Sunday, 29 November 2015

Thank you for entering our prose competition

Thank you to every one who sent in an entry for our prose competition. We had 176 entries in total, a solid mix of fiction and non. Currently we’re drawing up our shortlist of 40 which Words & Women and guest judge Emma Healey, author of Elisabeth Is Missing, will reread over December. Then we will meet at the start of January to decide on the winner of our £600 first prize and 20 commended who will appear in our anthology Words And Women: Three, published by Unthank Books. We hope to make the announcement of our winner on the 5th January.
In the meantime we received an entry for our competition from Amelia Humphreys-Piercy who lives in Norwich. Amelia was attracted to our competition because ‘no boys’ were allowed to take part.  We were unable to put Amelia’s entry forward for judging because she is 9 years old and our rules state that only women writers over the age of 16 can enter. However, we were impressed by Amelia’s piece and so, with her and her mother’s permission, we are posting it in full here. We would like to congratulate Amelia on her engaging work and wish her all the best for her writing in the future.

First Sight
By Amelia Humphreys-Piercy

The first time I saw it, it was amazing: amber and cerulean feathers dazzling in the bright sun. Me and my dad had sat for ages at the nature reserve, but apart from a few drakes there was no sign of life. We sat there for a good hour before we saw it. There was Dad, sitting, staring out, camera at the ready on its mini-tripod. There I was, sitting with my mints at hand, surveying the landscape. I may not have had a camera like my dad, but I certainly had my memory. At first the bird was just a blur of orange and blue, but then it came back and sat on the wooden post. Dad snapped photos with his camera, I snapped photos with my mind. Then the bird dived, not in water as you would think, but in the air – grabbed a fish, and flew back to the post to eat. It was so incredible. As things like that usually are, it was over as quickly as it had begun. But what I saw was enough, just one quick flashback to that time and it will keep me going while I am bird-watching. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong end of the stick, I love bird-watching and you can see many amazing things like that, but sometimes I get a bit impatient! Waiting was worth it though. I saw my first kingfisher.

Amelia Humphreys-Piercy: I am nine years old and I live with my Mum and brother and my step-family. I am interested in animals, bird-watching and writing; I also spend a lot of time reading books. My favourite author is Michael Morpurgo. So far I have written a story series about a pre-historic girl and tried out a couple of competitions. I was shortlisted for the BBC Hetty Feather writing competition for my story about a ghost in a circus. On my door it says: “author in progress” and I hope that is true.