Short Story Competition 2014 – winner and shortlisted writers

The winner of the Poetic Republic Short Story Prize 2014 was Glenda Cooper with her story ‘Kissing Him Goodbye’.

“Your email arrived on a day when nothing was going right with my writing – one of those ‘chuck the laptop out of the window’ moments, so I was overwhelmed, delighted and honoured to win. Most importantly of all, I was so grateful for all those who had taken the time to comment on and rate my story. The fact that this competition allows you to hear what other writers think of your work makes this a very special prize,” said Glenda.

Glenda Cooper is a PhD researcher and freelance feature writer and columnist. She has completed an MA in Creative Writing at City University.

Originally from the Wirral, she now lives in south London with her husband and two daughters.

The idea for ‘Kissing Him Goodbye’ came from an article she read on William Hawes and the founding of the Royal Humane Society in 1774.

The winner of the Best Commentator Prize was Lisa Fransson. “I enjoyed the process so much and I also loved receiving comments from the other participants. It helped me improve my own writing. I think it's an excellent system,” said Lisa.

The other writers that reached the final shortlist of 7 were:

S.E. Crowder with 'Solstice'.

S.E. Crowder writes fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Alongside her first novel, Beyond Land, she is working on a collection of short stories. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. She recently won a place on the West Midlands Writer Development Programme. She lives in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Solstice is an experimental story using second person point of view.

Leslie Roberts with 'Justice'.

Leslie Roberts was born in the British Midlands and spent five years in the RAF before teaching English in Britain, France, Indonesia, Africa and Brunei. He currently lives with his wife in Cornwall.

His interest in short stories began whilst studying under the novelist Maria McCann, whose Creative Writing course he joined whilst working on an as-yet unpublished historical novel set in France.

E Anstruther with 'Alone'.

“Alone was inspired by a friend of mine who confessed the same as the lead character. I thought it an amusing premise and the rest followed. It is one of seven short stories, which make up my first collection (unpublished). I also write and perform poetry."

“I am represented by The Sayle Literary Agency and am currently working on a novel.”

Melanie Jones with 'Silence'.

Melanie Jones is a photographer and English tutor from the South Coast who now lives in London.

She is currently completing her Creative Writing Masters at Birkbeck University. Melanie will be featured in the 2014 edition of The Mechanic’s Institute Review which is due to be published in September.

Melanie was a quiet child and draws on her own experiences of secondary school in the story ‘Silence’. She is now working on her first novel, a mystery set in a Welsh commune.

Abigail Blasi with 'Brothers, Keepers'.

Abigail is from London, and has also lived in Rome and Hong Kong. She has worked as a travel writer for the last 12 years, researching and writing Lonely Planet guidebooks to places including Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia, India and Italy, and writing for newspapers and magazines.

“‘Brothers, Keepers’ was inspired by some non-identical twins that I met a long time ago, though it’s by no means based on them.”

William F Nicholson with 'Ruben'.

William grew up in Johannesburg during the radical transformation of South Africa from the apartheid regime to democracy, which forms the backdrop for his short story ‘Ruben’. He moved to Cape Town to study Film and English Literature at the University of Cape Town, and hasn’t left the city since.

William now works as a producer and director in the film industry, whilst continuing to nurture his prose and poetry writing. Included among his favourite writers are Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Paul Auster and David Foster Wallace.