Saiva Saint at National Museum, New Delhi, India (c)

Results announced for Inspired By My Museum competition

Geraldine Kendall, 10.06.2014
Writing competition launched at MA conference last year
British Council India and Sampad, the development agency for South Asian arts, have announced the list of entries selected for publication from their Inspired By My Museum writing competition.

The international competition was launched at last year’s Museums Association conference in Liverpool and called on budding writers to share personal reactions, connections or experiences inspired by a visit to a museum.

It attracted over 500 poems and short stories from museum-lovers as far afield as Russia, Nigeria and Singapore. More than 130 of those entries have now been chosen for publication in a 200-page English-language book, which is out this month and available through Sampad.

Three overall winners plus outstanding and highly-commended entries are due to be announced later this year.

Several entries from the UK were selected for the book, including The Teacher Smiled by Anna Berg, a piece set in Imperial War Museum North and The Day I met Evil by Oran Crawford, set in Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Laurence Tilley used the Natural History Museum as inspiration for his work, Kissing under the Pterodactyl, An Odd Ode.

Samarjit Guha, head of programmes at British Council India, said: “Clearly, visiting the museum has been a stimulant for many a poem or prose penned in the book. For example, sitting in Kolkata, one entrant writes about a museum in Britain, walking through its doors, and how one sees the entire world within two ephemeral hours.

“Museums have the capability to search the soul and challenge human integrity. The book will be testimony to that.”

The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition takes place at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on 9-10 October. Early-bird booking rates are available until 31 July.