The prize first started in 1970 and was held in memory of the late Olive Lamming (neé Callow), who was an active member of the then Isle of Man Literary Society. The competition was run for many years by the Board of Education, then by the former Department of Education, and most recently by the Literary Society.
It hasn't been held for the last few years, but following discussions with the Lamming family, they have kindly agreed that it can be relaunched under the Manx Litfest banner.
There are two categories for this year's competition - short story and poem - with entries to be received by midnight on Monday, 12th August 2019.
First prize for each category is £100, and there will be up to four highly commended prizes of £25 for each category. An overall winner, chosen from the winners of each category, will win £500 towards the cost of a writing course or workshop.
Litfest director John Quirk said: 'We were looking to hold an annual writing competition, to tie in with our annual festival, and after speaking to the Lamming family, and members of the former Literary Society, they were happy for us to continue the Olive Lamming name, which is one that most Isle of Man writers will recognise. We will be announcing the judges in due course, and the prizes will be presented during this year's Litfest, which runs September 24th to 29th. We are extremely grateful to Ramsey Crookall for kindly sponsoring the overall prize.'
Olive Lamming’s daughters, Bobbie Lamming and Alison McDonald, are both pleased that the Olive Lamming Writing Prize is being relaunched and that it is to retain her name.
Bobbie and Alison said: 'Olive cared deeply about the Island and also about those who had a love of writing; we remember vividly how she did all that she could to celebrate both. Although many may now have no memory of Olive, influences do persist, and the encouragement and opportunities existing for writers on the Island today owe much to this competition which has been well-known for almost five decades. We both wish to thank the Crookall family, with whom their cousin Olive lived from the age of 14, for their generosity.
Joanna Crookall, Director of Ramsey Crookall, said: 'I am delighted to continue our support for the Olive Lamming Creative Writing Competition which was established in 1970 through a generous donation given by Robert Morton in memory of my Great Aunt Olive. The competition is a great opportunity for all writers from the Island, for those more experienced, as well as for those less experienced who feel ready for a competitive environment at local level. I look forward to congratulating the winners in due course.'
For full rules and guidelines, visit their website.