Words and Women are excited to announce the winners of their 2017/2018 national and regional new writing competition.
Kerry Hood’s intriguing and ambitious short story, The Sunbathers, wins the national prize for women over 40, £1,000 and a month-long writing retreat at Church Cottage, Stratford-Upon-Avon, generously sponsored by Hosking Houses Trust.
Margaret Meyer has been awarded the East of England regional prize of £600 and a mentoring session with Gold Dust for her entry, The Once and Only First Lady Judge.
Guest judges, Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney were drawn to Hood’s voice which ‘felt original and full of verve,’ as well as the ‘thematically complex’ nature of the story.
Kerry Hood is no stranger to competitions. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize five times, as well as broadcasting stories on BBC Radio 4. She is an accomplished theatre writer with work produced at the Soho Theatre, and her play Meeting Myself Coming Back was selected as the Sunday Times Critics’ Choice. She has had residences at the National Theatre, Traverse and RADA.
Margaret Meyer 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. In 2016 she won a place on the Escalator writer development scheme run by Writers’ Centre Norwich and in 2017 she was awarded an Arts Council England grant towards her first novel, The Varieties of Flight.
The competition now in its fifth year and open to women writers is unusual because it offers an opportunity to enter not only fiction but non-fiction, memoir, and life-writing. This year’s winning texts will appear alongside past successful entrants in a compendium of the best of women’s contemporary short prose, launched on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2018.
‘Congratulations to our worthy winning writers. We had 350 entries and picking the most distinctive and ambitious texts was no easy task. We are grateful to our brilliant judges for making such bold selections, and we really look forward to launching our compendium which will feature not only this year’s compelling and engaging writing but the best of the best in past years,’ said Belona Greenwood, co-organiser of Words and Women.
‘It has been a very exciting year for women’s writing,’ said Lynne Bryan, co-organiser. ‘We are extremely grateful to our sponsors. Hosking Houses Trust is a unique charity which offers women over the age of 40 time in which to start, continue or complete interesting or innovative work, in a residency free from the pressures of everyday life. Jill Dawson, author of nine novels and founder of Gold Dust mentoring scheme is a wonderful supporter of our regional award.’
Visit the Words and Women website for more information about the competition and its winners.
The Words And Women anthologies contain the best fiction and creative non-fiction submitted for the annual Words And Women prose competition. The anthologies are for sale on-line and through retail outlets such as Shakespeare & Co in Paris, Jarrolds, and The Book Hive in Norwich, and Ketts Books In Wymondham.