MEET THE WINNERS!

Words and Women are excited to announce the winners of their 2017/2018 national and KerryHood[50180]regional new writing competition.

Kerry Hood’s intriguing and ambitious short story, The Sunbathers, wins the national prize for women over 40, £1,000 and a month-long writing retreat at Church Cottage, Stratford-Upon-Avon, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust.

Margaret Meyer has been awarded the East of England regional prize of £600 and a mentoring session with Gold Dust for her entry, The Once and Only First Lady Judge.

Guest judges, Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney were drawn to Hood’s voice which ‘felt original and full of verve,’ as well as the ‘thematically complex’ nature of the story

Kerry Hood is no stranger to competitions.  She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize five times, as well as broadcasting stories on BBC Radio 4.  She is an accomplished theatre writer with work produced at the Soho Theatre, and her play Meeting Myself Coming Back was selected as the Sunday Times Critics’ Choice. She has had residences at the National Theatre, Traverse and RADA.

rgaret Meyer has previously been a fiction editor, publisher, British Council Director of Literature and a reader-in-residence in Norfolk prisons. As a therapeutic arts practitioner she provides writing and reading-for-wellbeing programmes for ex-offenders. In 2016 she won a place on the Escalator writer development scheme run by Writers’ Centre Norwich and in 2017 she was awarded an Arts Council England grant towards her first novel, The Varieties of Flight.

The competition now in its fifth year and open to women writers is unusual because it offers an opportunity to enter not only fiction but non-fiction, memoir, and life-writing.  This years’ winning texts will appear alongside past successful entrants in a compendium of the best of women’s contemporary short prose, launched on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2018.

‘Congratulations to our worthy winning writers.  We had 350 entries and picking the most distinctive and ambitious texts was no easy task.  We are grateful to our brilliant judges for making such bold selections, and we really look forward to launching our compendium which will feature not only this year’s compelling and engaging writing but the best of the best in past years,’ said Belona Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women.

‘It has been a very exciting year for women’s writing,’ said Lynne Bryan, co-organiser. ‘We are extremely grateful to our sponsors. Hosking Houses Trust is a unique charity which offers women over the age of 40 time in which to start, continue or complete interesting or innovative work, in a residency free from the pressures of everyday life.  Jill Dawson, author of nine novels and founder of Gold Dust mentoring scheme is a wonderful supporter of our regional award.

See Words and Women’s blog for more details. Words and Women

 

THE 2017 FLASH FICTION COMPETITION WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The Casket of Fictional Delights

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2017 Flash Fiction Competition.

The competition was judged by award winning writer Kit de Waal who says “Flash Fiction is the study of a moment in a much longer narrative. In a few hundred words, the writer must evoke character, place and setting”.

FIRST PLACE

Mam and She Worries by Douglas Bruton
Mam worries ‘bout stuff. Smallest things sometimes. Like when Mrs Kinnear was having her baby and she was rushed to the daytime hospital and no-one had opened the curtains on Mrs Kinnear’s windows.”……

SECOND PLACE

Kala Pani by Neema Shah
There was a smidge of Radha in my pocket, a smattering of her on the cruddy wooden deck. I drew the string together and put the cotton bag in my pocket.”….

THIRD PLACE

The Replacement by Zoe Meager
One year ago, Anne received almost exactly what she wanted for Christmas. It was me. I first detected signs of unease in February. The sideways looks and locked doors.”…

RUNNERS UP

Soiled by Alex Reece Abbott
The Ties that Bind by Gina Headden
Heavyweight Dreams by Louise Mangos
A Womb of One’s Own by Rosie Canning
Checkout Girl by Shirley Golden
Fragile by Shirley Golden
To See a Star by Susan Carey

All the winning stories have been professionally recorded and broadcast as a special audio podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, TuneIn and Stitcher internet radio and published as a download audio on The Casket website.

2017 Flash Fiction Podcast

Judge’s Report

Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition, we have been encouraged and overwhelmed by the response.

If you have not been successful this time there will be another opportunity next year, the 2018 Flash Fiction Competition will open for submissions on 17th March 2018.

WORDS AND WOMEN’S COMPETITION WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

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.

See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk