I am thrilled to be able to share the news that my short story’ Dissolution’ has been awarded first prize in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize. As a doctoral student at University of Leicester*, the city of Leicester has been my adopted home for the last three years and it is wonderful to find my work being celebrated by an organisation that does such great work supporting Leicester-based writers. As writers, we often work for long periods alone, unsure whether what we are working on will connect with people. To have a story recognised in this way always means a great deal, but in these days of social distancing it means so much more.
The lovely judges said some equally lovely things about my story. Rebecca Burns, chair of judges said:
‘Dissolution’ was a well-deserved winner – the story is poignant, beautifully paced, had great depth and pathos, and will speak to many of us during this strange time, as we try to work out which direction our lives will go in.’
Mark Newman said:
‘Dissolution, for me, was an easy winner. Precise, beautiful writing and some wonderful scenes and images. A skilfully paced and judged story that bears multiple readings. I’ve already read it twice since the judging process finished.’
Selma Carvalho said:
”Dissolution’ proved once again why a strong beginning and an equally strong ending continues to be crucial to short story writing.’
Congratulations to my fellow prize winners (you can read all about their stories on the announcement page here) and to all of the short-listed and long-listed writers. I can’t wait to read all your stories in the forthcoming anthology.
*For those of you interested in my research, my story, Dissolution, was created using a preclosural writing methodology developed as part of my doctoral research in Creative Writing at University of Leicester. The data from my preclosural analysis of fifteen British short stories written between 1885-1920 was used to construct a structural and linguistic writing frame to guide the writing this story. My research explores the benefits of using a preclosural methodology in the writing of short fiction, both for the individual author and the writing teacher. This story’s success in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize supports my argument that this approach can help writers of all ages and skill levels improve their craft.