Make a note in your diary – the February 20 closing date for the Tartan Treasures writing competition is only days away.

The Tartan Treasures Competition 2015 is part of the Tartan Day Scotland Festival - which celebrates all aspects of Scotland - and entrants have been asked to write a real or imaginary diary entry recalling a place, a time, an occasion or a person with a Scottish connection.

This annual competition is for non-published writers of all ages, with entries limited to 200-400 words for the under-16 category and 400-800 words for the over-16 category.

The organisers have revealed that, with the closing date fast approaching, the competition is proving as popular as ever, with entries submitted from across Scotland, as well as a high number of entries from England and a few from countries thousands of miles away, including India and Indonesia.

Judging will begin immediately after the February 20 closing date, when the three judges will be the Provost of Angus, Cllr Helen Oswald; local historian and chair of Arbroath 2020 Group, Norman Atkinson; and prizewinning author, Chris Longmuir.

“Writing competitions help an aspiring writer enhance their skills,” said Chris, who has written several best-selling books and was the winner of the Dundee International Book Prize 2009. “I know from personal experience that the competitive element encourages writers to produce their best writing.”

Chris revealed that when she takes her place on the judging panel, she’ll be looking for diary entries which are a pleasure to read, as well as being well written with good use of grammar and spelling.

“Writing is partly inspiration, partly craft and mostly editing and revision,” continued Chris. “My advice to writers planning to enter this competition is to consider your first attempt as a first draft which you need to edit and polish to make it as good as it can be. Never be satisfied with good enough or second best.”

The diary entries written by the six finalists in the Tartan Treasures competition will be published in the local Angus weekly newspapers, providing budding writers with the opportunity to see their words in print.

The winning entry from each category will be announced at a special prizegiving ceremony at Brechin Town House Museum during the Tartan Day Scotland Festival, which runs from 3-12 April, 2015. At this ceremony, the winner of the under-16 category will be presented with a Kindle Fire tablet, while the winner of over-16 category will receive a dinner, bed and breakfast voucher for Carnoustie Golf Hotel. In addition, the winning diary entries will appear on the Tartan Day Scotland website and Facebook page.

For more information, and to download an entry form, visit www.tartandayscotland.com/treasures or pick up a Tartan Treasures Competition leaflet at libraries, museums and ACCESS offices across Angus.