Charles Burnett portrait unveiled


What a lovely portrait of Charles Burnett, who designed for Dorothy Dunnett the beautiful unicorn we now use as our device.


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The HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition 2017


HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition

Can you transport a reader into the past? Can you tell a story which will grip the reader while immersing them in another time? Do you want the voices and the stories of the past to find a new audience in the modern world?

If your answer to any of the above is yes, then you could win £500, publication and the chance to learn from top industry professionals as well as receiving your prize at a ceremony full of the stars of Historical Writing in London.

We are celebrating Historical Fiction and the works of Dorothy Dunnett, which will be reissued by Penguin this autumn, with a brand new competition for unpublished short stories of up to 3500 words. Choose your theme, your genre and your period and bring the past alive. The only condition is that your story is set at least 35 years in the past.

We are looking for great story-telling, fresh voices, new perspectives and real ambition in these stories, which is why we’ve set a generous word limit.

We’ve kept the entry fee as low as possible, because we want to hear from as many writers as we can. The past is full of rich inspiration for fiction writers so please, let us hear from you.  Bring us your stories and bring the past alive.

Please read the full terms and conditions here: The HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition Terms and Conditions 

Once you have paid your entry fee, you’ll be able to upload your story at Please remember, all entries will be judged anonymously, so don’t include your name anywhere on the story itself. The HWA system will make sure we know who to contact if you win!

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Whispering Gallery 134 is out now

Members of the Dorothy Dunnett Society around the world are now receiving their March 2017 copies of our quarterly journal, Whispering Gallery. It’s another exquisite issue and you can find out more about its fascinating contents here! To receive your copy, join the Dorothy Dunnett Society here.

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Oxford Dunnett Day 2017 – booking now open

In association with the Dorothy Dunnett SocietyDownload the booking form here.

Saturday 10th June 2017 will mark the 21st Dorothy Dunnett Oxford Day. Once again at Wolfson College there is a fascinating programme of events along with the chance to meet old friends and make new ones.

The chosen subjects are close to Dunnett readers’ hearts, and the speakers are:

Derek Gore, Honorary Fellow, University of Exeter, who will present a talk on “Earl Thorfinn the Mighty and the struggle for control of Northern Scotland”

Katie Birkwood, Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian at the Royal College of Physicians, who will present “John Dee and his Library”.

Our final speaker will be Carole Richardson, member of the Dorothy Dunnett Society, whose talk is entitled “ When is Christmas Day not Christmas Day?”

Download the booking form here.  Lunch, tea and coffee are included and there is an optional evening meal for those who would like to join us.

Wolfson College gardens

Wolfson College gardens

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Whispering Gallery 133 is out

Click the picture to find out more

A House of Niccolò timeline provides the background for Whispering Gallery’s review of the Dunnett Carnival of Venice in September: publication of the talks enjoyed by the Revellers; overviews of each of the day’s outings; singular aspects of Venice that made an impression on the participants; a moving tribute to the event; and as many gorgeous images taken by the Society’s talented photographers as can be squeezed in.

 Alongside these, we continue our two series examining Dorothy Dunnett’s lexicon and the role of birds in her work. We examine how the character of Agnes Herries develops from romantic fantasist, and consider the historical novels in which our author may have immersed herself as a young reader.


  • The Chairman’s Column
  • Trustees’ Notice Board
  • Members’ Page
  • Event Report
  • A Dunnett Lexicon
  • Have You Read?
  • Venice as a Character in The House of Niccolò
  • The Dunnett Carnival of Venice: Overviews, Aspects of Venice and Memories of Venice
  • Venetian Art in the Age of Niccolò
  • Real and Metaphorical Birds in the Dunnett Novels
  • Talking Point
  • Who-Dunnett?
  • That’s Relevant!
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