Huge congratulations to all the winning and commended writers from our 2021 Award, judged this year by Norah Perkins from Curtis Brown. Read her comments on these stories and her general comments on the short list in her judge’s report.
First Prize, K. Lockwood Jefford for her story In Bed With My Sister.
K. Lockwood Jefford is from Cardiff where she grew up obsessed with books and cartwheels. She worked in NHS and student mental health services – alongside a stint writing and performing stand-up comedy – before completing an MA in creative writing, Birkbeck. Her story Picasso’s Face won the 2020 VS Pritchett Prize. She’s been shortlisted for Bath and Rhys Davies awards in 2021. Her work appears in MIR online, and anthologies including Bristol (2017), Sunderland-Waterstones (1st prize 2019), Brick Lane Bookshop (3rd prize 2020) & is forthcoming in Fish Publishing (2021) and 100 Voices (Unbound). She’s working on a collection of stories.
Second prize,Stephanie Carty for her story Davey, Plastic Jesus And The Holy Spirit.
Stephanie Carty is a writer, NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist and trainer in Gloucestershire, UK. Her short fiction is widely published. She has been shortlisted for competitions including the Bristol Short Story Prize, Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and Bridport Prize. Her novella-in-flash Three Sisters of Stone won Best Novella in the Saboteur Awards. Her writers’ craft book Inside Fictional Minds: Tips from Psychology for Creating Characters was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2021.
Third Prize, Kristen Loesch for her story Important Letters. Kristen Loesch is an Asian-American writer based in the Pacific Northwest. She placed runner-up in the 2019 Mslexia Short Story Competition and the Funny Pearls Short Story Competition 2020. Her short fiction can be found or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, CRAFT, Fractured Lit, FlashBack Fiction, Barren Magazine, Lunate, Timeworn Literary Journal, and others. She is represented by Zeitgeist Agency. She lives with her husband and children.
Highly Commended, Linda Wang for her story, Ma’s Favourite. Linda qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Edinburgh. She left clinical practice at the beginning of the year and now works as a medical writer in London. Earlier this year, she was shortlisted for New Writing North’s A Writing Chance 2021. She is currently studying on the Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel course and is attempting to finish her novel featuring a veterinary surgeon protagonist, about loneliness, burnout, and female friendship.
Highly Commended and the Acorn Award for an Unpublished writer, Lynda Mason, for her story, The Great Pretender
Lynda Mason writes short stories that aim to give a voice to the people in our society who feel lonely or disconnected. Occasionally her tales take on a magical twist that is often as much as a surprise to the author as to the reader.Lynda is currently writing a young adult novel. She lives in Birmingham and can mostly be found buried under a pile of books.
The Local Prize (donated by Mr B’s Emporium of Books, Bath) Ruth Bateson,for her story The Pheasant.
Ruth Bateson grew up in rural Shropshire and currently lives and works in Bristol. Obsessed with words and pictures, Ruth has always written, but in recent years her collection of notebooks has expanded. She has been focussing on short fiction to explore ideas and to develop her skills as a writer. ‘The Pheasant’ is her first published work.