2017 Competition Shortlists

This year, to celebrate our Silver Anniversary, we have raised the prize money to 1st: £750, 2nd: £300 and 3rd: £200 in all three categories. We are continuing to offer the Hilly Cansdale local poetry prize of £100 and the Wyvern local short story prize, also £100. In addition there will be a £100 local prize in the Book for Children category.

The competitions have now all closed and entries are being considered for shortlisting. We were delighted with the quality of the entries in all three categories, and with the quantity. We seem to receive more submissions every year!

Shortlisting has now been completed and final judging will take place during the Festival; please see details below. We would like to thank everyone who entered. If your work was not chosen this year – please try again in 2018!

Final judging of all three competitions will take place at 4.30 pm on Sunday 15 October in the Bishop’s Palace Conference Room. This will be preceded by the reading of shortlisted poems at 3.00 pm.

Short Story Competition

Maria McCann Short Story Judge - Wells Festival of LiteratureThe judge will be Maria McCann, author of As Meat Loves Salt which was an Economist Book of the Year. Maria also wrote The Wilding which was longlisted for the Orange Prize and was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice. Her most recent novel Ace, King, Knave was equally well received. She has also contributed to various anthologies, most recently to Why Willows Weep and Beacons.

Short Story Competition Shortlist 2017

The Final CutIain Andrews
Finding LivesValerie Bowes
Respect for JoJoAlan Bryant
A Second ChanceJoanna Cooke
Ten BobMaureen Cullen
The Blue Bead Judith Drazin
Feathers Judith Drazin
The Green ManJennifer Ghouse
My Name is HitchRuth Holgate
Beautiful PeopleSusan Jones
The Best StoryMargot Ogilvie
I Get a Buzz Out of YouDeborah Owen
The Last Word Nicola Ratnett
Penny’s From HellNicola Ratnett
LizardAlan Remfry
The Elements of WisdomElizabeth Rowe
The OutingAnn Stevens
Hippos Stephen Tole
Monster Stephen Tole
Puzzle Stephen Tole
Lover’s TangleJacqueline Trott
FinialsJosie Turner
The Postman’s WifeSherri Turner
RollingClare Weze
You’re Packing a SuitcaseMandy Wheeler

Poetry Competition

Gillian Clarke Poetry Judge - Wells Festival of LiteratureGillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales from 2008 – 2016, will judge the competition. Gillian, one of our leading modern poets, was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010 and the Wilfred Owen Award in 2012. She has written for radio, and has translated poetry and prose from Welsh. Her last collection Ice was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Award in 2012 and her next collection Zoology is due to be published in August 2017.

Poetry Competition Shortlist 2017

Advanced PhysicsRoger Adams
On Teaching 'The Fallen Elm' by John Clare Alison Allen
Stormo di StorniAileen Ballantyne
Beach Road CapetownJennifer Ann Bird
Waiting to hear the NightingalePat Borthwick
The Greenhouse EffectNick Bowman
On the Death of a Friend in Childhood Carole Bromley
The Girl Who DiedRoger Caldwell
In the Hepworth GardenRachael Clyne
Tom’s FieldKerry Darbishire
The Beautiful VillageKerry Darbishire
Memory of FeathersRoger Elkin
Eagle OwlCaroline Gilfillan
Foot FaultChristine Griffin
The French PlaitMargaret Histed
The LuckChristopher James
Unpaintable DayJoy Kenward
Estate ManagementSean Martin
The Bellwether Kathy Miles
WaterlogJudy O’Kane
TransformedHelen Overell
The HomageJohn Baylis Post
The DanceNatalie Poyser
At the HospiceBeryl Roberts
The Big Bow-Wow and the Worker in Ivory Derek Sellen
Dench by Alessandro RahoSue Spears
Chinese Chinese Brush-WorkIsobel Thrilling
When Winter Walked Me HomeLucy Anne Watt
Writing on WaterJohn Wheeler

A Book for Children Competition

Steve Voake A Book for Children Judge - Wells Festival of LiteratureSteve Voake will judge this category. His award-winning novels for young adults include The Dreamwalker’s Child, The Starlight Conspiracy and Blood Hunters. He has also written the Daisy Dawson and Hooey Higgins series for younger readers and Insect Detective, a non-fiction picture book. A senior lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University and a tutor for the Arvon Foundation, Steve regularly runs writing workshops for gifted and talented children as well as providing talks and creative writing workshops in schools across the country.

Book for Children Competition Shortlist 2017

Stone ValleyMichelle Briscombe
Parallel FriendsGreg Dobbins
Jasper Riley and the Zombie SquirrelsCara Gardner
Swimming Against the Tide Joe Hackett
Winnie the reluctant Witch and GeorgeJacqueline Kelly
Amy X and the Prim and Proper Princess School Danny King
Mairi and the Stones Wendy McArdle
ElsetimeEve McDonell
The Alchemist’s Apprentice Andrew Miller
Ghost Code Andrew Miller
All our Lives we are Falling Andrew Miller
Martin and the Cosmic Culinary ConquestClaire Ospina
The Snake WhispererAdele Winston
The judges will also present prizes at a special ceremony that will take place in the Bishop’s Palace during the Festival on Sunday 15 October, starting at 4.30pm. Preceding this, at 3.30pm, the shortlisted poets will be invited to read their work. Entry to these events is free.

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