Glasgow’s Hospital Broadcasting Service (HBS) has been recording occasional short-stories and plays for many years, but last year, a conversation in one of the city’s coffee shops between Programme Director Peggy Mack and local writer Jerry Brannigan set in motion what became known as the ‘Weegie Wednesday Short Story Competition’.
Why ‘Weegie Wednesday'?
Simple really, the short-story writer’s group that we approached asking to work with us on the competition are a long-established writing group based in Glasgow that meet on Wednesdays in the Centre for Contemporary Arts. They therefore take their name from the day of the week they meet and from mostly comprising of Glaswegians (a word often shortened to ‘weegies’).
The competition was also run as a special event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Weegie Wednesday writers club with the winner to be announced at their 10th anniversary celebration event on January 18th.
Impartiality of Judging was clearly going to be crucial with a need to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Four judges were appointed, two are members of HBS both of whom worked in education and were very experienced at marking essays and stories. Another works as a medical librarian with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the final - and chief judge – was Scottish Television news presenter Angus Simpson.
The entries were reviewed by the judges and whittled down to a final 10. These were then further reduced with the eventual winner being chosen by the chief judge.
A live broadcast from the Centre for Contemporary Arts on 18th January revealed the winning story as The Swan by Brian Cook, a retired Police Chief Inspector.
Each finalist had their story recorded, with one being broadcast each week building up to the overall winner which aired on 20th April and was read by former BBC Radio 1 presenter John Cavanagh.
All the stories are available to listen again at http://www.hbs.org.uk/weegie.html