We're delighted to announce the winners of our Short Story Competition, who each receive £100 worth of Arts Centre gift vouchers. Congratulations to both winners, who were up against some strong opposition. Thanks again to all who entered the competition and a massive thanks to our judges.
16+ Class Winner: Lizzie Wright with 'A Life Full of Many Acts of Kindness'
Lizzie lives in Shaftesbury with her husband, daughter and dog. She works as an equine veterinary surgeon in the local area and writing is a hobby. This is her first attempt at entering a writing competition.
She says 'I was inspired to write this story after attending a piano and mindfulness workshop with my mother earlier this year. One of the teachers was a violinist who had a loaned violin and she talked about her male benefactor and their relationship. I thought it would be interesting to tell a story about the kindness of a benefactor from both points of view but as a feminist, I also wanted to challenge the notion that the benefactor has to be male as they so often are. I recognise in myself how much I can often have internalised a certain way of thinking and it was fun to explore that within this story.
I am blown away by the result. Thank you so much to the Shaftesbury Arts Centre for organising this competition and bringing some light and focus to this strange time. Thank you also to the judges for taking the time to read and comment on my story. I hope that you enjoy reading it.'
Here’s what our judges had to say about Lizzie’s story:
Fiona Dart said ‘A life full of many acts of kindness was nicely paced and well planned. The writer has created engaging, believable characters with both a past and a future who I cared about from the start. It is elegantly written, meets the theme with subtlety and left me wanting more.’
Tiggy Walker said ‘There were many strengths to it. Three well rounded characters - two with a real arc, an engaging story and above all, a story with a lesson - don’t jump to obvious conclusions with people. The story left me with a glow in my heart - especially for the benefactor Greta, who I really liked. I think to achieve this in such a short story was a real achievement.’
11 - 15 Class Winner: Hester Readman with 'Yew Cottage'
12 year old Hester lives in Iwerne Minster with her Mum, Dad and younger brother. She says 'I have always loved reading and writing and was inspired to start writing after meeting Jaqueline Wilson in a cafe and have since been encouraged by my teachers. This is the first writing competition I have won and I hope you enjoy my story about a random act of kindness.'
Here’s what judge Rosemary King had to say about Hester’s story:
Yew Cottage is a story of our time....recognising the elderly as people, and reaching out to befriend them. It’s written in the first person and shows the fear verging on ridicule that her friends felt towards to the old lady as they passed her house every day. The adult involvement was slight but realistic.... and there’s some good descriptive writing. At the end of the story the writer is an adult looking back on the event and involving her own children ...a nice touch.’