As part of City Arts’ year-long celebrations of their 40th anniversary, the organisation collaborated with Nottingham Writers’ Studio on a writing competition on the theme of ‘Forty’. Entries were received from all over the country, and we are pleased to announce the winners. An anthology of entries is available, both in print and as an ebook, and the winning stories will be published in the Nottingham Post.

First Prize:

Emma Walkers, for ‘And Then’.

As a child, Emma loved writing long, rambling stories and definitely harboured daydreams of being a writer.  As adult life got in the way, however, creativity was neglected and it is only recently that Emma has started to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) again.  Success in this competition is a welcome confidence boost and will be an encouragement to continue.  Emma currently teaches German and French at Bilborough College and lives in Nottingham with her husband and two daughters.

Second Prize:

Mel Roddis, for ‘Forty Days’.

Mel Roddis is a writer and editor from Nottingham. Her love of science fiction led her to complete a Masters in post-apocalyptic literature and a PhD in posthumanism at Nottingham Trent University, and she now works as an editor in the publications department of Games Workshop HQ in Lenton. She writes frequently in her spare time, and this is her first competition and first published short story.

Nottingham Prize:

Amy Dodd, for ‘The Fortieth Step’.

Amy has wanted to write for some time, starting but never finishing the odd short story, so this competition was a good opportunity for her to actually complete something. Her background is in visual creative work, currently she works for a craft company designing and making paper craft models, past work has involved model making for games, animation, and advertising as well as illustration and even some sculpture.

Young Adult Prize:

Lexi Bickell, for ‘Forty Days Later’.

It took completing a Zoology degree for Lexi Bickell to realise that she wanted to be a writer, rather than a scientist. After coming to that realisation, she switched from facts to the fanciful and is now studying for a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School. She writes predominantly for children and young adults and enjoys surprising her readers by playing with their expectations. Her (never-ending lists of) favourite authors include Haruki Murakami, Agatha Christie, Daniel Handler and Caitlin Moran

Child Prize:

Maisy Nicholls, for ‘The 40-Day Withdrawal’.