Winners – Create a Legend Competition

Legends have a habit of travelling around – through time, from language to language, between cultures – attaching themselves to different places, and cunningly adapting to their new homes.

Last September, readers of Blethers magazine were invited by storyteller Bob Pegg to take part in a competition to create a ‘Ceilidh Story’ of their own. Congratulations to the winners, Ersilia Torello and Mary Easson! You can read the winning entrants below.

Bob’s version of A Ceilidh Story is included in his collection Argyll Folk Tales, published by The History Press in November 2015. While Bob’s particular re-telling is from Mull, there are versions from other places in Scotland, including Montrose and Blair Atholl. The story was chosen for the competition because the tale could be set almost anywhere, since its basic elements are pretty much universal.

“When I set the ‘Create a Legend’ competition, which was announced in Blethers magazine last year, I invited entrants to make a new legend – which would be set in the area where they lived – based on the old tale which is sometimes called “The Man Who Had No Story to Tell”.

I much enjoyed the work of the two entrants, Mary Easson and Ersilia Torello. As their stories are so dissimilar, I decided to award them each joint first prize. So, together with hearty congratulations, both will be receiving a copy of my collection Highland Folk Tales: Ersilia for her charming fairytale, set in contemporary Edinburgh, and Mary, for her thrilling gothic adventure set among the wild West Lothian hills.”

– Bob Pegg

“A Touch of Magic” by Ersilia Torello

 Ersilia Torello – “born to be a teacher” – started her career in nursery and primary schools, then moved to secondary schools, and finally to university as an Italian Language Assistant. Her main professional interests are in music/songs in a foreign language learning approach. Her favourite hobbies are reading and travelling, as she is an avid reader and a restless globetrotter. She started writing short stories and poems in her teens…and has never stopped.

“The Legend Of Witches Craig” by Mary Easson

Mary was a school teacher for a number of years and now spends much of her time writing. She loves walking in the varied landscapes of Scotland and discovering the stories of the people who live there – past and present. Her first novel, Black Rigg, has been published by Ringwood Publishing. It is set in the year 1910 and tells the story of Scotland’s coal mining communities.