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Short-Story Competition 2020 Results

Young Writers’ Short-Story Competition 2020

Thank you to all the young writers who entered our competition this year. We received 159 entries and it’s taken a while to read them all. The standard, once again, was excellent and it was difficult to shortlist six for our final judge.

However, we can announce the winners (drum roll, please)…

The winner is ELEVEN MONTHS by Eliza Bruce-Jones

Second place is OUR TIME by Becca Day

Third place is THREE OF SWORDS by Holly Kybett-Smith

ELEVEN MONTHS by Eliza Bruce-Jones (winner – £250)

Eleven Months is part of a bigger project that I am working on; I am in the process of editing a draft of my book that I have been writing. It is my personal experience of the battle between Cancer and my Mum, who died in 2016 when I was 12. As I was so young, I want to publish this book to different help centres and areas for people who have been through what my family have been through and, hopefully, find some consolation from it.

I took several different areas of my Cancer experience and molded them into a present tense reality and past tense flash backs. In this process of writing and revisiting memories and times that I had shut off for a few years, my writing is both very honest, real, and emotional. I have tried to portray my own emotions from the time, as well as the endless days spent waiting for the day my life would change, within the story. Cancer is a topic that is often shied away from, as often it is one that struggles to be breached, whether it affects you directly or not. This is something that I want to change, so I want to share my experience with the disease so that others feel that they can do the same.

OUR TIME by Becca Day (second – £100)

“My inspiration for Our Time was my own personal loss and grief. I spent a lot of time wishing I could go back, regretting my last words. I knew if I could do anything in the world, I would create a time machine to try to change things and the idea kind of came from there.

I’m now in the middle of writing what I hope to be my debut novel, which is a Psychological Thriller. As you can probably tell, I love to explore the human mind and why we do the things we do in my writing.”

THREE OF SWORDS by Holly Kybett-Smith (third – £50)

“I wrote Three of Swords during the first semester of my creative writing degree, and it was the first time anyone described my work as “Gothic” – a descriptor which would quickly become an integral characteristic of my work. For this piece in particular, I wanted to play around with the eerie and the unsettling in an urban environment. The concept of tarot cards and fate also played a prominent role in the development of the theme. It actually gave my lecturer a nightmare in the following weeks, about tarot cards with the faces of his loved ones on them!

            My choice to make the protagonist a gay woman came from my own experience living in halls of residence, with a homophobic flatmate who said some very unkind things very loudly in the common area (most likely, she had no idea about me, and I never told her. I just wanted to do my washing up in peace). It was very cathartic to write.”

Thank you again to everybody who entered the competition.

There will be no short-story competition for 2021, however we will be sponsoring scholarships for writing courses at CB Creative and Writers HQ as well as editing and proofreading courses with CIEP. We will be posting more details about this early next year.