Congratulations to all our 2014 Winners!

Winners, local and commended stories were selected from the short list by our 2014 Judge, literary agent,

Lucy Luck of Lucy Luck Associates

First prize, £1000 – Elinor Nash  for her story ‘The Ghost Boy’

Lucy Luck commented:

A strong and impressive voice, beautifully controlled. A young boy disabled in a bike accident is real and vivid on the page, and we see how the world has changed for him and for those around him through the marshmallow and baked bean sounds of the everyday. Top marks.”
The Ghost Boy 

Elinor Nash has been painting and writing for thirty years, a passion that began with illustrated stories of her toys and cat. After she finished a PGCE in Primary Teaching, she kept on drawing but left the writing alone until five years ago when she had a mad idea to write a novel. She lives in Bath and exhibits around the city. In her paintings, she likes to use newspapers, zips, buttons, bra-straps, anything that’s been disregarded! She writes Young Adult fiction in much the same way, piecing together all sorts of passing interest. She is delighted to be a member of the Golden Egg Academy, wise publishing folk who are helping her get her first novel, ‘The Lemon Sliced Moon’, in better shape. She only began writing short stories and flash fiction two years ago after discovering the amazing Writing Events Bath group where she was inspired to try competitions. The Bath Short Story Award is the first time she has had a story short listed which has been a lovely, confidence-boosting surprise! When she is not knuckle deep in collage paper or print outs of stories, she tends to her three, beautiful children, three demanding cats, one squeaky guinea pig and a very patient husband. Elinor’s writing blog is writinglark.weebly.com/blog and you can see her paintings on www.elenash.com

Second prize, £200 – Kit De Waal for her story ‘The Beautiful Thing’

Lucy Luck commented:

“Really strong story-telling perfectly paced and pitched. I love the father’s voice, and the way we move between New York, Antigua, the shoe shop and the kitchen is beautifully handled, and the ending is extremely well-done. Very good indeed.”

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Kit De Waal spent fifteen years in criminal and family law before becoming a writer. She writes short stories, flash fiction, and longer form prose. She is published in various anthologies (Fish Prize 2011 & 2012; ‘The Sea in Birmingham’ 2013; ‘Final Chapters’ 2013’) and works as an editor of non-fiction. In 2014 she gained second place in the Costa Short Story Award with ‘The Old Man & The Suit’. She is currently working on a novel.

Third prize of £100 – Alex Hammond for his story ‘No Man’s Land’

Lucy Luck commented:

The tone of the piece is impressive and I particularly liked the shift of PoV, and the way this moment in time (an afternoon, an evening) is used to such effect to highlight the noise and trauma of a war zone. Characterisation strong, ending very strong.”

No Man’s Land

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Alex Hammond studied Creative Writing at UEA and at Lancaster University, and is due to begin a PhD at Southampton University in October 2014. He previously wrote for the now defunct Taste of the Wight magazine, and has worked in publishing and digital marketing. He is a musician, playing percussion in the blues and skiffle band The Dodge Brothers. His fiction has been published in the university anthologies Enormous Rooms (University of Utah, 2006) and Workshop (University of East Anglia, 2007). He is currently working on his first novel about returning veterans, and a collection of short stories drawing on his experiences as a Special Constable in the Metropolitan Police.

Local prize of £50 in book vouchers sponsored by Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath  – Anne Corlett  for her story ‘The Language of Birds’ (Commended)

Lucy Luck commented:

Very good opening, very good voice, the scene is set impressively and I like the way the story of the narrator’s life and lie are unveiled, and how we come to understand that the knowledge of this lie will go when her memory goes – that she has got away with it. Made me feel uncomfortable that I sympathised with the narrator when I realised how she has managed to live around a secret this psychologically profound. Thought-provoking, there’s a lot beneath the words.”

The Language of Birds

 

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Anne Corlett is a criminal lawyer. She is still unsure how this happened, given a firm intention to work in publishing, two linguistic degrees and a stint as an etymologist. She has completed two novels and is represented by the Richford Becklow agency. She also writes regular features for a family history magazine. About eighteen months ago, concerned about her apparent inability to tell a story in fewer than 140,000 words, she decided to give short fiction a try. She has been longlisted and shortlisted for various prizes, including Mslexia, Fish, Writers’ Forum, Words with Jam and New Writer. She was third in the Bristol prize, and recently won the HE Bates prize.She lives near Bath with her partner and two small children. This is probably a bad idea, since she is originally from Tyneside and cannot, according to her increasingly Bristolian four-year old, pronounce “Bath” properly. She occasionally rants at http://consummatechaosblog.blogspot.co.uk/ and reads regularly at the Story Friday events in Bath.

The Acorn Award for an unpublished writer, £50 – sponsored by Writing Events Bath - Mona Porte for ‘The Crust’

Our shortlist judges commented:

‘The intensity of the story lives on in our minds. We were impressed at how it works on several levels which increases its poignancy and makes it more powerful than other stories on this theme.’

The Crust

Clare Connolly

Mona Porte began her working life as a teacher of languages but later became a specialist teacher of children with Dyslexia. This she embraced with a passion, although it led to the deterioration of her own spelling! Her mother always maintained that Clare ‘had a book in her’ so, when she gave up teaching a few years ago, this remembered comment prompted her to return to creative writing, an activity which she had enjoyed at school and college. She has written many short stories but has never offered any of them for publication. She has been long-listed/short-listed a number of times in competitions but has never won a prize until now, apart from in a very small local competition. She is currently working on a novel so perhaps it is time for that ‘book’ her mother saw to emerge! She lives on the Dorset coast but frequently visits her native Ireland. She enjoys walking on cliff-tops and dancing, both jive and tap.

Commended – Lisa Harding for her story ‘It’s a Girl’

Lucy commented:

A very convincing portrayal of how it might feel to be powerless within a family group in a strange country, looking out at the world, knowing how misunderstood you have to be to survive. Nicely controlled narrative and I am impressed by how effectively I saw the world from a different perspective.”

It’s a Girl

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Lisa Harding completed an MPhil in creative writing at Trinity College Dublin in September 2013. Her short story ‘Counting Down’ was a winner in the inaugural Doolin writer’s prize 2013. This summer she has been short-listed for Doolin, Cuirt, Listowel and the Bath short story awards. A story ‘Call Me Moo’ is to be published in the autumn issue of The Dublin Review. Playwriting credits include Starving at Theatre503, And All Because at Battersea Arts Centre (as part of an emerging writers festival: Connect Four) and Playground at the Project Theatre Dublin. She is currently working on a new play Pedigree for which she was awarded an Arts Council bursary and a Peggy Ramsay award. As an actress she has appeared at the Gate, the Abbey, the Lyric and on RTE, among others. Her collection of sixteen short stories Crave is a work in progress, alongside an embryonic novel with the working title: Transaction.

Commended – Roisin O’Donnell for her story, ‘Under the Jasmine Tree’

Lucy commented:

This is a well-constructed, well-told story with a beautiful sense of the heat of Seville, and an unsentimental but moving representation of love lost and a life of quiet resignation. The 1st person voice is nicely done.

Under the Jasmine Tree

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Roisín O’Donnell is an Irish writer. Her family are from Derry and she grew up in Sheffield before moving to Ireland at the age of eighteen to study at Trinity College Dublin. After graduating with a first class honours in English Studies, she completed a PGCE at the University of Ulster and spent three years working as a primary teacher. Having taught abroad and travelled widely in Spain and South America, she is presently teaching English as an additional language at Dublin City University. Writing since her early teens, she was recently shortlisted for the Cúirt New Writing Prize 2014 and she received and honourary mention in the Fish Flash Fiction Prize 2014. Her short stories and poems are forthcoming or have appeared in several Irish and UK publications including Popshot Magazine, Colony Journal, Structo Magazine and Unthology. Two of her short stories are due to be anthologised in Fugue: Contemporary Stories (The Siren, 2014) and in Young Irelanders (New Island, 2015). She lives in Dublin and is currently completing her short story collection .