THE winners of a Blaenau Gwent short story and poetry competition have been announced.
The competition was created by PinC breast cancer charity in conjunction with Aneurin Leisure’s library service and was open for all adults and children in the county and further afield to enter. The theme was a ‘Welsh connection’.
The adult winners were given cash prizes thanks to sponsors Greenland’s Heating Company and the library provided goody bags and book tokens for the child winners.
In the adult short story category, first prize was Anne Beese from Cwm – who was in the top three last year, second prize was given to Andrew Meredith from Tredegar and third place went to Sandra Todd from Crickhowell.
Ms Beese’s piece was titled The Guardian of Cadair Idris and she was also give the Sue White Award in memory of the former Ebb -Vale librarian, whose family contribute funds to the library in her memory.
Ms Beese said: “Just when I was thinking ‘who wants to read this stuff’, this award has certainly inspired me to continue. It’s true what they say: ‘Winners never quit, quitters never win’. So go on, give it a go. What have you got to lose?”
In the adult poetry category, Adele Winston of Ebbw Vale won for a second year in a row with her new poem Finding the Fairytale. Second place was Rita Bull from Brynmawr and third was Ebbw Vale’s Steve Randell.
In the children’s short story category, 11-year-old Teilo Langford from Ebbw Vale came first. In second place was Isla Rae Davies, seven from Tredegar, and 11-year-old Blaina girl Gwent Edwards came third.
All of the winning entries will be available soon on the Blaenau Gwent Library website.
The judges for the competition were Professor Anne Rowe, a visiting professor at the University of Chichester, Sky News’ Kate Jordan and Aneurin Leisure’s head of adult community learning Ceri Waters.
The competition is only in its second year but was so well received it is going to continue. A donation of £5 was required for every adult entry to raise money for PinC.
Aneurin Leisure’s library service manager, Tracy Jones said: “The competition is a great way to encourage people to get more creative. It has grown in popularity, with so many more people entering this year. The standard of entry was very high, and we thoroughly enjoyed reading all the poems and stories. We are already working with Liz Sullivan to plan next year’s competition, which will be our third year of running it.”
PinC trustee and organiser Elizabeth Sullivan MBE said: “The idea of a writing competition in the previously industrial town of Ebbw Vale was initially greeted with scepticism. However, once the wealth of creative writing was exposed, we are confident of unearthing a future writer to rival the best.”
Professor Rowe was head judge and is originally from Ebbw Vale. She now owns the Dragon Hotel in Crickhowell and regularly holds literary events. She said: “Thanks for asking me to do this again. I am very pleased to do it – my father would be so thrilled. Blow the professorship – this is what would have made him proud – he was Ebbw Vale born and bred.”