Edinburgh afternoon tea with Alexander McCall Smith and two nights’ stay at Balmoral Hotel to be won

Literary-themed competition launched by the city’s official destination brand, Forever Edinburgh
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To celebrate the release of Alexander McCall Smith’s new Edinburgh-based novel, a competition has been launched offering a money-can’t-buy literary-themed prize – including afternoon tea with the world-renowned author and a two-night stay at the iconic Balmoral Hotel.

The author recently released The Enigma of Garlic, the 16th and latest instalment of his globally bestselling 44 Scotland Street series, which follows the fictional story of life in a real street in his beloved hometown Edinburgh.

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As Scotland’s Year of Stories draws to a close, the literary-themed competition has been launched by the city’s official destination brand Forever Edinburgh as part of its The Story Never Ends campaign, which shines a light on Edinburgh’s culture, events and history – including its remarkable literary heritage.

Alexander McCall Smith pictured at the Signet Library in EdinburghAlexander McCall Smith pictured at the Signet Library in Edinburgh
Alexander McCall Smith pictured at the Signet Library in Edinburgh

The winner of the competition will enjoy a trip to Edinburgh, which became the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2004, with the icing on the cake being afternoon tea with McCall Smith in The Signet Library, one of Edinburgh’s finest Georgian buildings.

The prize package for the winner and a plus one includes return travel to Edinburgh, a city with links to an array of acclaimed authors past and present including Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, Dame Muriel Spark, Arthur Conan Doyle, JK Rowling, Ian Rankin and Irvine Welsh.

Also included in the prize package is two nights’ accommodation at the five-star Balmoral Hotel, where Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

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The winner will also enjoy meals at The Printing Press, which occupies the former George Street home of Scotland’s answer to Jane Austen, 19th century novelist Susan Ferrier, where frequent guests included Robert Burns; Badger & Co, located within the childhood home of Kenneth Grahame, author of children’s classic, The Wind in the Willows; and Superico Restaurant, with cocktails at Superico Bar and Lounge, which are just a short stroll from 17 Heriot Row, the childhood home of Treasure Island author Stevenson from 1857.

Additional prize elements are visits to the Writers’ Museum and the iconic Scott Monument – the largest monument to a writer in the world – and tickets for the award-winning Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour.

McCall Smith said: “Edinburgh is an altogether enchanting city and it’s no wonder that it has captivated and inspired many writers and poets.

“This is a marvellous competition to celebrate the city’s literary heritage and I very much look forward to meeting the winner over afternoon tea in the Signet Library.”

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City of Edinburgh Council Leader Cammy Day added: “This is a brilliant opportunity to win a fabulous trip to Scotland’s capital – the world’s very first UNESCO City of Literature.

“From the iconic Scott Monument greeting rail passengers at Waverley Station to the countless monuments to writers and thinkers, Edinburgh has such a rich literary heritage, with so much to discover and enjoy.

“Forever Edinburgh continues to deliver excellent value to Edinburgh’s visitor economy through its popular Story Never Ends campaign.

“I’m sure this latest element of their promotional activity will be greatly welcomed by businesses of all shapes and sizes.”

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To enter the competition, visit www.edinburgh.org/literaryprize - the deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Friday, December 16.

To find out more about Edinburgh’s literary tourism experiences, visit: https://edinburgh.org/discover/edinburgh-city-guides/literature/.

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