Bamburgh Beach, by Eva Hodgin (High Commended – Short Fiction)

This short story was a highly commended finalist in the Short Fiction section of our 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition.

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Love is so short, forgetting is so long – Pablo Neruda

Lindisfarne. Holy Island. Bamburgh. These are place names which taste of childhood; we repeat them and their familiarity is an incantation, conjuring images out of air. They draw pictures in the mind whose lines have been traced over and over again: castles, crabs, walks across the causeway and along the beach.

For you, the names meant nothing, and you laughed at my enthusiasm for this cold, bare stretch of Northumbrian coast with all the confusion of the die-hard Londoner. Continue reading


‘Slippage’ by Cecilia Villacis (Highly Commended – Flash Fiction)

This piece of flash fiction was highly commended in the Flash Fiction section of our 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition.

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Church steps are the hardest to fall down, crushing bone into bone into bone. An elderly midget they’ll make of me, the cement hardness and rock. Then on hands and knees, picking out the beads scattered in the fall from amongst slugs and belly-up wood lice. Church looming ahead, I shuffle sideways, bowing instinctively as others descend the way. Humble, I must seem, I think. Where has this humility come from, I wonder, on my knees with the slugs and the lice. Fleshless entrails and rot-seeking parasites: that it has come to this.​

‘Like horses’ by Jasmine Simms (Highly Commended – Poetry)

This poem was a highly commended finalist in the Poetry section of our 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition.

I too have stared, like a horse, over a fence

into the next field. I’m becoming tired of knowing

that the wind up my nostrils is a sign of things

coming and going. I have frozen from the inside,

not knowing who opens the gate, or when.


I too have spoken the language of horse,

said things with my back legs,

caused offence, spoken too quickly,

turned out my upper lip after a taste of red wine.

I’ve run my hoof across the ground

waiting for something. Now I know how to wait

like a horse does, knotting my mane in class,


looking very far into the distance, counting strides.

Sometimes I think I’ve come this far as a foal,

sleeping with my head between my knees.

The only things I know for sure are real:

the sound of galloping, never to touch you

when your ears are flat back, how to get near you,

how to dream in the back of a horsebox,

how to fall, how to sleep standing up.

‘Hooker’ by Helen Bowell (Highly Commended – Poetry)

This poem by Helen Bowell was a highly commended finalist in our 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition.

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We called her ‘the lucky fisherwoman’: she, the magic hook

that reeled them in from where they did not swim. In secret,

we’d watch the spools swoon and spin, light-threaded in her

presence, the fish almost grateful to be coaxed from the cold

seabed. That boat rocked. She hauled rainbow trout, sea bass, Continue reading

Results of the 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted a piece of writing for our 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition. Well done to all the writers who were finalists and especially those who won awards at our Awards Evening.

Short Fiction:

Highly commended: Eva Hodgin’s ‘Bamburgh Beach’ and Lucy Sara-Kelly’s ‘The Unreachable Light’


Highly commended: Jasmine Simms’ ‘Like Horses’ and Helen Bowell’s ‘Hooker’

Flash fiction:

Highly commended: Abigail O’Dougherty’s ‘For a View’ and Cecillia Villacis’ ‘Slippage’

Of course, none of this would have been possible if not for our amazing judges, Kelly Falconer, John Challis and Lauren Owen.

We’re very sorry for the delay since then. I’m afraid we encountered technical difficulties that have finally been resolved. Please look forward to the finalist and winning entries that will be published on this site in the proceeding days!

Once again, congratulations to all the winners.