confident enough to share their stories with others.  In her free time she loved to go out, to the theatre, the cinema, the Book Festival, concerts, the opera, art exhibitions, lectures, the ballet. It would be difficult to find anyone as passionate about the arts as she was and as open to their multiple forms and experiences.  She was not so much a culture vulture as a culture swan; the arts were her element and she swam in them, drank them in, was inseparable from them. 

In childhood she had filled the draughty old manses where she lived with stories of her own invention. In retirement, she took up the pen again and began writing short stories and poetry; she became an active member of the Scottish Arts Club and joined its writers’ group. She was particularly gifted in atmospheric, descriptive scene-setting and in writing pithy dialogue. Tragically, just as she was gaining confidence in her abilities and writing more often, she suffered the kind of sudden and dramatic ending that cannot be rewritten. Her family and friends set up a memorial fund in her honour; this champions new Scottish writing with an annual short story award. It is a fitting tribute to a vibrant, creative woman who had several hundred friends and who, through the award that bears her name, continues to befriend, to encourage, and support new writing talent.

Support the Isobel Lodge Fund for New Scottish Writing

Contributions to the Isobel Lodge Fund for New Scottish Writing will help to expand the reach of the award throughout Scotland. Funds will be used to encourge more new Scottish writers to pick up a pen, hit the keys, pour out their imaginations and to build confidence to share their work.
Donate here