Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Prose Competition: our Top 40!

Happy New Year to all our supporters. We open this year with news of our prose competition.
On Monday 8th January we will announce the winner of our national prize of £1,000 and a month long writing retreat, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust, and the winner of our East of England prize of £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust. The winners will have been selected by our guest judges Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, authors of A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendships of Austen, Brontë, Eliot and Woolf. 
Meanwhile we thought we’d continue our tradition of announcing our Top 40 here first. Congratulations to all of you who made it to this stage!
And very many thanks to all of you who entered. We had over 350 entries from all over the UK and Ireland, from Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Bristol, Canterbury, Norwich, Cambridge and many other cities, towns and villages. There was a good strong mix of fiction and non, many interesting essays and strong memoir pieces. Themes explored were as varied, ranging from work in praise of the natural world (from Barn Owls to soil!), from writers and writing to film-makers and performers, from trafficked women to abandoned children, from drownings and rescues to grief. There were gently humourous pieces about relationships and more acerbic, surreal pieces too. The work which made its way into our Top 40 successfully explores the unusual or the familiar in an unfamiliar way. We were drawn to interesting content, developed argument and narrative.  We liked language that conjured an atmosphere. We liked neat structures and experimental structures. Mostly we chose work which displays confidence and energy, commitment and a real understanding of form.

Our Top 40:
Each of Us Drowning at Sea  - Fiction - Yvonne Battle-Felton
Si’s Chair – Fiction - Debbie Bayne
Where were you? – Non-fiction - Bibi Berki
End of Term – Fiction - Pippa Brush Chappell
And We Grew So Old – Fiction - Selma Carvalho
From the Soil – Non-fiction - Lucy Cash
Glasshouse – Fiction - Philipa Coughlan
Havoc Shore – Fiction – Maureen Cullen
Getting Shit On – Non-fiction - Niamh Curran 
The Story Of The Good Little Girl Who Did Not Prosper – Fiction - M. J. Doyle

The Gift – Fiction - Jennie Ensor
Every Living Thing – Non-fiction - Sally Kerry Fox
Molly Lovelace – Fiction - Ledlowe Guthrie
The Sunbathers – Fiction – Kerry Hood
Absinthe – Fiction - Janet Howcroft
The Other Side – Fiction - Hedy Howe
Paul Newman Eyes – Fiction – Kate Jefford
That Something of Me - Non-fiction - Ingrid Jendrzejewski
Crane – Fiction - Avril Joy
Sebald and standing in the kitchen at a party – Non-fiction - Alice Kent
Life Buoy – Non-fiction - Kate Malcolm
The Going Nowhere Roads – Fiction - Maire Malone
F’s Fir Fingers – Fiction - Margot McCuaig 
Four Days of Dying – Non-fiction - Kirstin McKie
The Once and Only First Lady Judge – Fiction - Margaret Meyer
Upon Return – Fiction - Carmen Morawski

Dress rehearsal – Fiction - Hannah Persaud
Age of Reason – Fiction - Anne Rabbitt
Loving Icarus – Fiction - Alex Reece Abbott
The Man Who Walked In Off The Street – Fiction - Rashmee Roshan Lall
We Begin In Many Ways - Non-fiction - Christina Sanders
Kindred Spirits – Non-fiction - Helen Stockton
Black Boy Winnings – Fiction - Janet H Swinney
Waiting Rooms – Non-fiction - Shelley Tracey
It Never Rains in Wycombe – Non-fiction - Jennifer Twomey
She Clown – Fiction - Hannah Vincent
The Anthropologist’s Feet  – Fiction - Dominie Walters
In the Moment – Fiction - Clare Weze
Borrowed – Fiction - Melanie Whipman
The Little Detective  - Fiction - Julia Wills


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