Short Story Competition

In the summer we announced our short story competition on the theme of A Voice for Change.

The competition was open to women, and those who identify as women, who are over 16 and live, work or study in Suffolk, and who have not been commercially published up to now.

The competition was run jointly with the University of Suffolk, and the judges were
Amanda Hodgkinson (award-winning author of 22 Britannia Road and Spilt Milk) and Gill Lowe (who has published widely on women writers, particularly Virginia Woolf).

We are grateful to the Suffolk Book League who donated a generous prize for the winners.

In judging the competition, Amanda and Gill were faced with a tough choice, but we are delighted to name Justine de Mierre for her story ‘The Gift of the Half-Moon’ as the winner.

There were also two highly commended stories – ‘Minding Madonna’ by Sarah Payne and ‘The Sitter’ by Nicola Warwick. You can read more about our winning authors and their winning stories below.


READ Justine’s winning story here:

Justine de Mierre – The Gift of the Half-Moon

Justine de Mierre

“Justine de Mierre has been a professional performer for the last twenty years and works primarily as a storyteller and singer. As an oral storyteller she mostly retells stories from around the world, which are not written down so this was the first time Justine had put pen to paper to create a written piece in nearly 15 years, and says she found the experience of fixed words a little odd! Justine is an Autist and lives in Melton with her three children.”


READ Sarah’s story here:

Sarah Payne – Minding Madonna

Sarah Payne

Sarah lives in Suffolk with her ten year old daughter, Bethany.  She trained as a litigator in London and now works in community investment.  She started writing about a year ago, joining a creative writing group in Bury St Edmunds, and the WVWV was her first creative writing competition entry.

READ Nicola’s story here:

Nicola Warwick – The Sitter

Nicola Warwick

Nicola Warwick is a poet and occasional short story writer who has lived in Suffolk most of her life. She has just completed a part-time MA in Creative Writing with the Open University and currently works in local government.

Our long-listed stories were:
  • Realms of Possibilities
  • Minding Madonna
  • The Sitter
  • Sins of the Flesh
  • Out Loud
  • The Gift of the Half-Moon


You can also read the Judges’ Report as well as a little about both Gill and Amanda here: