Mary Irvine’s Blog: Autumn Voices: Exploring creativity in later life & writing comp for over 60s.



In October 2016 I attended a Luminate event in which Larry Butler and Robin Lloyd-Jones, both over 70 (Robin’s actually over 80!) and still actively writing – not living on past glories), interviewed each other about their work and their projects concerning creativity in later life as well as writing for well-being. There were also short readings from people involved in these projects. Of particular stimulation for the audience were the interactive sessions when we explored ways of being creative as we age. (There are several websites giving information about Larry and Robin. Try putting their names into your search engine.)
   Recently Robin very kindly came along to the Leven Litts Writers to give us an update on his project, ‘Autumn Voices’. This book is based on interviews with at least twenty Scottish writers from 70 to 90+ all still actively writing. For a full explanation of the project, its aims and objectives, access

    During the course of his talk Robin gave us information about a new, slightly different competition. He felt many competitions had younger age limits so decided there should be one you can only enter if you’re over 60. You don’t have to me a member of anything!

How to enter the competition:

    Any form of prose, max 2,000 words, no min and not a previously published piece. Each entry must have a cover sheet with your name and a pseudonym, address and phone number, an email address, and the title and word count. The manuscript should have the pseudonym at the top of the first page and pages should be numbered. 

     The submission date is June 24th 2017. Entry fee is £5.  You can enter online to .

Payment via BACS,
Acc Name: Scottish Association of Writers
Ref: SolCom
Sort Code: 82-20-00
Acc No: 50401535
or by post to Autumn Voices, Janice Johnston, West Montgarswood Farm, Mauchline, Ayrshire KA5 6HJ. Cheques made payable to Scottish Association of Writers                                    


The following is an extract from Luminate’s own website.

‘Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation, runs a diverse programme of creative events and activities throughout the year, including an annual arts festival running from 1st to 31st October across Scotland.  The festival brings together older people and those from across the generations to celebrate our creativity as we age, share stories of ageing and explore what growing older means to all of us. Each year, there are activities all over Scotland – from art workshops and dance classes to music performances and authors’ events – and you will find Luminate in theatres, galleries, community halls, care homes and lunch clubs, as well as events online that take us to audiences everywhere.’

The Luminate festival this year will be held from 1st to 31st October 2017 across Scotland. Further information about how to get involved or put your event forward for inclusion in this year’s festival is available from

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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