Calling Writers and Talking Heads

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Bearsden Festival is about connecting our community, but it's also part of a much bigger series of events, mostly happening in May, under the umbrella of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. If your passion is writing, here are some ways that you can get involved.

Writing Competition

There are just over two weeks to enter the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival Writing Competition, in partnership with Bipolar Scotland.

The theme this year is CONNECTED, and the closing date is 5pm on Friday 15th March 2019. You can download the guidelines and entry form here

I was at a SMHAF planning meeting this morning, and apparently the entries have started coming in but a rush towards closing date is always the norm. There's still plenty of time!

The awards ceremony will be on 22 May.

Talking Heads

Another opportunity for writers and visual journalists is to volunteer as a Talking Head during the festival in May and year round. The Talking Heads project is open to candidates with lived experience of mental health issues.

SMHAF welcomes written submissions, from arts reviews and interviews to in-depth features on the festival’s themes and personal experiences with mental health issues, along with audio and video submissions, photographs and other creative responses to festival events.

If you would like to find out more about opportunities to get involved, email

Write Frame of Mind

Would you like to explore your own story in writing?

We are so delighted that we will be joined at the Bearsden Festival by Glasgow-based author Lisa Ballantyne. She's going to lead a workshop on techniques to unleash thoughts and experiences on to the page, and show how shaping a piece of creative writing provides a positive approach to self expression, harnessing emotions and experience.

Lisa's first novel, The Guilty One, was an international best seller in 2012, and her new novel is coming out at the end of May.

You can also catch Lisa at the Aye Write festival on 23rd March.

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