the 100 Word Challenge 2023 goes live

Following the success of the 2023 competition, which attracted entries from across the world, we are again running a competition to write an entire Tale in exactly 100 words.

Grand Prize of £50.00.

Closing date September 2nd 2023

Full details on the website.
A printable poster is at 

Wilson Memorial Dinner 2022

After the necessary absence, the annual Dinner hosted by the Wilson’s Tales project in Berwick has returned, and thrown open its doors to the public, inviting everyone to buy a ticket and attend. 

This year the event is at the Maltings, Berwick’s premier theatre venue, on October 3rd, close to the anniversary of Wilson’s death.  Andrew Ayre, the Project Director, and MC for the evening said “We are delighted to be back in the public view, our prize winning production of the “Freebooter of Coldstream”was a huge success in Duns, and our annual dinner has been gathering momentum since 2019, so we thought it time to invite any and all of our supporters and the public to come along and enjoy some of Wilson’s work together with a meal fit for a pauper.” 

The pauper reference is to the poem by Wilson entitles “Beans and Bacon: The Tale of Toby Toothpick,” a comic tale which is assumed to be commentary on Wilson’s time in London when he was extremely impoverished.  The poem will be performed in the course of the evening, together with a dramatisation of the Tale of Kate Kennedy.  New this year will be the announcement of the winner and shortlisted entries from the 100 words prize challenge, a competition now open to worldwide entrants to write a Tale in exactly 100 words.  

Full details of the dinner, tickets, competition, and a sample of 100 word tales can be found at  

Wilson’s Tales revival Volume 8 is here.

At last the wait is over.

Volume 8 has arrived.  Another 6 Tales, rewritten illustrated and researched, and again containing a mixed collection that is humorous, incredible, and informative.
Get your copy now from the Wilson’s Tales shop at
and there’s a special offer.  Because last year’s suffered from shops being closed, you can buy both for a special price here  and get 12 Tales plus the additional editorial.

An Event! At Last! Virtually Live on November 8th at 6.00pm

Wilson’s Tales is delighted to invite all of our Patrons, friends, and supporters to a virtual live event.

On Sunday 8th November – 6.00 p.m. in conjunction with the Berwick Literary Festival, and in celebration of the anniversary of the first edition of “Wilsons tales of the Borders”, Berwick’s own 19th century  international best seller, we will be hosting…  

’Intoxicating Tales of The Borders’

Pour a glass of something for the Toast, settle back in the comfortable chair, and direct your browser to:-

Proceedings will start at 6:00 p.m.

Introduction    Andrew Ayre

6-05 A Toast to Wilson  – have your glass charged and to hand!

6-06 “Beans & Bacon” edited recital of the poem on which our literary dinner is based.    Joe & Jacqui Lang.

 6-10 Wilson’s intoxicating tales – a whistle stop tour of tales involving booze.    A. Ayre

6-14 “The Heir of Elphinstone”    Stuart MacHardy

6-22 “The Pentland Smuggler”    Stuart MacHardy

6-30 Wilson’s Tales Revival Edition launch of Volume 7    A Ayre/J Lang/R Wilson.  The WTP Committee pick their favourite and give some comment on it

6-40 100 word tales    Richard Wilson

6-45 Q & A

6-55 Farewell;  The temperate mans song    Joe Lang.


Andrew Ayre is Project Director of The Wilson’s Tale Project

Stuart MacHardy, aka “Bloke in a Bunnet,” is a professional storyteller and author.  Contributor to the Edinburgh Storytelling Centre and others.

Joe Lang and Richard Wilson are Directors of The Project

The Wilson’s Tales Literary Dinner, (normally) held in October of each year, has a fun ‘competition’ inviting guests to contribute a 100 word Tale.  These are some of the best to date. 

Put the date in your Reminders and be sure to attend.  Hear (and see)  Wilsons Tales being performed live by your own fireside!  Imagine yourself back in 1836 listening to the family elder reading the latest Tale from the weekly broadsheet edition as the family gathered to listen.  

All you need to do on Sunday November 8th at 17:58 hours is browse to

Proceedings will start at 6:00 p.m.

The website shop at

Will remain open to sell Volume 7 at a launch special price for 48 hours after the event.
Volume 7 is also available from:-

Berwick Visitor Centre
Walker Gate
Berwick, TD15 1DJ

George C Grieve
1 Church Street
Berwick, TD15 1EG
01835 824 087

Mainstreet Trading,
St Boswells, TD6 0AT
01289 306051

October 20th 2018 – Talk by Mike Fraser

Mike Fraser – author of the newly published book on the life of JMW (See above) will be giving a talk on JMW’s life and work. as part of the Berwick Literary Festival. Mike discusses what Wilson’s writings tell us about Berwick in 1834 and Britain then and now.
October 20th – 4:00 pm  £5.00 – Holy Trinity Parish Centre

full details and tickets are here