The Isobel Lodge Award

  • Open Call
  • Scotland
  • 29/02/2024
  • Open Call
  • Scotland
  • 29/02/2024

Website Scottish Arts Trust

The Isobel Lodge Award 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.

£750 prize for the top short story by any unpublished writer over 16 years living or studying in Scotland

 Unpublished means that the writer has not received payment for any work of fiction or won publication in a book or magazine as a result of a competition.

Writers who have self-published or paid to have their work included in a publication may apply for the Isobel Lodge Award and so can writers of commercially published non-fiction.

To apply, enter the short story competition and tick the box confirming you live in Scotland and are unpublished as a fiction writer

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.

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