We’re happy to announce this year’s winning stories for the inaugural Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2017. The winning stories were chosen by our esteemed judging panel, which includes writers Rebecca Burns, Divya Ghelani, Nina Stibbe, and Grace Haddon as well as bookseller, Debbie James.
The winning stories in this year’s competition are:
1st prize: Aunty by C. G. Menon
2nd prize: Switching Off the Metronome by Siobhan Logan
3rd prize: We Went There by Debz Hobbs-Wyatt
Highly commended: Five by Lynne E. Blackwood
Over 100 entries were received from across the UK in the first year of the Leicester Writes Short Story prize, open to published and unpublished writers, for a short story of up to 3000 words on any theme or subject. All entries were judged anonymously.
On selecting Menon’s story Aunty as the winner, Chair of judges, Rebcca Burns said. ‘The story felt so real to me – I couldn’t see the seams where one scene moved into another, and the pacing was perfect.’
The judges remarked on the quality of writing, the range of styles and ideas, as well as how much they each enjoyed reading the longlist. The Kibworth Bookshop owner, Debbie James said. ‘What an absolute pleasure it has been to read these stories. I have been blown away by the quality of ideas and writing.’
Twenty short stories which featured on the longlist will be published in an anthology by Dahlia Publishing and launched during the annual Leicester Writes Festival of New Writing in June.
1st prize winner (Aunty)
C. G. Menon has won The Asian Writer prize, The Short Story award and the Winchester Writers Festival short story prize. She’s been shortlisted for a number of others, including the Fish short story award. Her work has been broadcast on radio and published in a number of anthologies. She is currently studying for an MA in creative writing at City University. See: https://cgmenon.wordpress.com/
2nd prize winner (Switching Off the Metronome)
Siobhan Logan‘s poetry & prose collections Firebridge to Skyshore and Mad, Hopeless and Possible are both published by Original Plus Press. They have been performed at Ledbury Poetry Festival, the British Science Museum, National Space Centre and British Science Festival. A hypertext narrative Philae’s Book of Hours was published by the European Space Agency in 2016. Her short fiction appears in anthologies Lost & Found, A Tale of 3 Cities and the forthcoming Mrs. Rochester’s Attic. Her story Bodywrapped was choreographed by Belgian dance company Retina. Logan lectures in Creative Writing at De Montfort University, Leicester and blogs at: http://siobhanlogan.blogspot.co.uk/
3rd prize winner (We Went There)
Debz Hobbs-Wyatt lives and works in Essex as a full-time writer and editor. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bangor University and has had over twenty short stories published in various collections. She has also been shortlisted in a number of writing competitions, including being nominated for the prestigious US Pushcart Prize 2013, one of two UK writers on the short list of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2013 and winner of the inaugural Bath Short Story Award 2013. While No One Was Watching her debut novel was published by Parthian Books. She sees herself as a writer, above all else, and writes every morning. In the afternoons she dons her editor’s hat and critiques and edits professionally. As well as private clients, she also critiques and mentors for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. See http://www.debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk
Highly commended (Five)
Lynne E Blackwood is in receipt of a second Arts Council grant to complete a short story collection based on her Anglo-Indian family history. She appears in the Closure Anthology alongside well-established authors. Her character-driven crime novel set in contemporary Republic of Georgia is in submission and she is on the INSCRIBE programme, developing her poetry for a chapbook. Apart from writing and editing, Lynne is learning to play the piano and panders to the needs of two cats and one granddaughter. Lynne recently visited Andalusia and explored wheelchair Flamenco for further performances of her work at festivals and events.