10 years of MTOT!!!
Come help us celebrate!
The Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity through creative writing. It offers a unique opportunity to showcase the many languages spoken and learned by young people in school and at home.
We can hardly believe this session it will be ten years since we first launched the competition as a pilot event within Glasgow local authority back in 2014!
Over that time we have celebrated a huge range of languages. We have been astounded by the creative brilliance of Scotland’s young poets. We have laughed with them, been moved by their stories, sung along with them, and marvelled at their courage in putting their creations out into the world.
So many people and organisations have supported us, including the former Scots Makar, Jackie Kaye and the current Scots Makar, Kathleen Jamie. We have enjoyed the patronage of writers, poets and language professionals from the UK and beyond, and we want to celebrate it all in this, our 10th year.
Initially the competition invited written submissions collated in a printed anthology of the winner and runner up poems, examples of which can be seen below. With the greater use of digital technologies, over the past few years the competition has evolved to focus on the spoken word. Hearing pupils share their voices and language skills has helped bring their poetry to life and we look forward again to offering a platform for children and young people to be creative with languages and allow their voices to be heard.
In this 10th anniversary year, we are delighted to work with our partners at Instituto Cervantes to offer a special prize category for entries in Spanish, one of the most widely taught languages in Scotland’s schools.
So in this 10th year, we hope to see even more entries so that we can celebrate the young voices of Scotland. Find YOUR voice, and join us!
Information about the competition
The competition is split into two categories:
Mother Tongue - children and young people who do not speak English as a first language can record and submit an original poem, song or rap in their mother tongue language. In Scotland, pupils will be able to submit entries in Scots and Gaelic in this category.
Other Tongue - children and young people learning another language in school, college or university (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Urdu, Gaelic and Cantonese) can record and submit an original poem, song or rap in that other tongue.
In both categories, entries can be sound files only, a performance video, or a drawing or illustration representing the entry with recorded voice over.
All entrants will complete a pro-forma in English to accompany the piece. An important part of this is that the entrants must outline their inspiration as this accounts for part of the judging criteria.
Find out more about the competition timeline and requirements below. PLEASE NOTE REGISTRATION CLOSED ON 5 OCTOBER 2023.
Winning, highly commended and other entries from the 2022-23 competition can be seen on our MTOT Awards 2022-23 webpage. Entries awarded in previous years are still available to view on our MTOT Awards 2021-22 and our MTOT Awards 2020-21 webpages.
Make sure you subscribe to the SCILT e-bulletin for updates about the competition.