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Sustainability explored by writers in the Cheshire Prize for Literature

Sustainability explored by writers in the Cheshire Prize for Literature

The best creative writing talent in the region came together to celebrate the winners of this year’s Cheshire Prize for Literature.

With climate change at the forefront of the world’s agenda, this year’s Cheshire Prize competition focussed on the theme of Sustainability.

Through short stories, poetry, scriptwriting or children’s literature piece, the writers explored creative environmentally-friendly solutions and aspects of living in a ‘greener’ way.

For the first time a children’s competition was also held in the library, encouraging young writers to take part.

The winners received their prizes at a celebration event held at the Garrett Theatre in Storyhouse, Chester, and presented by poet Andrew Rudd who also delivered a guest lecture to the audience about his writing as well as taking part in a question and answer session. Dr Si Poole, Associate Professor of Cultural Education and Senior Leader in Cultural Education and Research at Storyhouse who is Chair of the judging panel, introduced the winners and discussed the categories and judging process.

The winners were:

  • Poetry 14-16 years: Dannielle Jones with poem Often
  • Short Story 14-16 years: Joseph Cannon with A Cautionary Tale
  • Poetry 17-18 years: Daniel Johnson with Miracles
  • Short Story 17-18 years: Molly Nash with This Cat Grows Old
  • Children’s Literature 19-24 years: Eleanor Cullen with The Monster who Moved to Ecotown
  • Poetry 19-24 years: Connor Johnston with The Breadfruit Bone
  • Scriptwriting 19-24 years: Beth Westbrook with Awareness
  • Short story 19-24 years: Eve Naden with Salvage
  • Children’s Literature 25 years and over: Laura Hall with Willow: A Song of the Woods
  • Poetry 25 years and over: Philip Williams with Pale Blue Dot
  • Scriptwriting 25 years and over: Ben Saunders with The Apple
  • Short story 25 years and over: Cathy Bryant with Interview.

The Young Winners were:

  • Poetry:
    • 8-10 Esme Alice Blue with Things I Liked About Our Planet
    • 11-13 Aurora Blue with A Letter to Earth
  • Stories:
    • 4-7 Ella Catherine Barrett with One, Two, Tree
    • 8-10 Maia Russell with The Nature Dragon
    • 11-13 Eva Mallouris with What the World Once Was.

The winners will have their work printed in the Anthology, which will be published by the University of Chester Press.

Dr Si Poole said: “It was a real pleasure to read so many excellent entries and the judges had a very difficult task in picking a winner for each category. We look forward to seeing their work in print when the Anthology is published.

“We were also pleased to welcome the esteemed poet Andrew Rudd and thank him for taking the time to join us.”

The Cheshire Prize for Literature was founded in 2003 by the then High Sheriff, John Richards OBE DL, and Dr Bill Hughes from the University of Chester. It is open to people with a connection to the historic Cheshire boundary (including Wirral). It is one of the few free-to-enter literary competitions and offers not only a significant cash prize for the winner but also the rare opportunity for the best entries from the previous year to be published professionally by the University of Chester Press in an anthology edited by a senior member of academic staff. Traditionally operating on a triennial cycle of short stories, poetry and children’s literature, in 2019 a new category for scriptwriting was introduced. The University was delighted to form a partnership with Storyhouse, which forms such an important new part of the cultural offering in Cheshire.

This year’s competition will be launched in November.

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