EDP Short Story Competition 2008

"This is a county of changing landscapes, where the borders between sea and land, natural and supernatural, real and imaginary are never clear. What remains constant is the need to tell stories about our lives.”
Chris Gribble (chief executive of New Writing Partnership)

New Writing Partnership together with Jarrold sponsered the third annual EDP Norfolk Short Story Competition this autumn. We asked adults and young people from Norfolk to enter a short story of up to 2,000 words on the theme of A County of Stories and received over 80 very good entries. Norwich-based writer and critic Rachel Hore, author of The Dream House and The Memory Garden,  judged the competition, which had adult and junior categories and below she comments on her choices:

Adult Prize: Sophie Hampton for SANCTUARY"The story is well crafted and I like the young boy's perspective.The freshness of his encounter with the child ghost reminds me somehow of Tom's Midnight Garden - it's nicely done. The background of the Norfolk bird reserve is atmospheric and resonates suitably with the themes."

Adult Runner up:  Georgina MacArthur PATERNOSTER    "The meetings between the two, lonely impoverished people are beautifully recounted. Here is a natural writer - some lovely imagery."

Children's Prize:  Rebecca Coller ROSIE'S BATTLE  "If only council planning procedure was as easily challenged as this. It was nicely crafted and I liked the strong, passionate voice of the narrator.  The writer's mature and compassionate viewpoint gave the story depth."

Children's Runner Up:  Ellen Mitchell Finnigan THE WINGS OF CASTLE ACRE"A well-evoked historical setting.  It was lively, rich in detail, offered touches of humour and the dialogue was good."

Chris Gribble, chief executive of the New Writing Partnership, said: "There was a very high quality throughout the entries. There were stories from right across the county, from farming land and the Fens right through to the coast. We were impressed by the range of people's encounters with Norfolk, and the county came across very powerfully.”

The two winners received £50 each in Jarrold book tokens, whilst two runners-up received £25 in Jarrold book tokens. The winners were announced at a ceremony at Jarrold's book department in Norwich on December 10. Sophie and Rosie's stories will be published in EDP2 later this month, and all the shortlisted stories will soon be published online at www.edp24.co.uk.