A story about child abuse, as seen through the eyes of a young girl, has been awarded first prize in the 2015 Cheshire Prize for Literature.
Pauline Brown’s Tick Tock won her £2,000 at an evening hosted by the University of Chester, where the novelist, literary critic and broadcaster Dr Michael Arditti was guest speaker.
Pauline, originally of Macclesfield but now living in Epsom, Surrey, said: “It’s an absolutely amazing feeling to win, I’m completely stunned.
“I’ve won a couple of flash fiction competitions, but nothing as big as this. It was also extremely special to hear Dr Arditti’s wonderful reading of my story. Many thanks to all, and my congratulations to the runners-up too.”
There were three highly commended runners-up, who received £250 for their work: John Cadet: A Message from Bangkok (and other places) to Calvin J. Broccoli of Maryland and Geneva; Cathy Bryant: For Yourself Alone and Lynne Parry Griffiths: My Will Ne’er Be Done.
As well as cash prizes, the winning entries and a selection of other submissions will be included in an anthology produced by the University of Chester Press next year.
During the evening, Dr Arditti provided an insight into his career and took questions from the audience before joining the High Sheriff of Cheshire Bill Holroyd in handing out the awards.
This year’s competition was for a short story and attracted scores of entries from writers across the country or who have a connection with the county.
Competition judge Dr Ian Seed, lecturer in creative writing said: “I’d like to thank all those who took part – we had 226 entries from all over the world and so many good stories. The judging panel was looking for stories that satisfied various criteria – character, storyline, plot, and use of imagination. More than anything, we were looking for stories that ‘got beneath the skin’ and left a lasting impression, and our winner and our highly commended runners-up definitely did that. Our congratulations go to them, and to our winner, Pauline Brown, in particular. We wish her a very successful writing career.”