Monday, 8 January 2018

Kerry Hood and Margaret Meyer, the winners of our prose competition!

Congratulations to Kerry Hood who has won our national prize for women writers over 40 in our prose competition this year and Margaret Meyer who has won our regional prize for women writers living and working in the East of England.  Kerry won for her fantastic story The Sunbathers, and Margaret won for The Once And Only First Lady Judge, a story written in honour of her grandmother.

Kerry’s story TXL was runner-up in the Bridport Prize for which she’s been shortlisted five times. She won the Cinnamon Press Award, Ink Tears Flash Fiction, and Frome Short Story Prize as well as being published by the Bristol Prize, The New Writer and Bath Flash Fiction. Two stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
She has had ten plays produced including Meeting Myself Coming Back at Soho Theatre (British Theatre Guide Highlight of the Year, Sunday Times Critics’ Choice, shortlisted for Meyer-Whitworth Award), received several Arts Council awards and has had residencies at the National Theatre, the Traverse and RADA.

Margaret is a prose writer and therapist. She 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, recovering addicts, and people recovering from mental health conditions. In 2016 she won a place on the Escalator writer development scheme run by Writers’ Centre Norwich. In 2017 she was awarded an Arts Council England grant towards her first novel, The Varieties of Flight. She writes about women, water, metaphor, criminality and not knowing. 

Kerry wins £1,000 and a month long writing retreat, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust, and Margaret wins £600 and a mentoring session with Jill Dawson of Gold Dust.  Both will have their work published in our forthcoming anthology The Words And Women Compendium which will be launched at our International Women’s Day celebration in Norwich in March. (We will release more details about our celebration at the end of this month.)

Our guest judges for this year were Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, authors of A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendships of Austen, Brontë, Eliot and Woolf. All entries were judged anonymously and the unveiling of the names of the winning writers at the end of the process was very exciting! Here are the judges’ thoughts about the winning stories:

'The Sunbathers stands out immediately as ambitious and distinctive, expanding the possibilities of the short-story form. It takes a virtuoso approach to narrative perspective, expertly sustaining complex craft techniques, and its layers of symbolism make this a story that rewards revisiting time and again.’

'The Once and Only First Lady Judge is richly imagined, with an important message at its core. The characters engaged us on a deep, emotional level, and the story lingered in our minds long after we had stopped reading.'

Words And Women would like to say thank you to everybody who entered the competition. The quality of work, as always, was outstanding. 

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