Words and Women is delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s annual new writing prize is Sarah Evans, who receives £600 and publication in Words and Women: Three for her emotionally compelling story Scalpelling Through.
Sarah has had over a hundred stories published in anthologies, magazines and online, with outlets including: the Bridport Prize, Unthank Books, Lighthouse, Structo and Best New Writing. She has won a number of short story prizes, including the Winston Fletcher Prize, the Stratford Literary Festival Prize, the Glass Woman Prize, the Fylde Writers’ Circle Prize and the Rubery Prize. She has also had work performed in London, Hong Kong and New York.
The anthology will feature 21 other highly commended entries to the competition, including short prose from Sarah Ridgard, Deborah Arnander, Dani Redd, Antoinette Moses, C.G. Menon, Caroline Davison, Sharon Eckman, Danusia Iwaszko, Claudine Toutoungi, Patricia Mullin and Louise Tree among others. Published by independent press Unthank Books, this year’s anthology will be an eclectic collection of high quality prose, a rich and vivid read of startling, compelling and moving texts set across the world and close to home, exploring everything from belly-dancing in Japan to collapsing houses in the UK, a canary in Kabul and the birth of a calf in winter snow, infidelity and virginity, sinister origami and movie-making, the true nature of Jane Austen’s dog and murder in Mexico.
The competition received 176 entries from all over the region and was guest-judged by Sunday Times best-selling author, Emma Healey. The quality, as ever, was very high and reflects the talent and commitment of women writers in the region.
‘We are continuously surprised by the range of subjects tackled by entries to the competition,’ said Belona Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women. ‘We had a hard time selecting our long list from so many genuinely interesting ideas before handing the final responsibility for choosing the winners to this year’s judge, Emma Healey.
‘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 third anthology,’ said Lynne Bryan, Words and Women co-organiser.
The anthology will be launched at Words and Women’s 5th anniversary celebration of International Women’s Day, which this year will be on March 7th at Norwich Arts Centre with a brilliant line up of short readings from winning writers and music from Karen Reilly of the Neutrinos, Sink Ya Teeth, and Emily Winng, all presided over by compere, award-winning stand up, Louisa Theobald. This year, Words and Women will be raising money for Women for Refugee Women.
Words and Women’s last two anthologies have both been shortlisted for the national Saboteur Awards, and this year, Words and Women were runners up in the Women in Publishing award for ‘pioneering venture.’
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.