On Sunday 4th October we celebrated the successful entries to our poetry and prose competition, on the theme of “My World,” at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. It was the first time that we were live streamed, that we had to hear the judges’ comments and enjoy samples of their writing on pre-recorded videos rather than live, and that more of the winning pieces were read on behalf of, as opposed to by, their author. But we were there!
In a year when nobody could have envisaged the havoc a microscopic organism could wreak on our existence, we were lucky to have two amazing judges, Tyler Keevil for prose and Sarah James/ Leavesley for poetry, who still spent their time deliberating over the submissions, we are informed by them, of a very high standard, before they declared the winners. We were also very fortunate to have the support and professionalism of the team at the Festival who made the event, not only possible, but fun.
Of course, some things were the same. We came to be entertained by the poems and the stories and we were.
And although the other entries were read by members of the GWN team they held the “voices” of their authors.
Strands by Robin Darrock, the prose winner.
The Wall by Tony Domaille, prose runner up.
Unchartered by Derek Healy, poetry runner up.
Cage in the Sky by Joanna Campbell, prose runner up.
Whilst some aspects of this year we would gladly leave behind, we loved the inspiration it gave to our entrants, the determination and enthusiasm of those we encountered and the fact that we were able to share the event with a wider audience. Those things we will be more than glad to take forward.
With best wishes
The GWN Team