Now in its third year, The Evening Standard says the competition gives a new generation of creators from across the UK the opportunity to tell their stories in diverse forms through written word, video or audio, and receive industry support.
This year, the publisher says applications were encouraged from anyone with an original story about the theme of Belonging told in a fresh and compelling way. Kelvin Hill won with his short story ‘The Gift’, about a family coming to terms with their psychic powers.
The competition to discover, develop and champion nationwide talent was supported by CityLit, The Reading Agency, and management and production company 42.
1,300 entries went through two initial long-listing processes, continued the publisher, before a shortlist of 12 entries was submitted to a final judging panel. Judges selected one overall winner and two runners-up. Second place went to Elizabeth Fisher for ‘Forty Fifth for my Forty Five’, about a pop star coping with their fall from fame. Third place went to Joe Bedford for ‘Maria’, a tale of lost love.
The free to enter competition encouraged entries in a variety of formats, either written as prose, as a script for any medium or performed in a two-minute audio or video, up to 1,000 words.
This could have been a personal story that holds a universal resonance, or a chance to think beyond reality and write a compelling work of fiction, any story that resonated with the sense of Belonging.
The panel of judges was chaired by author and journalist Lotte Jeffs, and included actor & writer Paterson Joseph, writer & author Monica Ali, playwright & screenwriter Lisa McGee, poet & playwright Lemn Sissay OBE, literary manager Kate Prentice, writer & poet Eric Ngalle Charles, head of audio at the Evening Standard David Marsland, and bestselling author Beth O’Leary.
The winning piece was performed live at the Stories Competition Winners party on Thursday 6th July at BAFTA by actor & author Paterson Joseph, and published on stories.standard.co.uk, as well as the winner and runners-up receiving an array of prizes to further their writing career.
Judge Beth O’Leary, whose debut novel The Flatshare sold more than one million copies, said: “I enjoyed the use of dialogue and the concept is brilliant — I’m sure Kelvin will go on to great things.”
Evening Standard editor Dylan Jones said: “The Standard has always played a role in shaping the creative life of our capital city... Our Stories competition enables us to continue this tradition, discover new voices and champion our incredible talent.”Keep up-to-date with publishing news: sign up here for InPubWeekly, our free weekly e-newsletter.