South Queensferry youngsters have the write stuff for the Capital

St Margaret's pupils Olivia Liddell, Josie Maxwell (right) with Kayus Bankole at Edinburgh City Chambers and the other winning pupils. Photo by Ian Georgeson.
St Margaret's pupils Olivia Liddell, Josie Maxwell (right) with Kayus Bankole at Edinburgh City Chambers and the other winning pupils. Photo by Ian Georgeson.

Two young writers from South Queensferry are among four pupils who will see their own words projected on buildings across Edinburgh alongside those of acclaimed authors.

The winning writers all penned a letter about Edinburgh and how they explore and encounter its coast and waterways.

Josie Maxwell (P5) and Olivia Liddell (P6) from St Margaret’s Primary School, South Queensferry, along with two other capital pupils, will see their work projected onto four buildings in Edinburgh between 4pm and 5pm just ahead of Message from the Skies 2020 Shorelines, which runs until 10pm each day until Burns Night on January 25.

Josie’s piece will be projected onto Edinburgh’s City Chambers and Olivia’s will be projected onto the Northern Lighthouse Board building on George Street.

The creative writing competition was open to all under 18-year olds in Edinburgh and was developed in partnership with Arts & Creative Learning, City of Edinburgh Council.

Message from the Skies 2020 Shorelines was launched on January 1 to mark the third edition of the cross artform collaboration, delivered by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay producer Underbelly on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with The Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Welcoming the beginning of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, the words of five celebrated writers: Charlotte Runcie, Irvine Welsh, Kathleen Jamie, Kayus Bankole and Robin Robertson – will illuminate and animate landmarks around the city, from Fountainbridge to Leith with a maritime theme this January. These are told through a series of dazzling projections created by artists, designers and filmmakers including; Bright Side Studios, Double Take Projections, Kate Charter, Norman Harman, Rianne White, and Thomas Moulson and feature original music by Alasdair Roberts, Kayus Bankole, Pippa Murphy, and Steve Mac.

Josie Maxwell (9) from St Margaret’s Primary School, said: “I feel so happy and grateful that I won. I wrote about plastic because I do think this is a thing we need to solve now. It will be an amazing opportunity to meet Kayus Bankole!”

Olivia Liddell (10) from St Margaret’s Primary School, said: “I chose to write about Port Edgar because I feel most connected to it. I live in South Queensferry so it’s in my hometown.

“The first time I heard about the Message from the Skies competition I thought I had no chance of winning, but I felt ecstatic when my teacher told me I had been picked!”

Amanda Rogers, Producer for Message from the Skies 2020 said: “While the theme of Scotland’s coasts and waters certainly proved to be an incredibly rich inspiration for our five acclaimed authors commissioned for this year’s Message from the Skies, we also received a wonderful selection of entries from Edinburgh-based pupils about their experience with waterways in and around their hometown. T

“There were many lovely and thoughtful responses to our School Competition call out, but what came out of all of the writings that were selected as winners was a heartfelt appreciation of Edinburgh as coastal city that possessed a wide array of waterways, from canals to beaches to reservoirs, as well a personal dedication that many of these pupils possess in taking care of one the city’s most valuable resources.