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Written by on 16/10/2019

Wednesday marks the beginning of the adult competitions at the Royal National Mòd in Glasgow. Commonly known as ‘Literature Day’, competitions including drama, poetry and storytelling will take place throughout the day in five Glasgow venues , which is supported by the SQA.

Competitions in singing will also be held in venues across Glasgow, with the coveted Gold Medal and Silver Pendant medals being awarded. In both competitions, entrants are required to perform two songs – one prescribed and one of their own choosing.

Prizes for the drama final and the Gaelic Learner of the Year will also be presented. Sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society for Scotland (RHASS), the award acknowledges a Gaelic learner who’s made significant steps to becoming fluent.

This year’s prize is being awarded to Jenny Black and is presented by Alexander C Wilkie MBE of the RHASS. Originally from Brechin in Angus, Jenny is currently studying at Edinburgh University on their Provision of Gaelic medium education course and will be graduating next year, with hopes to go on to teach young children the Gaelic language and to demonstrate to others the importance of being part of the Gaelic world.

Literature day also sees official book launches coming from Maoilios Caimbeul and Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh, alongside a special appointment of the Bard. Sandy Macdonald-Jones, a long-time active participant of the Royal National Mòd and established poet will be crowned as the new Bàrd a’ Chomainn Ghàidhealaich (the Gaelic Association’s ‘crowned bard’). The appointment this year resumes on an annual basis for the first time since 2004, highlighting the strength and resurgence of Gaelic literature in recent years. 

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: After witnessing some of the fantastic performances throughout the children’s competitions, we’re excited to kick-start the adult contests today.  Special congratulations to Jenny Black, who epitomises everything the Gaelic Learner of the Year Award celebrates, and who I am sure will go on to do wonderful work inspiring the next generation of Gaels. 

The adult competitions begin with a bang today, with two of the most prestigious awards up for grabs. We’re expecting some incredible performances, and very much look forward to seeing who takes home the prestigious Gold Medal and Silver Pendant this year.”

Robert Quinn, Head of English, Languages, and Business at the Scottish Qualifications Authority, said: “The Royal National Mòd showcases the best of Gaelic language, literature, and the arts to a global audience, and once again we at SQA are delighted and privileged to be able to support An Latha Litreachais. I want to congratulate all the winners on their achievements.

“2019 is of course the International Year of Indigenous Languages, and the Royal National Mòd gives us the perfect platform to showcase and celebrate all aspects of Gaelic culture. And as Scotland’s national awarding and accreditation body, SQA is responsible for developing dynamic courses and qualifications that allow Gaelic speakers – both learners and fluent speakers – to further their skills, and knowledge. We are committed to the growth of Gaelic, and we are determined to promote the acquisition and learning of the language, and encourage the increased use of Gaelic where possible.”

Tickets for the competitions are available to purchase in person at the Royal Concert Hall box office, or online via

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