The Seven Wonders of Scotland

The Seven Wonders of Scotland
Gerry Hassan
16.02.12
 
The Seven Wonders of Scotland is a creative project to imagine seven wonders of world-class significance in our country. Since none of the ‘wonders’ will exist, the essence of the project is fictional but it is important that they could potentially exist.

The core idea is that these are physical creations, ones which illuminate what Scotland could be. It is about re-imagining Scotland, about exploring its possible future and creating different landscapes, mindsets and worlds for the reader and public to enter and be stimulated by. Such a rich terrain of different Scotlands aims to encourage people to think imaginatively and in new ways about their country and its future at this important juncture in its history.

Examples might include the idea in the 1990s that Fort William would be turned over to the Hong Kong Chinese to build a new Hong Kong in the Highlands. Or another, still active idea, is sculptor Sandy Stoddart’s huge Ossian project. The first illustrates an outward-looking economically dynamic Scotland, the second a project on a world-scale about a Scottish achievement (the Ossian tales) which changed the world.

By looking therefore at physical creations we are exploring mental states, looking to tap into deeper realities, psyches and motivations about Scotland and its future.

What we are doing therefore is creating a competition. The judges will be Gerry Hassan, Hugh Andrew, David Torrance and Alison Rae of Polygon. Contributors should submit one paragraph on his or her chosen ‘wonder’ and one paragraph on the writing treatment. There is a strong creative-writing element here, so there is no point in describing a wonder in dry technical detail or in the way of a political policy pamphlet. We will be asking for contributors from all walks of life and from across Scotland and further afield.

The final pieces should be 5–7,000 words long and the winners will receive £750 each.

Ideas should be submitted by 17 March 2012. The winners should submit their contributions by 14 July 2012. The book will be published in October 2012.
Please send your first submissions to: alison@birlinn.co.uk