The Write Stuff 2015: Winners Revealed | Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE

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Future female fiction writers were recognised for their literary talents by Barbara Taylor Bradford and The Sunday Times. Girls will see their work published in The Write Stuff 2015 eBook.

International best-selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE and The Sunday Times have discovered the next generation of young female writers in 2015 Britain.

The Write Stuff short story competition – aimed at girls aged 11-18 and who live in the UK – was launched in March 2015 and asked girls to write a short, fictional story with a central theme of ‘friendship’.

Hundreds of entries were received as part of the competition. A panel of judges, including Barbara Taylor Bradford and The Sunday Times Editorial Director Eleanor Mills, judged each story on its overall quality of writing; originality, imagination and creativity; sentence structure and language; and the writer’s ability to tell a story, capture the reader and hold their attention. The winners and runners-up are:

11-13 Category:
Name Age Position Story title School Region
Anna Symonds 13 Winner Fading Hopes Fortismere School London
A clever, quirky story with a twist that is even nicely incorporated in the title.
Jui Zaveri 12 Runner-up Glass Friendships The Henrietta Barnett School London
A young writer has the imagination to attempt a canine role and captures some poignancy.
Minna Gillett 13 Runner-up Friendship The Henrietta Barnett School London
A novel and concise format that uses dictionary definitions as a starting point to travel to a demonstration ‘friendship’ set within the ordinary context of a school day.
14-16 Category:
Name Age Position Story title School Region
Tera Birchall 16 Winner Sugar Glass Liverpool Life Sciences UTC Liverpool
This has tenderness and the ability to induce mood and has beautiful entity as a composition. Also demonstrates a feel for scene-setting and an expressive way with language: ‘I learnt my lesson like a fly smacking into a windshield’.
Ella Boston 15 Runner-up Floss Spider St Mary’s Cambridge Cambridge
This writer has used nature as a mirror to create a thoughtful, well written story with depth and a visual dimension.
Cerian Richmond Jones 15 Runner-up The Setting Dawn King Edward VI High School for Girls Birmingham
A mystical, unreal London is developed here, helped by a sometimes mature and poetic use of language: ‘The Thames begins to flow again, taking time with it.’
17-18 Category:
Name Age Position Story title School Region
Sophie Claypole 17 Winner Iridescent King Edward VI Grammar School Louth
Rather a lovely, measured and gentle gem of a story; careful, shaped, controlled and human.
Katherine Boulton 17 Runner-up Malia and Aquia Dr Challoners High School Buckinghamshire
A traditional fairy-tale format and a sense of ‘story creation’ all too rare in this category.
Lucy Mercer 17 Runner-up Gifted and Talented Redland High School for Girls Bristol
A relatable story of teenage friendship – simplicity is the key to the assured writing style here.
The Write Stuff - 2015 Winners
The Write Stuff – 2015 Winners
The girls’ stories – along with 11 other finalists recognised by the judges – will be published in a free eBook called ‘Winners and Finalists of The Write Stuff 2015’ and will appeal to girls aged 11-18-years-old. The eBook will be published this Sunday (22 November 2015) and can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

The three winning stories will also appear on The Write Stuff website.

The winners and runners-up will be invited to take part in an exclusive writing master class at News UK London headquarters hosted by HarperCollins and in partnership with Barbara Taylor Bradford in order to further develop their skills. This will take place in the first half of 2016.

As well as writing her much-loved books, Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, an independent UK charity that transforms lives through literacy, and is passionate about empowering girls to write and let their voices be heard through their stories. She says: “I felt it was very important to reach out to girls and young women who want to share a story they have created and inspire a new generation of female writers and readers.

I was very excited when I began to read the final stories in the writing competition. The more I delved in to these very unique stories, the more thrilled I became. I was reading stories that had been written by very clever, young women who displayed their talent, imagination, and command of the English language. What a joy for me to know that out there so many young women are involved in reading and writing because, let’s face it, if you can’t read, you can’t write.

I am delighted that I started this competition in partnership with The Sunday Times, with the support of my publishers HarperCollins and the National Literacy Trust, because it has given me great hope for the future. I believe we have got an enormous amount of talented and dedicated girls out there.

One of the things that impressed me most was the thought, intelligence, and maturity which came to the fore in these stories. I want to say congratulations to everyone who entered, and I had a hard time selecting the winners because every story was so good.

Often described as the ‘First Lady of Female Fiction’ and ‘Queen of the Genre’, over 88 million books authored by Barbara Taylor Bradford have been sold to date. They are published in over 40 languages and in more than 90 countries. Barbara’s books always feature women who drive to succeed in life, often overcoming adversities along the way. Her 30th novel, The Cavendon Women, is out now in paperback (RRP £7.99, HarperCollins).

Eleanor Mills, Editorial Director, The Sunday Times, adds: “I was thrilled and surprised by the quality of the entries, the imagination they showed and the deep understanding and exploration of the friendship brief from so many different points of view. The younger category was particularly strong. It’s been a great pleasure and honour to be a judge on the competition with Barbara Taylor Bradford who has always been a heroine of mine; I grew up on A Woman of Substance and her other novels. I hope that this competition has inspired another generation of girls to get writing.

The competition has also been supported by National Literacy Trust, HarperCollins, The Girls’ Day School Trust, Association of State Girls’ Schools (ASGS), Girls School Association, teen story-sharing community Movellas and author Helena Coggan.

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