Bedford International Writing Competition

A most enjoyable evening of celebration was held on the evening of 25th January when the prize-winners of the 2018 short story and poetry competitions were announced.

The audience was treated to a first class story as the competition judge, Sue Moorcroft read the winning tale, Joss 'n' Jules Forever. Equally they were spellbound by the winning poem First Born recited by the successful poet, Colin Hughes.

For a limited period, these and the other prize-winning entries, including the Bedford Prize winners, can be read online by scrolling down this page and clicking on the title of the story or poem in the 2018 results section.

In addition to the announcement of results, donations stemming from the competition entry fees were made to the charities, Just Be A Child and the Bedford Women's Refuge, Butterfly House.

The next date to look out for is 1st May 2019 when this year's short story and poetry competitions will open for entries.

Maybe this year literary success will come your way. To ensure this could be the case, start preparing your entry now.

2018 Competition

2018 Competition – Judges

Short Story Competition Judge

Sue Moorcroft



Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author and has reached the coveted No.1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She's won the Readers' Best Romantic Novel award, the Katie Fforde Bursary, and has been nominated on several other occasions, including for the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.

She is a former judge of the Writers' Forum competitions.

Her short stories, serials, columns, writing guides and courses have appeared all over the world.

Website: www.suemoorcroft.com

Bedford Prize Short Story Judge

Sharon Priestley



Dr Sharon Priestley has presented literature courses for the University of Cambridge, The Letchworth Settlement, Bedford's Rothsay Education Centre and two American universities. The topics of her courses range from classic English and American novels to those that have won the Man Booker Prize, short stories from around the world, poetry, women's writings and children's literature. She has also presented courses on James Boswell and Samuel Johnson and has given papers focused on those fascinating individuals at the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conferences and Literary London conferences.

Poetry Competition and Bedford Prize Poetry Judge

Rory Waterman



Rory Waterman was born in Belfast and grew up in Lincolnshire. His second poetry collection, Sarajevo Roses, has recently been published by Carcanet. His debut, Tonight the Summer's Over (Carcanet, 2013), was a PBS Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Prize. He co-runs New Walk Editions and writes for the TLS and other publications. He is senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University.

Website: rorywaterman.com


2018 Short Story Competition - Shortlist

Story title Author
Afternoon delightNicola Coleman - London
EventideKatherine Mezzacappa - Carrara,Italy
The Highs and Lows of Barefoot PleasureTaria Karillion - Chester
Joss'n'Jules ForeverRob McInroy - Beverley
LifeguardJack Desmond - Bandon, Ireland
The Milestone BirthdaySarah Veness - Northampton
The Safety of BeesFiona Barnett - Sandy
Troubled WatersMeg Holdsworth - Cheltenham
Underground MovementBarry Cooper - Bedford
Waterloo SunsetJo Carroll - Newbury
The WalkCurtis Batterbee - Bedford
The Weight of SnowRob McInroy - Beverley

2018 Poetry Competition - Shortlist

Poem title Poet
August Bank HolidayMeredith Andrea - York
Bedtime for the TwinsGuy Russell - Milton Keynes
Clowns CrossingCaroline Price - Framlingham
CSIColin Hughes - Saxmundham
Her DiariesRoger Elkin - Biddulph Moor
Evergreen CarolEleni Cay - Milton Keynes
First BornColin Hughes - Saxmundham
He told her she was only thinking of herselfGuy Russell - Milton Keynes
The MuseumsJosh Ekroy - London
Nearly QEDRobin Muers - Rugby
New WineRosemary McLeish - Faversham
Votive OfferingMiriam Patrick - Hassocks

2018 Short Story Competition - Long List

Story title Author
Afternoon delightNicola Coleman - London
Amadu PalaverFoday Mannah - Broxburn
The Angry Sun GodDan Brozel - London
Black Boy WinningsJanet Swinney - London
Cast AwayTomas Furby - Didcot
A Dream HolidayDionne Haynes - Plymouth
EventideKatherine Mezzacappa - Carrara, , Italy
The Faraway FieldRichard Powell - Ash, Aldershot
GiftsEmma Myatt - Gourdon
HabitatSarah Price - London
The Highs and Lows of Barefoot PleasureTaria Karillion - Chester
Home PortMeg Holdsworth - Cheltenham
Joss'n'Jules ForeverRob McInroy - Beverley
KneelersSherri Turner - Thames Ditton
LifeguardJack Desmond - Bandon, Ireland
MansplainingDavid Butler - Bray, Ireland
The Milestone BirthdaySarah Veness - Northampton
Mother Moves in Slow MotionJudith Wilson - London
A Problem HalvedConor Watson - Kleve, Germany
The Safety of BeesFiona Barnett - Sandy
Her Secret LoverLinda Daunter - Preston
Separate WaysCharles Warren - Sunbury
The Table by the WindowYvonne Sampson - Bushey
Troubled WatersMeg Holdsworth - Cheltenham
Underground MovementBarry Cooper - Bedford
Waterloo SunsetJo Carroll - Newbury
The WalkCurtis Batterbee - Bedford
The Weight of SnowRob McInroy - Beverley
Zither MusicDavid Butler - Bray, Ireland

2018 Poetry Competition - Long List

Poem title Poet
All SoulsAnne Casey - Northbridge, Australia
August Bank HolidayMeredith Andrea - York
Votive OfferingMiriam Patrick - Hassocks
Carrying OnSusan E Hollabd - Campbeltown
Christmas AfternoonChristopher James - Jouy-en-Josas, France
The CircleJosh Ekroy - London
Nearly QEDRobin Muers - Rugby
Critten HospitalEleni Cay - Milton Keynes
Evergreen CarolEleni Cay - Milton Keynes
CSIColin Hughes - Saxmundham
Bedtime for the TwinsGuy Russell - Milton Keynes
Her DiariesRoger Elkin - Biddulph Moor
Field CharactersSusan E Holland - Campbeltown
The FiftiethJosh Ekroy - London
FootstepsVal Ormrod - Lydney
The Fulbourn VirginMiriam Patrick - Hassocks
GanseyGordon Aindow - Preston
Good SenseCharles Evans - London
New WineRosemary McLeish - Faversham
How We Lost ItGuy Russell - Milton Keynes
Jersey Tiger MothMark Totterdell - Exeter
Mel Tossing a Pack On 285Christopher Watson - Santa Fe, USA
Clowns CrossingCaroline Price - Framlingham
He told her she was only thinking of herselfGuy Russell - Milton Keynes
The NewsChristopher James - Jouy-en-Josas, France
First BornColin Hughes - Saxmundham
Out of a WallMandy Pannett - Pulborough
Siren in a night streetChristopher James - Jouy-en-Josas, France
Sorting OfficeIan Murray - Stirling
SquallTobias Peterson - Portland, USA
Things that I haveSarah Hosking - Newport, Wales
TotalityPat Winslow - Witney
The MuseumsJosh Ekroy - London
The VortexJudth Drazin - Bristol
What we shareChristopher Watson - Santa Fe, USA
Whit was hid for, Rachel Whaness' womb? Jane Burn - Consett

2018 Short Story Winners


First Prize

Joss 'n' Jules Forever

by

Rob McInroy

Second Prize

The Highs and Lows of Barefoot Pleasure

by

Taria Karillion

Third Prize

Eventide

by

Katherine Mezzacappa

2018 Poetry Winners


First Prize

First Born

by

Colin Hughes

Second Prize

New Wine

by

Rosemary McCleish

Third Prize

He told her she was thinking of herself

by

Guy Russell


2018 Bedford Prize winners

Short Story



Underground Movement

by

Barry Cooper

Poetry



Mains Drone Song

by

Ian McEwen


For previous competitions from 2017 back to 2014 go to Archive


Our Patrons

Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah is a best-selling author of atmospheric, psychological thrillers and her poetry is studied for exams. In September 2015 BWC invited her to be interviewed before a live audience at the Trinity Theatre, Bedford. She entertained us with her recollections of how she became a successful writer and shared some of her novel-writing secrets.

Ruth Hogan

Ruth Hogan was the 2017 short story competition judge and has been a regular supporter of the competition since its start. Being a local author she represents the cultural reputation of Bedford which the BIWC aims to promote. Having spent her early working life in local government she wrote stories as part of her therapy while recovering from cancer. Her success with her first published novel in 2017 is testament to her never giving up hope of becoming a best-selling author and is a fine example to all writers with similar ambitions.

Toby Litt

Toby Litt is an English writer and academic in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. He has several publications to his name both novels and collections of short stories. Born in Ampthill and a former pupil of Bedford Modern School. In 2016 he was the judge of the BIWC Short Story Competition.

Ian McEwen

Ian McEwen was the judge for the 2016 Poetry Competition. He has had his poems published in a variety of magazines as well as producing a pamphlet, The Stammering Man and his first full collection in book form, Intermittent Beings. He is interested in opportunities to broaden the practice and appreciation of poetry, through readings, workshops or residencies.

Margaret Norwich

Margaret Norwich was the judge of the Bedford Prize in 2015 and 2016. She studied liberal arts at Vassar College, New York and then came over to England to read English at Girton College, Cambridge. As well as working in publishing and the voluntary sector, Margaret lectured for many years on English Language and Literature at De Montfort and Cranfield Universities. American born, she now regards herself a true Bedfordian.

Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell is a best-selling crime novelist. Her association with the BIWC began in 2014 when the competition went 'nternational'. She has been the judge for the 2014 and the 2015 competitions. We are extremely grateful for the encouragement that she has given us and gives to writers of all abilities.

Acknowledgements


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