ONE of the country’s best-loved screenwriters, whose work includes the screenplays for Calendar Girls and Confessions of a Shopaholic, will be the guest speaker at this year’s High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature.

Frodsham-born Tim Firth, whose work also includes screenplays for Kinky Boots and the Flint Street Nativity, will be giving an insight into his popular work during the awards evening on December 9 at 7.30pm.

Now in its seventh year, The Cheshire Prize for Literature has become established as one of the North West’s leading writing contests.

Organised by the University of Chester, this year’s theme is short stories, and entries have been pouring in from far and wide.

With the competition open to individuals who not only live in Cheshire, but also have a connection with the county, there have been entries hailing from as far afield as Bristol, Glasgow and even Okotoks in Alberta, Canada and Wellington in New Zealand.

Among the keen writers are a mother of five, a social worker, a retired dentist, and an 88-year-old, while themes have included John Lennon, waterfalls, ghosts, neighbours and pets.

The winner will receive a cash prize of £2,000 and the opportunity for their work to be published in the Cheshire Prize anthology.

Inaugurated in 2003, The Cheshire Prize for Literature is funded by Bank of America and aims to encourage the literary talents of new and existing Cheshire writers.

Lynda Baguley, the competition organiser, said: “We are thrilled that Tim Firth is able to attend this year’s event.

“The Cheshire Prize seems to becoming more popular, and the diversity of entries we have received demonstrates its appeal not just locally, but also further afield.”

The awards evening will take place in the Molloy Auditorium at the University of Chester’s Chester campus.

Tickets cost £5 and the proceeds of the evening will be donated to charity.

Tickets are available from the Cheshire Prize for Literature Office by emailing or calling 01244 511344.