Lora Stimson, who studied creative writing at Norwich School of Art & Design and the UEA is the winner of this year’s Words and Women’s contemporary writing prize in the East of England.
The quality of the 170 entries was very high and there was a broad range of theme and style with women of all ages submitting prose from across the East. Lora Stimson wins £600 for her original and quietly compelling short story, Cornflake Girl, which will feature in the second Words and Women anthology published in March this year. Lora’s story will appear alongside other highly commended selected entries and the four newly commissioned texts for ‘About,’ an Arts Council supported project which explores the relationship between women and place.
Lora has published stories and poems with Nasty Little Press, Unthank Books, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Streetcake Magazine. In 2014 she was mentored by novelist Shelley Harris as part of the WoMentoring scheme. Her first novel, about sex, grief and model villages, currently hides in a drawer. She has higher hopes for her second novel, about twins, which received an Arts Council England grant and is now in its final edit. Lora works as a programme manager for Writers’ Centre Norwich and sings with the bands Moonshine Swing Seven and The Ferries. She lives in Norwich with her husband and son.
Other prizewinners who will be published in the anthology, include Norwich-based Anna Metcalfe for The Professor, Hannah Garrard for Did You Eat Lunch? Melinda Appleby for Footprints on the Tideline, Julianne Pacheco for Kurt Cobain’s Son, Radhika Oberoi for The Reporter, as well as Patricia Mullin for The Siren and Thea Smiley who will appear twice, with her short story Magazines and her performance text, Holding Stones. A further 16 writers will also have their work included in the anthology. For a full list of our winning writers please see our blog: www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk
The competition was judged by novelist Sarah Ridgard.
The launch of Words and Women: Two and performance of extracts from the ‘About’ Commissions’ will take place on Sunday, March 8th, on International Women’s Day at the Forum, in Norwich.
‘It has been another exciting read,’ said Belona Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women. ‘We had a hard time selecting our long list before handing the final responsibility for choosing the winners to this year’s judge, novelist Sarah Ridgard. We have had a number of winning entries with some connection to the Creative Writing MA at the UEA which continues to bring new talent to Norfolk but entries have come in from all over the five counties displaying a great range of women’s voices.’
‘We judged the work anonymously and it was very exciting to find out the names of our winners at the end of this process. We have selected an outstanding mix of work, both fiction and non-fiction, and look forward to seeing it appear in Words and Women’s second anthology which will be published by Norwich based Unthank Books,’ said Lynne Bryan, Words and Women co-organiser.
Last year’s anthology was shortlisted for the national Saboteur Awards 2014. It has been praised as ’a bold and insightful collection containing much vigorous writing…’ Eastern Daily Press and ‘…a refreshing, vibrant collection that redefined the way I see women’s writing.’
Words and Women showcase women writers who live in the East of England, at all stages of their professional careers in an annual celebration of regional creativity on International Women’s Day, and through commissioning opportunities and an annual new writing prize.